India is unique, but did you know India has a place which is just like France? Pondicherry, the preferred territory of the Union of India, one of seven. It is a lovely holiday destination in India with multiple places to visit. So, here’s the list of the places to visit in Pondicherry – Th French Colony of India. Moreover, the former French colony along the Bay of Bengal is truly fascinating. And, Pondicherry’s main attractions will create an unforgettable vacation for you with interesting views and experiences. Read on introducing yourself to the enchanting mix of picturesque beaches, attractive monuments, delicious cafes, cycle paths, water sports, etc.
Here is the list of top 10 places to visit in Pondicherry
1. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
One of the most famous places to visit in Pondicherry is the Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, also known as Our Lady of Angels Church. Famous for its brilliant masonry, the church has an aspect inspired by the churches of France, in particular the imposing basilica of Lourdes in the south of France. Ironically, the limestone mixed with the egg white to create a mixture that gives it a marble appearance. The altar of the church has a statue of the Madonna with a baby Jesus in her arms. And, inside the church, there are eight barrel vaults and a central perforated dome with eight round openings.
2. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Moving on, to another relic of the French colonial era is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The first Jesuit fathers built it who arrived in the French colony in 1689. And, it is one of the oldest churches in Pondicherry. Visit to admire its typical Jesuit building. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Pondicherry is known as the mother church. Further, the church has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout its long history. On the esplanade in front of the cathedral, people take part in organized religious ceremonies. As per history, the sacred place was visited by Mother Teresa. On December 8 of each year, the church celebrates its annual festival.
3. Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Spiritual happiness is one of the reasons why tourists from all over the world plan a holiday in Pondicherry. In 1926, Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (The Mother) founded a well known spiritual community named Sri Aurobindo Ashram. One of the most visited places in Pondicherry, the Aurobindo ashram is a refuge for your spiritual needs. Take a break from the world and focus on your evolution towards higher spiritual beings with yoga, meditation, preaching, and other activities. Moreover, spread over 400 buildings, the ashram has a library, a printing machine, a playground, an art gallery, a dispensary/nursing home, a dairy, farms, etc.
4. Pondicherry museum
Trace French roots and even older stories in the Pondicherry museum. Explore the magnificent collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and historical treasures. From the archaeological finds of the Roman colony of Arikamedu to the Chola and Pallava dynasties, different eras of history are preserved. Listed among the main attractions of Pondicherry, the museum has carved stone statues, bronze sculptures of Indian gods, and deities. Further, there are many more such as fossil trunks of ancient trees, transport models, bronze temple lamps, church relics, crafts, coins, shells, and fossils. Moreover, an entire section is dedicated to the legendary French colonial history and information. Check out the gallery of paintings featuring colonial engravings, Tanjore paintings and contemporary works in glass, colors, pastels, and oils.
5. Kallialay surf school
Kallialay Surf School is one of the best surf schools in India. Also, it is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Pondicherry. Located on Serenity Beach, 2 brothers, Samai and Juan Reboul, Spanish founded the school, who later settled in Auroville. Take some waves and enjoy the pleasure of driving. If you are an apprentice, you can choose between different types of packages and training depending on your interests, your budget, and your needs. You can also use surf equipment according to international standards. Also, an annual festival, the Summer Swell Challenge brings together visitors from all over the world.
6. Paradise Beach
Like its name, Paradise Beach is truly out of the ordinary! The beach is the slightly isolated refuge and decorated with golden sand. Paradise Beach is one of the main attractions of Pondicherry. Getting to the beach is as incredible as the coast itself. You have to get on to a ferry that crosses the ponds surrounded by dense mangrove forests which takes 20 to 30 minutes to reach the golden shores. Watch the birds, walk on the silky sand, take the opportunity to click great pictures, or sit and enjoy the waves. A variety of water sports facilities are also available for tourists who are keen to try fishing like fishing rods and nets are readily available for rental.
7. Promenade Beach
Promenade Beach is one of the most famous places to visit in Pondicherry. Pondicherry is a 1.2 km long coast, bordered by rocks. The Promenade Beach is characterized by its famous sites, monuments, cafes, restaurants, food stalls along the way, shops and hotels. Take a walk on the sea and stop to admire the statue of the Marquis Dupleix. And, visit the First World War Memorial. Moreover, sit on the rocks and watch the playful waves hitting the rocks for a city break, Promenade is a picturesque vacation. Take a long walk, dine, capture the photos, and admire the enchanting setting next to picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal.
8. Serenity Beach
Serenity Beach, like its name, offers tranquility to all its visitors. The relaxing place along the Bay of Bengal, 12 km from the city, is one of the must-see places in Pondicherry. Moreover, the warm golden sand with a trail of rocks leading to the Cerulean Sea is perfect for enjoying happiness. Relatively isolated, the spouses should not miss the beach for a moment of calm. On the contrary, early in the morning fishermen increase their charm by preparing for the day. As huge waves lead to the shore, surfing is an exciting pleasure here. Further, take advantage of surf lessons and equipment nearby Kallialay surf school.
9. Auro Beach
Close to Auroville, Auro Beach is one of Pondicherry’s most beautiful beaches. Known for its shallow water and small waves. It is also one of Pondicherry’s main tourist attractions, especially during sunrise or sunset. Stroll in the golden sand, Swim in the sea, try surfing, or just relax on the shore. The long stretch of beach offers all services for visitors. An option to stay, gastronomy, shopping, yoga, etc.
10. Water Sports and Adventure
Adventures abound in Pondicherry. Cycling, horseback riding, trekking and backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling, and paragliding are some exciting activities to enjoy. Being close to the cerulean expanse of the Gulf of Bengal. The Union territory offers a wide range of water sports, including surfing, banana boats, bodyboards, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing in stagnant waters through mangrove forests, and more. The dives to explore the underwater world are particularly enchanting. As you can easily see dazzling corals, a variety of marine plants, rare fish, sea turtles, whale sharks, etc.