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Top 10 Things to Do in Pondicherry

This beautiful, formerly colonised by the French, union territory has every reason to be on your travel list. There is so much France in this town that you’d wonder whether or not you’re in India! The people speak fluent French and the wine and dine of the restaurants is the most alluring factor of Pondicherry. Churches, beaches, artefacts, cuisine, peace of mind…whatsoever you desire, Pondi has it all. So if you’re looking for reasons to go to this pretty town, look no further, because we have here a list of things you can do when visiting this town of Tamil Nadu.

1. Beaches

Photo by NDSRAM, CC BY-SA 2.0

Clean, vast, pleasing and soothing are the beaches of Pondicherry. You can sit back and relax while soaking in the sun at the Paradise, Auroville, Serenity or Promenade beaches that are spread across this quaint little town. There aren’t even many people at the beaches so it gets much easier to relax and forget all woes!

2. Churches

Photo by BishkekRocks, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pondicherry consists of a total of 32 churches including the popular ones like Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dupliex Church, and Church of Our Lady of Angels etc. The gothic French architecture is so mesmerizing that one cannot help but admire it. The peaceful atmosphere of the churches leaves one asking for more, regardless of what religion one belongs to.

3. French War Memorial

Photo by Aravindaraja, CC BY-SA 3.0

At the Gobert Avenue Beach, the magnificent French War Memorial stands as a symbol of courage and sacrifice of the warriors who were vanquished in World War I. It’s intriguing built is something that attracts not just tourists but even locals.

4. Arikamedu

Photo by Jayaseerlourdhuraj, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ancient Rome left artefacts that are still found in a town like Pondicherry. Be it glassware, gems, lamps, and other works of art, it is all found in Arikamedu where archaeologists discovered these objects years ago. It is said that Arikamedu was a port used for trade between Tamil Nadu and Rome. Although only little remains of this previously extensive edifice, it is still eye-catching for travellers and tourists.

5. Aurobindo Ashram

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0

Looking for yoga and meditation that will soothe your mind and enliven your senses? Aurobindo Ashram is the place to go. Explore your spiritual self by engaging in some peaceful meditation and yoga that will not only relax you but also rejuvenate you overall.

6. Old Lighthouse

Photo by Barry Pousman, CC BY 2.0

This is one of the most popular attractions of Pondicherry. Built in 1836, this lighthouse stands out due to its modern structural design at the time it was constructed. Still a sight to behold, the lighthouse is usually on every tourist’s itinerary even though it is no longer functioning.

7. Restaurants

Photo by Rashi Kalra, CC BY-SA 2.0

Almost every restaurant in Pondicherry serves wine and steak. Isn’t that perfect for a tourist? Be it seafood or traditional South Indian cuisine, one can enjoy whatever the heart desires. The ambience of the restaurants and cafes is also quite calming and tranquil, which is enough to pacify even the most uninterested person.

8. Auroville

Photo by Aleksandr Zykov, CC BY-SA 2.0

Mirra Alfasa, more commonly known as the Mother, established Auroville in 1968 to help people of different cultures to get together and find their true self. People visit Auroville to relieve themselves from the hardships they’ve faced in life, and the experience here is truly enchanting even for a mere traveller.

9. Scuba Diving

Photo by Derek Keats, CC BY 2.0

Not only is Pondicherry popular for its beaches, it is also known for its underwater beauty. You can very well scuba dive and explore the beautiful sea creatures and plants, so you can return home with an enthralling experience.

10. Pondicherry Museum

This museum depicts the lifestyle of the Dutch, British and the French who had colonised the town. Artefacts, sculptures, mortal remains and archaeological relics are displayed in the museum, and one can travel through the history of this colonised territory.

This small town might have places that you can see in one day, but if you’re a traveller looking to lay back and enjoy the quaint atmosphere of one of the prettiest towns of India, Pondi is the place for you.

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