Pondicherry is also known as Puducherry & is one of the 7 union territories of India. It is also considered as the oldest French colony of India, and even today you can still see the influence of that region. If you want to know more about reaching Pondicherry and some internal nuances, then click here.
There are a lot of things that you can explore and see in Pondicherry. Listing the top 5 things to do in Pondicherry, as per my visit.
1. Rock Beach is also known as Promenade or Pondicherry beach: It’s that mainstream beach of the city that is always FULL.
This touristy beach is visited by almost everyone when in Pondicherry. It’s easily located in the center of the town. The beach had a stack of rocks near the shore and thus it is known as the rock beach. You can enjoy the breeze, waves hitting the shore and continuous chatter around, which after a point gets annoying too as it is difficult to get your personal space to enjoy without being disturbed.
Good time to visit: Early morning when it is almost empty but before 10 am, to avoid getting burnt under the sun. It’s highly advisable to use sunscreen, sunglasses and also a cap/umbrella.
2. Auroville is an intentional experiential spiritual community located about 8 km from north-west Pondicherry. This is one of those spiritual places where people come on their own and live as per the visions laid down by Sri Aurobindo and “The Mother”. Matrimandir is located at the center of Auroville and also happens to be the main tourist spot. If you want an entry in Matrimandir you must apply for it a few weeks/months in advance. Even if you don’t get the entry, don’t be sad as you can also see the view of the mandir from outside, which is what about 90% of the audience does.
Timing: 9:30 am to 5:30 AM
3. SVARAM – Musical Instruments and Research:
You can experience sound like never before in SVARAM, a music center located within Auroville. It’s a research center where you can see various music types of equipment in different proportions and dimensions using various metals each of which plays a different sound wave when touched upon differently. Here while experiencing the different sounds, your inner child will be unleashed and will run everywhere around.
Timing: Sundays closed, and morning 8:30- 5 pm
4. Botanical Garden is about 3.8 km from Pondicherry. It’s a garden spread across 22 acres with about 1500 species of plants. The garden is very picturesque, insightful and makes you feel very fresh. It’s quite a decent walk inside so wear comfortable shoes only. Perfect to spend 1-2 hours minimum.
Entry: 10 per person
Timing: 10 am to 5 PM
5. Lady Des Angels – Notre Dames Church is the fourth oldest church in Pondicherry and also happens to be my personal favorite. The church is located in “White town” about 4.3 KM from Pondicherry. The whole area displays beautiful French architecture that makes the entrance and the back look quite quaint. Visit the church for some time. Stay here for peace, tranquility, and feeling close to yourself and the almighty.
I visited Pondicherry in October. It was still quite hot in the day time and was pouring in between. The weather is quite unpredictable. Do visit the place from November to January for awesome weather.
What’s your favourite place when in Pondicherry?