Pondicherry/Puducherry the French town of India, attracts millions of tourists every year to experience the union of two cultures.
Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry
- Auroville- A township dedicated to peace and harmony, where people of 43 different nationalities live together.
- Aurobindo ashram- A spiritually elevated place where one can meditate peacefully.
- Rock beach- A nice walking road by the beach opposite of the French colony.
- Basilica of the sacred heart of Jesus- Magnificent Neo-gothic architecture can be observed in this church.
Shopping in Pondicherry-
- Auroville shops- Quite expensive but authentic handicrafts.
- Rock beach road- Numerous roadside souvenir shops.
- Sunday market- This weekly market is flocked with locals and tourists to buy cheap goods ranging from apparels to books.
How to Reach Pondicherry –
- Pondicherry has its own airport but is connected only to Bangalore airport. Closest functional airport is Chennai. (150kms- 2hours 50minutes)
- Railway station- Pondicherry has its own Railway station. (10mins from city center)
- Pondicherry is well connected by road with major cities in South India.
Best time to visit Pondicherry-
- November to March. (Winter Season)
Wanderer’s Eye Tips-
- Woodfire grilled pizza is a must try. It gives nice smoky flavour to the hand-made thin crust pizza.
- Visit Mahabalipuram temple complex which is a small D-tour from Chennai to Pondicherry.
- Avoid visiting touristy beaches like promenade beach, auroville beach.
- Pre-booking to enter Aurobindo Ashram’s Matri mandir/ meditation hall is necessary. To avail best feasible slot, one should book at least 30days prior.
Climate of Pondicherry-
- Summers extend from April to Mid-July and temperature ranges from 26℃ to 37℃.
- Monsoon extends from Mid-July with light showers extending till December. (average raingall-53 inches)
- Winters extend from November to March are moderately cold with temperature ranging from 20℃ to 32℃.
History of Pondicherry-
- Pondicherry doesn’t have an extremely back dated history.
- The town came to be known only after the colonization of India as this shore became a major trading hub.
- Pondicherry attracted all the colonizers including French, Dutch, Britain and the Portuguese. This laid to a war in 1693 which was won by the Dutch but later was handed over to France due to a treaty.
Culture of Pondicherry-
- People- As per 2011 census, the population of Pondicherry is 13.9Lakh. The locals are mostly Hindu’s followed by Christians and Muslims. The locals have a mix of French and Indian culture.
- Languages- Tamil is the main language of Pondicherry. Malayalam and Telugu are also commonly used by the locals. The people catering to tourists can speak English.
- Festivals- Pongal and Shivratri are celebrated with great pomp. Mother Teresa’s birth anniversary is also celebrated with great respect and honoring the great lady.
- Art- Bommai doll made of terracotta or paper mache is the speciality of Pondicherry.
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