Pondicherry : A Gorgeous Town Full Of Heritage Beauty

After a beautiful road trip from Mumbai, we reached our destination, Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry. Although we were here for work, we always wanted to visit this beautiful old town, full of heritage buildings, spirituality, art, food and culture. And Pondicherry didn’t let us down even one bit. Here’s a bit of what to see in Pondicherry.

Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, is a city in the Union Territory of Puducherry. It’s a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu. Since Pondicherry was once a French colony, the city has a strong French influence over architecture, art, culture, food and also language. The streets still have French names like Rue Damas etc.

We stayed at the Hotel De Pondicherry, an old colonial era building, which has a great restaurant as well as promixity to the beach.

There’s plenty to do in this lovely city, after you have had your ample naps and relaxations! You could go for walks in its streets, hang around in lovely cafes, go for art galleries, shop around, visit one of the many museums or monuments, there are some old and beautiful temples and churches, or try the wonderful food. You could also visit one of the many Aurobindo centres, some for meditation, some have excellent libraries and they also make a wide range of hand-made paper.

Puducherry is distinctively divided into White Town and, well, the rest of it. White Town is where all the colonial heritage beauty is. If you want to stay in Pondicherry, do ensure you stay inside White Town (unless you want otherwise). The other part of town is like any other congested Indian city.

What to do in Pondicherry: Go for walks, visit musuems, libraries, read books, take long naps in the hot afternoons, hang out at cafes and art galleries, shop, and eat wonderful food.

Also go visit Aurobindo Ashram. They have libraries, hand made paper stores, meditation centres etc.
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple
is an ancient temple, built before 1666AD.
Visit the Basilica of Sacred Heart Of Jesus, a fine example of Oriental Gothic Architecture.
The Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (The Church of Our Lady of Angels), in Rue Dumas, is notable for its masonry – which uses the finest of limestone mixed with white of the egg – making for a texture identical to that of white marble. Visit this Church at around 5:30pm to catch some awesome light coming in through its ceiling dome stained glass.
The Cathedral Of Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception was built around 1692 AD. Do visit.
Meeran Mosque is the oldest Mosque in Puducherry, built over 350 years ago. We couldn’t see it, but try and do.

Do visit the Pondicherry Museum. They have a fantastic collection of the history around this region.

Do go for evening walks on the Beach Road Promenade.

Nearby: You can visit Auroville, hardly 10km from Pondicherry. If you want to see their meditation theatre, you must book in advance. Auroville has wonderful landscape, libraries, cafes, meditation centres, places to stay etc. You could also book a place to stay in lieu of voluntary service. Check for these at Auroville.

Tranquebar, about 4hours’ drive from Puducherry / Pondicherry to Tranquebar is a wonderful 17th Centure Danish fort town.

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary is roughly 4.5 hours from Puducherry and has blackbucks, wolves, many species of resident and migratory birds. There is also the Ousteri Wetland and National Park, which is essentially a bird sanctuary but also has many marine species. It’s some 10km from Puducherry.

Arikamedu is an ancient archaeological site with remains of a Roman settlement. It’s about 7 km from Puducherry.

Where to stay and what to eat? : There’s plenty. We are writing another post for that!

We stayed at the lovely Hotel De Pondicherry
We stayed at the lovely Hotel De Pondicherry
Pondicherry street.
The beautiful streets of Pondicherry are worth many a walk.

There’s good art and good food everywhere.
The Church Of Our Lady Of Angels.
The Church Of Our Lady Of Angels.
Inside the Church Of Our Lady of Angels
Inside the Church Of Our Lady of Angels. At around 5:30pm, gorgeous light filters in through the stained glass in the dome.
Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus is an oriental example of Gothic Architecture and was built in around 1902-1907.
Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Inside the beautiful Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Le Cafe on Beach Road, Pondicherry.
Le Cafe on the Pondicherry Beach Promenade is open till late hours.
French War Memorial Pondicherry
The French War Memorial on Goubert Avenue remembers the brave soldiers who laid down their lives defending their country during the World War I
Beach Road, Pondicherry.
The promenade on Beach Road, Pondicherry is a great place to hang around in the evenings.
Pondicherry Night Life.
Night life is Pondicherry is limited, the town sleeps early.
Kaffe Express, Pondicherry.
There are beautiful cafes everywhere, like this Kaffe Express here.
Flower in Pondicherry
The streets of Pondicherry are lined with beautiful trees and we were intrigued by this flower…
Many artists have found their place in this city, and stores like this one sell their art as Tshirts or memorabilia.
Plenty of culture and cafes!
Ceramic Typography
Gorgeous typography set in ceramic.
The Matrimandir at Auroville.
Old banyan Tree, Auroville
The Grand Old Banyan Tree at Auroville.
Seagulls is a Government run restaurant which offers an excellent view of a sun setting over the Bay of Bengal.
View from Seagulls Cafe.
Le Maison Rose
Le Maison Rose is a lovely cafe and a store in Pondicherry.
This beautiful city is very tree friendly.
Rue Damas, Pondicherry
Beautiful streets have these beautiful houses painted in vibrant colours.
Another monument in Pondicherry.
Even the Pondicherry beach is not safe from a selfie 🙂
Pondicherry Lighthouse
The Old Lighthouse on Pondicherry built in 1836.
Pondicherry Museum.
Puducherry Muesum has quiet a bit of interesting artifacts from its history.
An old Tin inside Embroidery House.
We walked into this amazing place called Embroidery House, which houses the Cluny Embroidery Centre, which provided some occupation to destitute women.
The point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary is some 4.5 hours from Puducherry.


15 thoughts on “Pondicherry : A Gorgeous Town Full Of Heritage Beauty”

  1. I came across your site via Desi Traveler (Prasad’s blog). Wonderful post. I have wanted to visit Pondicherry always but never really made an effort to explore on Internet and make plans. The photos in your blog make me want to plan now. 🙂

  2. One of my passions is travelling and exploring and exploring new places. After reading your capturing post, I’m tempted to plan my trip to Pondicherry soon.The beautiful description along with the tips and the splendid clicks reflects the beauty of the place.

  3. City for peace of mind and a nice collection of memories. French colonial and renaissance architecture streets are narrated in your photographs. Well done! Would like to get more for places like this.


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