Pondicherry (or Puducherry) was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954. The history of Pondicherry has started after the arrival of Dutch, Portuguese, British and French colonialists.
The nearby places Ariyankuppam, Arikamedu, Villianur, Bahur and Kakayanthoppe, were colonised by the French East India Company over a period of time and which later became the union territory of Pondicherry.
The French legacy is still there with Pondicherry in the form of mustard colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. Pondicherry is now one of the popular tourist destination in South India.
The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. Here are some of the best places to visit in Pondicherry.
Paradise Beach is placed 7 km from the city center of Pondicherry. Out of all beaches in Pondicherry, probably Paradise Beach is going to be your favorite. A clam and clean beach to visit which will be definitely a good option for the photographers too.
The sand of the paradise beach is extremely soft and grainy – and a walk along the entire beach is amazing. However, the currents in the water are strong, so it is advisable to not go deep in the water.
There are a few shacks along the main entry to the beach, and you can get fresh coconut water and some simple snacks – don’t expect any fancy street food though.
One of the popular place in Pondicherry. It is a nice place to stroll along the promenade, at the same time enjoying the beach. Late evening, it becomes vehicle free, so you can walk on the roads. There are some Street food and stalls selling various items behind the old lighthouse.
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The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This is nearly a 100 year old Catholic church located on the MG Road.A truly oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. There are some lovely rare stained glass panels depicting events in the life of Christ.It was built in the 18th century by French missionaries.
In recent years it has become one of the famous pilgrimage spots for Christians.The paintings and the carvings are worth a visit. During night time, the church will be decorated
with lights which is very beautiful.
As the name indicates the beach is rocky and you can’t get down to the sea easily by crossing these rocks. The Rock Beach is located in the heart of the town & is easily approached by public transport or auto. You can sit on the rocks & feel the sea waves drench your feet. It’s a Spectacular beach that can give you Great sunrise views
Statue of Dupleix
Dupleix has a mixed reputation, hero to France and a rival to British colonial power in India.Although Dupleix did much to forward French colonial interests he died in poverty. The statue has had some restorative work down on it and is easily accessible on foot.
This is one of the best monument in Pondicherry and takes you back in colonial days.
French War Memorial
Located on the Goubert Avenue, the French War Memorial is dedicated to those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country during World War I. It was built in 1971 and is located opposite to the Gandhi statue.
The French War Memorial is beautifully illuminated on the Bastille Day which is celebrated on 14th July every year. People from the whole of union territory and nearby cities gather to pay their respects to the brave soldiers who gave up their lives for the safety of others.
The memorial is quite popular among tourists and is one of the major attractions of Pondicherry. It doesn’t take much time to stroll through the French War Memorial as it is quite small in area yet an intriguing place to be visited. The memorial has an enticing feel attached to it and is visited by students as well as tourist and people living in the nearby locality.
There are other awesome places to visit in Pondicherry. Which all were your favorite places in Pondicherry ?