Pondicherry a former French colony is a union territory of India, which was recently renamed as Puducherry. The Union territory of Pondicherry has its reign over Karaikal, Yanam in Bay of Bengal, and Mahe in Arabian Sea, which are not physically connected with the main land. The city has a history that dates back to 2nd century BC. A remarkable degree of French influence still exists in Pondicherry. One of the most renowned freedom fighters of India Sri Aurobindo is from this city. He is also a great spiritualist and an ashram operates in his name here. Pondicherry has hot summers, pleasant winters with occasional showers. Some of the places worth seeing in Pondicherry are briefed in the following paragraphs.
The Pondicherry Beach
The main attraction of the beach in Pondicherry is the 150-year old lighthouse. This beach extends to about 1,500 m on the cost of Bay of Bengal. It is an apt place for swimming and sunbathing. The sand of this beach is very clear and looks sparkling. One can see a number of seagulls visiting the beach of Pondicherry. Other beaches worth visiting are the Serenity Beach, which about 10 min drive from the city center, and The Plage Paradiso, which means Paradise beach. The other areas of the union territory like Karaikal, and Mahe too have well maintained beaches.
The township of Auroville near Pondicherry was inspired by the revolutionary turned philosopher Sri Aurobindo. It was Mirra Alfassa, a French lady affectionately called as the Mother, who founded the township of Auroville. This township with a radius of 3 km has multi-national, multi-lingual, multi-cultural population. It has many activities including schools, research institutes and other establishments. Researches are conducted on energy, agriculture and many other areas using only local resources. It is a place worth visiting.
The Chunnambar beach is also called as the Plage Paradiso, which is about 8 km away from the city. The beach has the famous Chunnambar Boat House which is a great place of tourist attraction. Chunnambar is an excellent place for relaxation. With the waters being clear, it is an ideal place for beach sports. To be short, it is a tropical paradise with a quite creek on one side. A short cruise for tourists is also offered by the boat club in this beach, which will make the trip memorable. Other entertainments include horseback riding and numerous fancy shops during the evenings.
Museums in Pondicherry
The legendary freedom fighter and poet Subramanya Bharathi lived in Pondicherry. Barathi’s home has been converted in to a museum. This museum displays the great works of the poet and his belongings. The Pondicherry Museum has an excellent collection of sculptures and also the archaeological findings from Arikamedu Roman settlement. The French colonial details are displayed vividly in this museum. It also has a wonderful collection of various shells collected from the beach of Pondicherry. Specimens of Chola, Pallava arts are on display in this museum. The Jawahar Toy Museum, which as a huge collection of toys is a paradise for the children and offers many a detail even to grownups.
Places worth visiting in and around Pondicherry are the Romain Rolland Library, Botanical Gardens, Anglo-French Textile Mills, Aayi Mandapam, Ananda Ranga Pillai House, Bharathidasan Museum, Keezhoor, Arikamedu, and many more.
Transport and Stay
The airport in Chennai is the nearest airport to Pondicherry. It is about 135 km away from the city. Villupuram junction is the nearest railway station to the city of Pondicherry and usually is not the preferred means of transport to the city. The city is well connected by the roadways to various cities in the states of Tamil nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andra Pradesh. Both government and the private sectors operate buses to various parts of the city. Taxis, auto rickshaws, tempos are the common means for local transport.
Anandha Inn, Hotel Annamalai International, Hotel MASS Maraimalai Adigal, Le Dupleix, The Promenade, Hotel Ashok (ITDC), Banayan Beach Resort, St. James Court Beach Resort are some of the deluxe hotels in Pondicherry. Hotel Ajantha Sea View, Hotel Surguru, Anandham Residency, Hotel Aruna, Executive Inn, and Hotel Jayaram are some of the mid-range hotels of the city. Hotel Aditya, Family Guest House, and Mid Town Guest House are some of the hotels that offer economy class stay at Pondicherry.