BOTANICAL GARDEN - A visit to Pondicherry is incomplete without making a trip to the Botanical Gardens. Pondicherry in general has a very fertile soil, which accounts for the greenery and vegetation around the place. It is little wonder then that the town boasts of one of the finest botanical gardens in the country.The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry is home to several species of rare and beautiful trees and plants.
The approach to the botanical gardens, which is in the heart of the city, is reminiscent of the French Architecture. The origin of the Botanical gardens dates back to 1826. A lot of exotic plant species were introduced by the French here and the garden itself is laid down in the French style. This place is bliss for nature lovers and is the best place to experience a lot of peace and calm.
The Garden serves as a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the everyday life. A lot of shady trees, beautiful flowers and the impressive layout of the park with pruned plants on paved roads help to create an with the spirited effort and commitment atmosphere of sheer visual extravaganza. Tourists and students on study tour flock the place.
This is an inseparable part of Pondicherry tourism. The Botanical Gardens in Pondicherry have also been provided with a musical fountain. Colorful musical fountain shows are conducted on weekends and holidays. It provides for a wonderful sensory experience.
CHUNNAMBAR RESORT - Chunnambar Resort is along the banks of Ariyankkupam River about 8 km away from Pondicherry. There is a beach in Chunnambar. The place has been developed as a major tourist Center. The place is a center for beach sports with its clean sands and clear waters. You could also catch a glimpse of playful dolphins.
Chunnambar resort boasts of facilities of international standards. The natural beauty of the place combined of the authorities has helped in converting this place into one of the most desirable tourist destinations in this part of the world.
Chunnambar Resort offers renting of boats with which you could go on boat tours along the backwaters. Trekking and picnics are favorite activities here. The resort invites a lot of foreign and domestic tourists alike. The facilities are of international standards.
There is a famous restaurant called the Seagull restaurant which offers Tandoori food and Chinese food. You could also avail food that suits all palettes. Accommodations here are of international standards. The beauty of this place lies in the fact that it offers all possible modern amenities simultaneously being close to nature. They have tree top houses here. The feeling is beyond words. It is suitable place for a quiet stay. One could also get several buildings. There are Ashram accommodation in a two storey tree top house aptly named Sunrise Panorama.
AUROBINDO ASHRAM - Pondicherry is synonymous with the Aurbindo Ashram. It is the place where the great Indian philosopher Aurbindo lived and died. The Ashram is in Rue de la Marine. It is also the place where Aurbindo's disciple and companion Mirra Alfassa who was from Paris and who later came to be known as the mother lived and died.
The ashram was set up in the year 1926 by Sri Aurbindo Ghose.His philosophy is derived in a combination of yoga and modern science. The ashram has received a lot of fame in India and abroad. The devotees come from all over the world. The Ashram is one of the richest in the country. Aurbindo Ashram is instrumental in giving Pondicherry the name of a spiritual town.
The Ashram has been instrumental in creating the spiritual feel of the city. The Ashram consists of guest houses as well. The main Ashram building is the place where the Samadhi of Sir Aurbindo and the Mother are kept. This place is covered with flowers daily. There is a Library as well.
Aurbindo Ashram believes in being a self sufficient unit. It has a factory that manufactures incense sticks, handmade papers, greeting cards, perfumed candles and the likes. These are very popular and sold in the domestic and international market. Aurbindo Ashram is the proud possession of Pondicherry.
CHURCHES IN PUDUCHERRY
Pondicherry is home to several famous Churches. Many churches were built by the French, and its structure and architecture gives a definite French feel.
One such example of a church is the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This church is full of eye pleasing paintings in stained glass and also has beautiful marble decorations. This church was supposed to have been erected in 1 700s by French Missionaries. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a catholic church and is white and brown structure.
The other famous churches include the Church of Capuchins, Notre dame de, The Notre Dame des Agnes, Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health Church of Capuchins holds the distinction of being one of the first churches in Pondicherry. Though this church has lost its old charm; it is still revered and houses an orphanage. The Notre dame de reminds one of the typical French churches. The statue is of Our Lady with the infant Jesus in her arms. The Notre Dame Des Agnes is church built on the Greek-Roman architectural design. The place is a visual treat as it has the much acclaimed oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption.
BEACHES OF PONDICHERRY
One of the best beaches in South India lies in Pondicherry. These beaches in Pondicherry are extremely clean with clear waters and clean sands. To add to it the beaches are not very crowded. Maximum care has been given to highlight the beauty of these beaches with cafes and other eateries along with resorts and cottages for the visitors. These buildings are built in a way that it does not affect the calmness and the natural beauty of the beach.
Serenity Beach is very much in the town and characterizes the essence of its name. It has a very calm and serene atmosphere and the sands and the waters are extremely neat and tidy.
The Paradise Beach houses the famous Chunnamber resort and is on the Cuddalore main road. The highlight is that there is a creek flowing on one side. The beach is extremely attractive as the sands are very clean and the water crystal clear. The beach offers a lot of sports facilities and accommodation on treetop houses which is an added attraction. One can also catch a glimpse of the friendly dolphins. The Paradise beach or the Plage Paradiso is one of the most famous beaches of Pondicherry.
The Promenade Beach and the monuments around speak of the rich heritage of Pondicherry. Some of the important monuments of the city are on the shores of this beautiful beach. They include the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc and Dupleix the War Memorial etc. A lot of Information pertaining to Pondicherry can be acquired through the information centre which faces the beach.