Looking for a holiday destination? Visit Puducherry (Pondicherry)
India offers you many flavors and choices when it comes to exploration. A country so diverse, you can find the entire world in this country. For those of you who love to explore and travel, India offers many avenues. Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is now known, is the reminder of French influence in India and is one of the top tourist spots. The union territory is divided into two parts, one of which is still quite French while the other is influenced by the local South Indian flavor.
Historical importance of Puducherry
Pondicherry has seen a rather different kind of history than the rest of the country. The place was not very important during the rule of the south Indian rulers. The ancient history of the place shows signs of the Cholas, Pandavas and Vijaynagar Empire. But once the French and the Dutch arrived during the 17th century, Pondicherry really witnessed a transformation.
Why visit Puducherry?
If you’re still not sure whether you should go to Puducherry or not, then these reasons are ought to change your mind.
- Puducherry is the sign of the French Colonial rule and the only place in India which was never under the British rule.
- Puducherry is a perfect blend of the old traditions with the new and bustling modern lifestyle. The beaches are a great party haven while there are a lot of historical buildings from the colonial times.
- Puducherry is a natural beauty and the place invokes the explorer in you. If you’re really an explorer, then visiting Pudicherry is a must.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Puducherry is during October to February. The temperatures remain average during the day and you experience cool evenings which is the most suitable timing for sightseeing and traveling.
Puducherry accommodation facilities
When it comes to accommodation facilities, Puducherry offers a great variety such as villas, old colonial style house, B&B, inns, resorts, budget as well as luxury hotels with varied amenities for all kinds of tourists.
How to reach Puducherry?
Reaching Puducherry is not a problem. You have all modes of transport available to reach this exotic location from almost every big city in India.
- By Air: The nearest Airport is Chennai. Getting from Chennai to Puducherry takes about 4 hours by road which can be either done via a cab or a bus.
- By Rail: You can catch a train to Puducherry from Chennai, Villupuram and Trichy. Chennai is a metropolitan city and is connected with the rest of India and thus, is a great option to reach Puducherry,
- By Road: Puducherry is connected to nearby places like Chennai and Bangalore and can be accessed via cabs or buses.
Puducherry boasts of an amalgamation of culinary practices of the French and the locals. The ancient culinary tradition of the French has mixed really well with the local south Indian cuisine and you can have some delicious dishes resulting from the same. Puducherry is also the only place in the country where you can find the original French brioches, pastries and baguettes.
Sightseeing in Puducherry:
Setup in 192, the Auroville is the main Ashram of Shree Aurobindo. He and his eminent disciple, the Mother, setup this ashram to explore the avenues of Yoga and Meditation in order to achieve salvation. People associated with the Ashram come to visit Puducherry almost every year. A lot of cultural activities and lectures are held by the Ashram residents and this forms a very integral part of the Puducherry culture.
All the beaches in Puducherry are beautiful. They are located a little on the outskirts of the town and offer a lot of activities for the travelers. The beaches are named as Serenity, Reppo and Quiet and each beach lives up to its name. They have a 150 year old lighthouse that is a marvelous piece of architecture and is a must visit place in the region.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception:
This Church is more than 300 years old and one of the most magnificent Churches in Puducherry. This place shows the remnants of the French and is designed in the European style of architecture back in the day.
Sacred Heart Church:
This is the most mesmerizing church in Puducherry. It has 3 large stained glasses that show the life of Jesus Christ and the place holds a high place in the hearts of the Christians.
Vinaynagar Manakula Temple:
A temple dating back to the influence of the Southern rulers stands tall to this day. It has a golden dome and 40 friezes that make it one of the most visited temples in Puducherry. Apart from this, there are many Ganesha temples in the region which are worth a visit.
Local festivals in Puducherry:
The countrywide festivals like Christmas, Diwali and Dussehra are celebrated with pomp and show. However, it is the local festivals that draw attention of the tourists.
International Yoga Festival:
Held during January, this Yoga festival attracts people from all over the world. Aurobindo Ashram is the leading body that helps in organizing the festival and you can see a lot of activities during this time in the region.
The National Day of France is celebrated here every year on 14th July, keeping up with the French traditions of the place.
Festival of Pondicherry:
This is celebrated on August 15th, when India celebrates its independence day. Many cultural shows are put up and coincidently, this day also marks the birth anniversary of Shree Aurobindo.
So, with so much to offer, Pondicherry remains an important part of Indian tourism. If you’re looking to go on a vacation soon, make sure that you visit Pondicherry, it will give you a lifetime of experiences.