Pondicherry is the perfect destination for those who want to explore and experience the essence of France in India. It is an old French town home to numerous remnants from the French colonial era. It is also noted for its serene natural beauty and is home to some unique places to visit in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is an old French town in the Union Territory of Puducherry in southern India. It is an urban agglomeration, a developing city, and the capital of the union territory. It is most noted for the East meets West aspect of it. From 1674 till 1954, it was a French outpost on Indian soil. Being held under the French administration for such long time, its culture, food, and outlook was highly influenced by French colonization. The culture in the town is unique when compared with the culture of rest of the state and one can easily feel the stark change in the culture as they approach the town. You will find a large number of French architecture and many restaurants that serve steak with good wine.
During the colonial era, it was the largest French town on Indian soil. Its long checkered history is filled with trade and multiple events of wars. Due to its strategic location, multiple battles were fought between the French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. On 1 November 1954, the French outpost was finally included in the union territory of India. An interesting fact about the place is that here 1st of November is celebrated as the Independence Day and 16th August is celebrated as the Republic Day.
Pondicherry is the centre of commerce and trade in the entire union territory. Trade, maritime industries, and tourism are the main industries here which have helped in the growth of the place. Tourism in particular is highly significant. It is one of the most visited places in south India with a multitude of tourist attractions and things to do.
The place is small in area and it is possible to complete touring all the places to visit in Pondicherry in one day if you have a vehicle. Following are three of the most prominent sightseeing spots:
Aurobindo Ashram – Located just a few kilometers away from the railway station the Aurobindo ashram is a monumental place dedicated to Sri Aurobindo, a saint, a poet, and a nationalist. It is basically a row of interconnected houses including the ones where Sri Aurobindo rested while on his tour of the place. It is was established under the guidance of the poet himself. A white marble shrine which is the final resting place of the saint is a place of reverence and visited by many.
Auroville – It is a small town located about 8 k.m. from Pondicherry. It is most noted for the Matrimandir and the Matrimandir Viewing Point. The Matrimandir is a dome-shaped universal temple where anyone can come and pray. The structure of the temple is a highlight. There is a large hall inside the temple for meditation. On the outside it is covered with golden discs that reflect the sun rays giving an ethereal radiance. This one is a must-visit.
Promenade Beach – It is one of the multiple beaches in the region. Most known for being serene and scenic, the beach is a perfect place to relax. There are several landmarks and statues lying along the coast. To name some include: Dupleix statue, Joan of Arc,Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Heritage town hall, and the old light house. If you seek tranquility away from the hustles of the cities, this is the place you want to be at.