Take a walk down Beach Road on a quite morning and you will feel as though you are in France, although the statues of Gandhi, Nehru and the hawkers of various deliciousPondicherry Church eatables may briefly bring your mind back to India, Pondicherry is not known as the French Riviera of the East for nothing. It is always exciting for a travel-lover to explore new places, taste the local cuisine, the wine and truly experience the culture; and Pondicherry does not disappoint. The Indian roads and the traffic makes people flinch at the idea of a road trip but the drive down to 'Pondy', as it is more fondly known, from Chennai is one of the most beautiful and non-bumpy drives! The two parallel roads, the east coast road and the NH-45, both make up for the traffic in major cities. The national highway is mostly flanked by green fields, with the occasional Hindu temple or a deity sitting on a throne awaiting your arrival, and aw-inspiring views of the backwater. The ECR runs along the coast, so for ocean lovers this would be the ideal road to take to 'Give time a break', like the official website says. Also, an added bonus for road-trippers is the number of purely south Indian filter coffee shops that line the way!
On arrival, you might find yourselves a little over-whelmed by the huge number of beach resorts and inner city hotels at your disposal. Whether you pick the hotels inside the city of the beach resorts on the outskirts, the uncongested roads will get you to your destination without much hassle. The first palace on every tourist's list is Beach Road or Goubert Avenue; busiest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. It is home to the war memorial. Time statue of one of the governors of Pondy 'Marquis Joseph Francois Dupleix', the statue of India's beloved Mahatma Gandhi right across the street from the statue Nehru. The Maine — a delightfully French building that takes your mind away to France. the towering 19th century light house and small handicraft exhibitions showcasing some of the beat hand work that make for great souvenirs.
Pondicherry The Sri Aurobindo Ashram. on rue de Ia marine. is also one of time popular attractions. This 20th century ashram was started by the Poet and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo Ghose after he realised by the power of yoga. The ashram has a deep influence on Pondicherry and it proves to be haven for those seeking spirituality and sanctity Spirituality meats religion at the Manakula vinayagar temple which is more than 300 years old and it Is dedicated to much-adored Ganesha. It is said that the temple is visited by no less than 5000 devotees a day! One of the oldest temples, which is sure to catch the eye of an architecture or a photography enthusiast, is the Varadaraj Perumal temple dating back to 600 A.D. The Kanniga Parmeshwari temple is unique in its architectural style because of the strong influence of French architecture in a traditionally Tamil temple. Being a former French colony, there is no shortage of magnificently built churches in Pondy, the most famous catholic church is the Church of the Sacred heart of Jesus which was built in the I 700s by French missionaries. One look at this superlative church with the stained glass panels depicting incidents from Jesus Christ's life and you will be transported to France. The Notre Dame des Anges, built in the Greek roman architectural style, is another church that draws onePondicherrys attention because of the rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption , a gift from Napolean III, and the tomb of Marquis De Bussy in the cemetery next to the church.
Without a visit to the Promenade and the backwaters, your trip to Pondy will remain incomplete. Although the beaches in Pondicherry are a little away from the town they are worth it the clean beaches are appealing because there are practically not more the 20 on a beach at a time; a real relief from the over-crowded beaches and sheets in major cities. Everyone could use a little peace and quiet after the long and stressful working hours, and Pondy provides just that! Around 8 km away from the main city, on the Cuddalore main road, you will find Chunnamber backwaters. Standing true to its name, plage paradiso, the beach is 'the' place to be if all you want you to do is relax and ravel in the beauty of nature. So architecture, photography and ocean lovers, pack your bags and hand to the Pondy! The picturesque templates and churches, the serenading backwaters and beaches, and the scrumptious delicacies are awaiting your arrival.
Located about 10 kms north of Pondicherry, Auroville is described as "the City of Tomorrow". Auroville was envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs could live in peace and harmony in Auroville attractions. Auroville Region is an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity in diversity. It is recognized as the first endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness in Auroville attractions.
(It remains closed from 1230 hrs till 1400 hrs).
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Founded by Sri Aurobindo way back in November 1926. Initially the Ashram comprised of only 24 disciples. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry has come a long way from its initial days of inception. It now features among the major places of tourist interest in Pondicherry. Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry today is a large institution that has its extensions in almost all the major cities all over the world. It offers many charitable benefits to the area, including free medical amenities and a publishing house.