Pondicherry (or Puducheri) meaning ’the new settlement’ used to be a French settlement comprising of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam other than Pondicherry itself. A unique fact about Pondicherry is that it simultaneously spreads into several states. Karaikal is in Tamil Nadu while Mahe is in Kerala. Yanam on the other hand is a part of Andhra Pradesh. Today, Pondicherry is a union territory located approximately 2000 kms south of Chennai. However, its French connection is distinctly visible on the architecture and culture of the place. However, its fame lies in its relation with the saint-philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh, who founded his ashram here. Today, the ashram is home to nationals from different corners of the world, who come here in pursuit of peace and solitude. Unlike most other places in India, Pondicherry is a planned city. All the roads meet at right angles, adhering to the grid system and a long Petit Canal divides the city on the sea-ward side.
• Area 19.54 sq. km
• Population 203,065
• Altitude Sea Level
• Languages Tamil, French, English
• Best Time to Visit October to March
• STD Code 0413
Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the major parts of their lives, is the greatest attraction for tourists in this little city. The Pondicherry Museum houses some of the most exquisite collections of architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a beautiful beach alongside a promenade and lots of historical monuments to peruse. Other interesting sites are the Bharti and the Bharthidasan Memorial museums and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Tourist Attractions around Pondicherry
Pondicherry is rich in architectural and cultural wealth. One can find plenty of grand temples here. “Auroville” was established as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo. Chidambaram, a temple town in Tamil Nadu is famous for its Nataraja temple showcasing the dancing form of Lord Shiva. Thiruvannamalai is an important pilgrimage for Shaivites, worshippers of Lord Shiva, who come here to pay their reverence at the Arunachaleshwara Temple.