Around the World

Pondicherry The Jewel of South India


The town tucked away on the eastern seaboard of India, Pondicherry has a beauty of its own. Though now known as Puducherry, this union territory of India is the most favored weekend destination and one of the popular destinations in a South India tour. Easily reachable from Chennai and Bangalore, people flock to this place in large numbers to enjoy the beauty it offers. The coastline with palm fringed beaches, backwaters, fishing villages with variety of scenic beauties along with other attractions of the place makes it one of the sought after destinations in South India.

Serving as a French colony till the year 1954, the influence of colonialism can be seen in the various buildings. The colonial buildings, churches and the systematic planning of the town reflects architectural styles of French and Tamil. The ambiance created by these display a unique mix of rich cultural heritage which draws tourists from around the world and across India. Nicely carved into three sections – the chic French Quarter, the classically elegant and the sea, this little but beautiful place has an array of things for the visitors. Being a laid back place, Pondicherry can be best explored on foot.

A heritage walk through the Aurobindo Ashram allows the visitors to explore some of the best heritage properties of Pondicherry. Since the ashram came into being, it has been playing a vital role in the socio-economic and cultural development of the place. This ashram walk will allow you to explore the northern section of Pondicherry having the French lineage with the different elegant structures and places. It will take you through various buildings in the Ashram premises, Raj Nivas, French Institute, French Consulate etc. You can explore in the different shops in this region which are famous for variety of things. To know more about the enduring history of French legacy in India, a walk though the well-planned grid pattern streets gives the best. Ornate arches, beautiful garden courtyards with colorful bougainvilleas and the peach and lime hues prevailing in the buildings made it easily recognizable as the French section.

The best of local Tamil architecture can be noticed in the Tamil street. It is characterized by the rows of tiled roofed buildings which are almost joined together by wall to wall constructions. It gives a homogeneous look which the visitors finds pretty interesting. The beauty of Pondicherry doesn’t end with the heritage places, it is much beyond that. The sprawling stretch of virgin sand with the refreshing turquoise water, the Serenity Beach offers the tourists a serene atmosphere with its unique beauty. A rejuvenating dip in the pristine water with a sun bath on the clean sands is an experience not to be missed while in Pondicherry. With an array of beaches, the Auroville beach located near Auroville attracts attention of the tourists a lot. The shallow water and small waves makes it best for swimming. Shores of most of the beaches consist of a seawall of boulders due to erosion. The golden metallic sphere known as the Matrimandir located in the center of Auroville allures the tourists a lot. Enjoy the varied flavors this tiny place offers.