The laidback beauty of the places to visit in Pondicherry can be seen in the preserved remnants of its French heritage which is beautifully intertwined with Indian culture. Pondicherry is a pleasant amalgam of beaches, temples, churches and historical monuments which makes it a much sought after tourist destination. The quaint charm can be seen everywhere in the French part of the town as well as in the authentic Indian part.
If you or your kids are adventurous, Pondicherry has a variety of water sports such as surfing and scuba diving. For those on a spiritual trip, Pondicherry has the famous Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville which attracts tourists by the thousands. If you like to stay close to nature, Pondicherry is dotted with serene and breathtaking beaches and lakes. That’s not to say that Pondicherry doesn’t cater to the shopaholics and foodies. Pondicherry is the perfect place to visit with your family as there’s something for everyone.
Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry
- Paradise Beach
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram
- Chunnambar Boat House
- Old Lighthouse
- Jawahar Toy Museum
- Bharati Government Park
- Ousteri Lake
- Pondicherry Botanical Garden
- The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
A ferry ride from Chunnambar and you are at the spectacular and pristine Paradise Beach with its fascinating blue water, golden and white soft sand and serene environment. This kid- friendly place in Pondicherry has pre-built shacks in which you can lounge while your kids paddle in the water, as well as showers and clean changing rooms and toilets. Fishing rods are available on rent at nearby shops in case you are a fishing aficionado.
Location: Manaveli Rd, Chinna Veerampattinam, Pudukuppam Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Entry fee: Rs.150/- per person and Rs.20/- extra for a camera
Labelled as the most spiritual and serene place in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and is famous across the world. One of the best places to vin Pondicherry, the centre of the ashram has the mausoleum of Sri Aurobindo under a frangipani tree. If you are looking for a quiet retreat with yoga, meditation and spirituality, this ashram is just the place for you. The ashram is huge and has many activities which children can also enjoy. It has state of the art facilities like libraries, sports activities, yoga, swimming and strength training.
Location: Marine Street, White Town Timings: 8:00 am to 11:30 am and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Entry fee: Free
Referred to as the ‘City of Dawn’, Auroville was founded by the Mother along with the collaboration of Sri Aurobindo.Auroville looks to uniting human beings from all walks of life without any discrimination of caste, creed, status or religion so that they can live in harmony. It has a massive golden globe-like structure at the centre called the Matrimandir, which is a centre for meditation. The soil from 124 countries was brought and mixed together in an urn at the ashram to symbolise harmony of the human race. This urn is placed in the amphitheatre which is situated in the Matrimandir Gardens.
Location: Auroville is composed of a cluster of properties 12 km north of Pondicherry. It can be reached from the East Coast Road. Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Entry fee: Free
An incredible picnic and boating spot in the backwaters of Chunnambar river, Chunnambar Boat House is also known as ‘Plage Paradiso’. This is where the river enters the Bay of Bengal and the serene beach is an ideal place to relax and try your hand at beach sports with your friends and family. There are ample boating facilities on speed boats, motorboats, sail and row boats in the placid waters which have thick mangrove trees all around. For the more adventurous, jet skiing facilities are available. There are many restaurants that serve a variety of delectable cuisines. You can also avail ferry services from here to Paradise Beach.
Location: Chunnambar River, Nonankuppam Timings: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Entry fee: Rs.15 per adults and Rs. 5 for children between 4 to 8 years.
This historical lighthouse was built by the erstwhile French rulers in the 19th century. This engineering and architectural marvel was once upon a time the only light for guiding ships in the sea across the Red Hills. It offers beautiful photography opportunities and is a delightful place for history lovers.
Location: Goubert Ave White Town, Promenade Beach Timings: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm and 01:30 pm to 05:30 pm Entry fee: Rs. 10/- per person
This museum is a delightful place to visit with kids as you can admire a variety of toys. It has about 120 dolls in vibrant coloured traditional costumes and styles of the various states that they have been collected from. This unique museum has dolls from many states including West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in their traditional attire. Children can pick up quite a lot about the culture and traditions of different Indian states through these displays.
Location: Near the old lighthouse on Goubert Avenue Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm. Closed on Mondays and National holidays Entry fee: Free
This park is located in the central region of the old part of Pondicherry and is a very calm and serene place to unwind. Covered in lush greenery with beautifully manicured lawns, the fountain and vibrant flowers add to the beauty of the park and is the ideal place for kids to burn some energy. The grandiose Aayi Mandapam or the Park Monument stands in the middle of the park and is built in the Greco-Roman style. One of the kid-friendly places in Pondicherry, it has a great play area with swings and slides making it an ideal place to spend time with kids.
Location: 20, Rue Saint Gilles Street, White Town Timings: 06:00 am to 08:00 pm Entry fee: Free
Ousteri Lake is an amazing tourist spot in Pondicherry for boating and appreciating natural beauty. This freshwater lake has various restaurants around it that offer delicious food of nature, offers boat rides and is the ideal place to relax at sunset over a cup of tea or coffee. It is recognised as an IUCN designated wetland and many beautiful migratory birds can be sighted here.
Location : Vazhudavoor Road Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm Entry fee: Free
You should definitely not miss this botanical garden spread over 22 acres of land. Built by the French colonists of yester years, this lush garden has a whole lot of exotic plants from all over the world. There are 1500 species of plants with placards carrying their scientific and common name. For those interested, there’s a lot of additional information about the uses of the plants, their medicinal value and the amount of oxygen generated by it. The main entrance of the botanical garden is a testimony of the beauty of French architecture.
Location: Marimalai, Maraimalai Adigal Salai, near Anna Statue, Orleanpet Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm Entry fee: Free
Constructed in an elegant Gothic style, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has devotees thronging here for worship. It has numerous glass panels with pictures of saints painted on them as well as pictures depicting the life of Jesus. This basilica can be visited by those interested in art and architecture.
Location: South Boulevard, near Railway Station, MG Road Area Timings: 05:00 am to 08:00 pm Entry fee: Free
These are just a few of the remarkable places that you can visit in Pondicherry. It offers a variety of attractions that are a beautiful blend of Indian and French culture and heritage. Its natural beauty with the Auroville Beach, Rock Beach and Serenity Beach, as well as the various temples, churches and museums, memorial monuments and parks ensure that there is something for everyone. It’s also close to other important and beautiful places like Mahabalipuram, Chidambaram, Tiruvannamalai and chennai. Pondicherry has various tourist attractions for kids.
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