Pondicherry is a mini hamlet that was once inhabited by the French Colonies and still radiates the same old-world charm. It famous tourist with many beautiful beaches, a pristine environment, lovely churches, and villas. Pondicherry is a city offering many amazing experiences. One can also find numerous gorgeous cafes, lovely churches, and stunning beaches in Pondicherry, and enjoy the best places to visit in Pondicherry serene and tranquil atmosphere of the town. Be ready to click one of those Instagram-worthy pictures with the most breathtaking backdrops and panoramic views.
A Handy Guide of Places to Visit in Pondicherry
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Bengali philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh established Shri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926. He was a freedom fighter in Bengal. There is mandatory to maintain silence while taking the ashram tour. It is a tranquil places to visit in Pondicherry with pretty plants, gorgeous doors.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram attracts thousands of devotees from India and around the world. It is located on Rue de la Marine very close to the French Quarter area and is a short walk away from the Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Moreover, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram serves as the headquarters of the Sri Aurobindo Society. The samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and ‘The Mother’ is located here. It can also be seen where devotees pay their respects with their hands folded in deep prayers. Inside the main building, there’s a very pretty Western-style room with accessories which reflect the best places to visit in Pondicherry (presumably where Sri Aurobindo Ghosh lived). The adjacent bookshop in the ashram sells a range of books, while the building opposite the ashram hosts frequent cultural programs during the tourist season.
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry and most popular tourist attractions. Here are many places to visit in Pondicherry. The temple is dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god. Located within walking distance away from Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The exterior of the temple is huge and stunning with statues of various gods and goddesses lining the walls. Once you enter inside, the grandeur of the splendid friezes on the walls is immaculate with chiseled carvings. The Manakula Vinayagar temple has been in existence before the French occupation of Pondicherry; thereby making it one of the oldest buildings in Pondicherry.
The temple elephant, Lakshmi is the star attraction of the Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Eager devotees can get a tap on the top of the head with Lakshmi’s trunk; in exchange for a coin, dexterously picked up from the palm of the devotee, and immediately handed over to the mahout. It’s a fascinating ritual to observe and the best time for experiencing this is during the afternoon hours when there are lesser crowds at the temple. The fact that she’s outdoors made it easy to click photographs.
In a 17th-century colonial mansion occupied by an administrator. There are also the best places to visit in Pondicherry. Such as Pondicherry Museum has a great collection of local historic memorabilia and collectibles. Housed by Among other things, the museum features a collection of stone sculptures, a bronze gallery, and different carriages. There are also artifacts from nearby excavations around Arikamedu (an erstwhile seaport) that show that Romans traded in this region as early as the 1st century BC.
The Pondicherry Government Museum is located on Ranga Pillai Street, opposite Government Place. The archeological collection includes Neolithic remains from Arikamedu, a few stone sculptures from 6th to 8th century and Buddhist stone sculptures from 10th Century, and paintings. Also on display is some French furniture and artefacts from local houses that must have been used during the French occupation.
French Quarter or White Town Heritage Walk
Many Indian tourists come to Pondicherry mostly to explore the ‘French’ architecture. There are also places to visit in Pondicherry such as The charming French Quarter, the area around the beachfront has wide boulevards, road names starting with rue, bilingual signs, colorful doors, and windows on prettily-designed buildings, and gorgeous colonial villas. There are also places to visit in Pondicherry such as In the White Town area, even the policemen continue to wear military-style caps, known as kepis from De Gaulle’s time.
Once you cross the canal and enter the east side towards White Town close to the sea, the streets look cleaner and emptier with a European hangover. The charming Quater is the best places to visit in Pondicherry. The broad boulevards of the tranquil French Quarter are best explored on a walk.
The Botanical Gardens are located close to the Railway Station and were established by the French in 1826. The entrance is free, and it is indeed a lovely place to come for a quiet walk and aimless wandering if the tourists at other structures have been too much noise for you! In the Botanical Gardens, the French planted 900 species of trees to experiment and see how they would do in Indian conditions.
Church of our Lady of the Angels
sheer luck build the church of our lady of Angels (Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges church) in half of the 19th Century. Painted in mellow pink, cream color and is located on Dumas Street. It boasts of a rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption. It is also the only Church at present in India that has a Sunday Mass in all three languages; French, English, and Tamil.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Eglise de Sacre Coeur de Jesus’ is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Constructed in the neo-Gothic style and located close to the railway station. It is also a pretty building in distinct cream and dark brown color and is a Catholic church.
Quiet Beach & Serenity Beach
Serenity beach is located at an 8 km distance from Pondicherry. You can also be reached via auto, taking cab rental services. The quiet beach is also mostly the same and it may be difficult to spot even a bit of clean sand here. It is also the best places to visit in Pondicherry. The land is full of muddy brown color and the entrance road may be lined with tender coconut sellers eager to make a quick buck.
Aptly named, with its white-sand – Paradise Beach on a cloudless day might resemble an island in the Maldives! It is approximately 20 km away from Pondicherry. From there government boats take you to the island on which Paradise Beach is located. There are many places to visit in Pondicherry in eateries on Paradise Beach. Apart from the cafés popular with tourists in the French Quarter area; recommended places to visit in Pondicherry are Satsanga Restaurant, Surguru Restaurant, Karaikal Chettinad just after you cross the canal from the French Quarter.