Are you planning a trip to Pondicherry or you are just curious about getting the answer to your query “What Is Pondicherry Famous For?”
Smile! We have covered it all here in this post.
Pondicherry which is officially known as Puducherry is the capital and the most populous city of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. And, it is one of the seven Union Territories of India.
This place is such that, once you visit Pondicherry you’ll wonder if you’re in India or France. The place is a mixture of French, English, and Tamil.
A 2-day trip is just enough to explore the famous town of Pondicherry. You will literally feel the French essence mixed with the Tamil South Indian culture here only in Pondicherry.
So, what is Pondicherry famous for? Read this complete post to know about it…
Here are the top 19 reasons that makes Pondicherry so famous:
- #1. It has the Aurobindo Ashram, the best place for spiritual seekers
- #2. Presence of Auroville, the universal town
- #3. The neat and well-kept beaches
- #4. Promenade beach, the best beach to visit in Pondicherry
- #5. Boat ride on the incredible backwaters of Pondicherry
- #6. Scuba Diving in Pondicherry
- #7. Birdwatching & Sunset view at the beautiful Ousteri Lake
- #8. Witnessing the French, British, and Dutch history at the Pondicherry Museum
- #9. Budget-friendly shopping in Pondicherry
- #10. The 22-acre Botanical Garden
- #11. Romain Rolland Library, one of India’s oldest operating libraries
- #12. Presence of Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple, an 800+ years old temple
- #13. Jawahar Toy Museum, a doll house of more than 120 dolls
- #14. The French War Memorial
- #15. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
- #16. Famous Churches in Pondicherry
- #17. Famous Temples in Pondicherry
#1. It has the Aurobindo Ashram, the best place for spiritual seekers
One of the topmost things that make Pondicherry so famous is the presence of Sri Aurobindo Ashram which is a spiritual community (ashram) located in Pondicherry.
It has a vibrant community who live and work throughout Pondicherry, seeking for peace, spirituality, tranquility, and enlightenment.
This Ashram was started by the ex-civil officer Aurobindo Ghosh together with Mirra Alfassa. Aurobindo Ghosh was an India during British rule and a philosopher from Kolkata.
This Ashram has achieved so many worldwide recognition for the work done within the community. It has various branches spread all over the globe. The main Ashram is in Pondicherry.
The ashram propagates Internal Yoga and meditations, to achieve inner peace and spirituality amongst the people visiting here.
The main goal of the ashram is to evolve a new spiritual practice called Inner Yoga and bring peace and calmness to the inner mind, body, and soul.
Every time visiting this place is a get new experience due to people how they are around and how well-maintained silence is kept inside Ashramam.
Silence is expected to be maintained here at all times with your phones being switched off.
#2. Presence of Auroville, the universal town
The one and the very best place in India is Auroville of Pondicherry. It is the place where people from across the world belonging to all cultures and traditions come and live together in peace.
Auroville falls in Viluppuram district mostly in the state of Tamil Nadu, India with some parts in the Union Territory of Puducherry in South India.
This place is located just 15 km from the city of Pondicherry and was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Aurobindo Ghosh.
The ultimate goal of this place was to make it a place where people regardless of their caste, creed, nationality or race can come together and live peacefully. People live happily sharing the principles of peace, harmony, sustainable living, and divine consciousness.
As the data shows, currently over 2,800 people from over 195 different nationalities have become the official residents of this township. This tourist attraction is the best place to find peace and silence all around.
Matrimandir is a must-visit place here in Auroville. Here, you can feel the essence of the city along with silence to concentrate.
Auroville has so much to offer that blows the eye and inner peace at first glance. It’s all about a different way of living and receiving the world.
It’s a must-visit for everyone visiting Pondicherry.
#3. The neat and well-kept beaches
Pondicherry is well famous for its beaches. The beaches fall along the East Coast Road of South India.
Soak up the sun and salt at the beach. That’s the very best thing to do in Pondicherry.
The immensely gorgeous and peaceful beaches in Pondicherry grabs the limelight due to its very neat and well-kept beaches spread all across the coastline of the city.
The beautiful beaches of Pondicherry can be compared with those of Goa. But the only thing is that it is less populated than the beaches of Goa.
The beauty of these beaches is just enough for the beach lovers to just seat, relax, soak up the sun and sand, and watch the world go by.
The various beaches in Pondicherry offer even more reasons to visit the charming city and boast its tourism a lot.
Here’s the list of the best tourist-friendly beaches to visit in Pondiocherry:
|No.||Beaches In Pondicherry||Location||Known For|
|1.||Auroville Beach||12 km from the main town of Pondicherry||Spectacular sunrise & Shallow waters|
|2.||Promenade Beach||White Town, Pondicherry||View of the ocean waters along with the rocks|
|3.||Paradise Beach||2 km boat ride away from Chunnambar Boathouse||Crystal clear waters and pristine sands|
|4.||Reppo Beach||Very near to Auroville||Eye-catching beauty and peaceful environment|
|5.||Serenity Beach||Kottakuppam, Pondicherry||A romantic escape to spend some time and go for a number of surfing opportunities|
|6.||Mahe Beach||Mahe, Pondicherry||View the photogenic sunsets, and the fishing boats|
|7.||Karaikal Beach||Karaikal, Pondicherry||For doing boating, canoeing, kayaking, other various beach activities and adventure water sports|
#4. Promenade beach, the best beach to visit in Pondicherry
Promenade beach is the pride of Pondicherry and stretches for approximately 1.5 km along the Bay of Bengal. It starts from War Memorial and ends at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue.
This beach is also known as the Rock Beach or Mahatma Gandhi Beach.
It is indeed one of the best beaches to visit in Pondicherry and is famous for photography, nature lovers, walking, and, sightseeing.
It’s open round the clock for pedestrians and offers great tourist places like the War Memorial, the statue of Joan of Arc, Dupleix’s statue, the old heritage hall, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, and the old lighthouse greet visitors at the beach.
It is counted in one of the best beaches to visit in Pondicherry. This beach is indeed a perfect getaway to lose yourself in the beauty of nature.
You can take a long walk on the 1.5 km long beach with your loved ones for a memorable experience and go on a guided tour of the historical statues and halls around the area.
#5. Boat ride on the incredible backwaters of Pondicherry
Pondicherry is very well-popular for boating around the Chunnambar Backwaters and its a very popular tourist attraction that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists all over the year.
Chunnambar Boat House is located about 7 km from Pondicherry and surrounded by beautiful backwaters of the Chunnambar River and the stunning white sandy beaches.
Here you get so many boating facilities ranging from both pedal and motorboats.
While boating in the Chunnambar River backwaters you get to experience the lush green plantations with backwaters in the backdrop and that’s so much serene to provide happiness to your Pondicherry trip.
Chunnambar Boat House is ideal for boating and also a great picnic spot where you can relax in the tranquil environment.
Not only boating, but you can also go for small hiking trips, picnics, and overnight camping in the tree houses located nearby the backwaters. From here, people can also take short cruises to the sea as well.
#6. Scuba Diving in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is well-famous for scuba-diving. This place gradually attracts a lot of scuba divers to get their hands on such an adventure sport here in Pondicherry.
Scuba diving in Pondicherry is worth the money. You can indulge and scuba dive in both the natural and artificial environments of Pondicherry all at once.
Here in Pondicherry, you can see great riffs and schools of fish underwater. That’s not all. You can also observe a whole lot of little and fascinating things below water.
Although, there may be many places on your list that provide a better scuba diving adventure. But, doing this on Pondicherry is one of it’s kind.
The places like the Arvind’s Wall in Pondicherry is a special adventure place for diving with a very amazing sea life.
Other places include the Temple Adventures which is also a very awesome little dive center that has a great professional staff who take great care.
As a tourist you’ll come across a great deal of scuba diving spots in the area and depending on your knowledge and adventure needs, you can find the fun. And, we are sure you will love it a lot.
Want to know more? You can read more about Scuba Diving in Pondicherry here.
#7. Birdwatching & Sunset view at the beautiful Ousteri Lake
Ousteri Lake also termed as the Ousteri Wetland and National Park is the best place in the whole of Pondicherry to go for bird watching and enjoy the great sunset view.
Ousteri Lake also known as the Osudu Lake locally is worth a visit. This spectacular 964 acres wetland cum lake is located at only 10 km from Pondicherry.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has recognized this lake as one of Asia’s important wetlands.
This beautiful sight is the bird watchers paradise. The surround waterbody, marshes, and the various mudflats are inhabited by more than 40 migratory birds.
Rare bird species like the Golden Oriole, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Openbill Stork, Tailor Bird, and Spotted Owlets are some of those that can be spotted here.
Apart from birdwatching, you can also indulge in boating here at this lake.
#8. Witnessing the French, British, and Dutch history at the Pondicherry Museum
Step back in time while you explore the history at the Pondicherry Museum. Witnessing the French, British, and Dutch history at the Pondicherry Museum is the best thing that Pondicherry is famous for.
It’s a delight for art and history enthusiasts. This noteworthy museum holds plenty of rare and unique historical and cultural treasures that says a lot about the city.
Just pay a visit here to explore the fantastic collection of so many sculptures, handicrafts, archaeological findings, and items from the French, Dutch, and British colonial times such as furniture and coins, and many more.
You’ll also find a wide collection of pieces of stuff belonging to the Chola and Pallava dynasties as well.
The various rooms of the museum hold some of the unique and rare stone sculptures and bronzes, Pre-Christian relics and artifacts from the Arikamedu Roman settlements as well.
There is also a fossil room, a geology room, handicrafts, French furniture, and other artifacts to see here as well.
These all contribute a great deal of knowledge and information to the age-old city of Pondicherry. It a must-visit place for everyone.
#9. Budget-friendly shopping in Pondicherry
No one could ever imagine a trip to Pondicherry without shopping. Pondicherry is well-known for its budget-friendly shopping options.
In very simple words, Pondicherry is a shopper’s delight. You get an array of shops, boutiques, and department stores and so much more to shop at Pondicherry.
Pondicherry being an octroi-free destination is tax-free on the various goods brought into a town. The prices of whatever you buy while in Pondicherry are naturally cheaper and budget-friendly as well.
Here, are some of the things to buy while you go shopping in Pondicherry:
|Category||Products To Buy|
|Textiles||Satin, twill, corduroy, poplin, chambray, oxford, cambric, Khadi textiles and Silk Sarees|
|Boutiques||Stylish garments, semi-precious stones, perfumes, hand-made incense sticks, candles embossed with real petals, French antique furniture, Tibetan handicrafts, and many more.|
|Pottery||Earthenware, Ceramic articles, and other clayware like dolls, puppets, etc.|
|Leather Products||Various handmade bags, wallets, backpacks, briefcases, jute bags, and many more.|
|Jewellery||Gold leaf jewelry from Auroville, Chain Designs and Chain Types, Birthstones jewellery, Necklaces, Rings, Toe rings, Bangles, and Earrings.|
|Other Things||Incense sticks, perfumed candles, hand made soaps in many natural fragrances, Natural essential oils, Bouquet made of dried flowers, coffee tea mugs, candles soaps, cotton textiles, terracotta, and many more.|
#10. The 22-acre Botanical Garden
There is a 22-acre Botanical Garden in Pondicherry that offers a garden complex with 1,500 plant species from across the world.
Not only these, but you also get to witness stunning flower beds, pruned trees, dancing fountains, toy train rides, an aquarium with ornamental fishes, and a Japanese rock structure.
This 22-acre botanical park is located near the southern entrance of Pondicherry’s New Bus Stand.
It’s a great place for plant lovers and botany students as they can witness a wide range of flora species with common, scientific, local names added to it.
This Botanical Garden has many natural and man-made attractions making it a perfect photography spot as well.
The availability of fountains, a wide variety of plants, and a children’s park add popularity and grace to the park.
It is also to be noted that some exotic plant species were introduced by the French, of which the few survivor species are found in this Botanical Garden.
It’s an overall great place for tourism with a variety of flora promotion, unusual giant trees, and many more.
#11. Romain Rolland Library, one of India’s oldest operating libraries
Pondicherry houses one of India’s oldest operating libraries, the Romain Rolland Library. Pondicherry is well famous for this one.
This library is named after Romain Rolland a famous French scholar who was also a close companion of Mahatma Gandhi.
Established in the year 1827, this library is located at Rangapillai Street of Pondicherry.
After you visit the library, you will witness a huge collection of more than 315,000 books in myriad languages.
This library was previously called the ‘Bibliotheque Publique’ and it has been serving as an important study centre for the rural folks of Pondicherry.
There is also a small mobile library facility inside the main building of the Romain Rolland Library, that has a stock of 8,000 books.
Apart from these, other facilities like open access systems, microfilm units, and a special section for competitive exam books are also available here.
#12. Presence of Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple, an 800+ years old temple
For the spiritual lovers out there, Pondicherry is another suggested place to visit. It takes pride in having the Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple.
This temple is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is a storehouse of Chola architecture.
The sanctum of the temple has the idol of God Varadaraja Perumal (Lord Vishnu) in standing posture having four arms. The idol is 1.5 metre high with two of his arms holding the Conch and Chakra, while the other two holding Abayamudra and Kadahasta.
The images of Sridevi and Bhudevi are located on either of his sides of Varadaraja Perumal.
It is believed that the idol currently placed in the temple was found buried in earth.
The temple well-maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India as a protected monument.
It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the town and is more than 800 years old.
#13. Jawahar Toy Museum, a doll house of more than 120 dolls
Jawahar Toy Museum is certainly worth a visit place in Pondicherry. This museum is completely dedicated to the dolls.
Here, you can witness more than 120 colorfully decorated toys and dolls collected from various parts of India including states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab.
It is located close to the Old Light House on Goubert Avenue in Pondicherry. This place is a must-visit place for children and doll lovers of course.
Each doll has been carefully labeled and dressed in beautiful costumes. This museum is the very best one that showcases the important position that toys and dolls occupy in our Indian culture.
All of the dolls showcased here are well-attired wonderfully in colorful dresses and each one is very carefully labeled.
Also often referred to as a doll museum, it is a delightful place to visit.
#14. The French War Memorial
Pay homage to the courageous soldiers at the French War Memorial of Pondicherry.
The memorial was constructed in the year 1938 by the governor of that time – Crocicchia. However, the inauguration of the memorial was observed on 3rd April 1938.
This was built in memory of the martyr French Indian brave soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in World War I. Every year, on July 14, an annual remembrance is organized to honour them.
Located It is at Goubert Avenue in Puducherry just opposite to the Gandhi statue and is one of the most impressive war memorials in India.
French War Memorial is reckoned to be one of the popular tourist places in Pondicherry, and thus, is explored by numerous thousands of tourists every day.
#15. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
There’s a very ancient temple named the Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple that Pondicherry is well-famous for. It is located at just 400 metres away from the Bay of Bengal in White Town, Pondicherry.
The main deity of the temple is Bhavaneshar Ganapathy, a form of Lord Ganesha, who is known as the remover of obstacles.
It was built during the 15th century and is spread over an area of 7,913 sq. feet.
The most interesting fact about this temple is that the idol of main deity Lord Ganesha rests on a golden chariot that is built with more than 7.5 kilograms of gold. The use of teak wood and gold racks gives an exquisite look to the chariot.
There is a mythological belief that bringing newborn babies to this temple before taking them to any other temple is very auspicious and blesses the baby with a lot of fortune.
It is also to be noted that there are elephants inside the temple that takes coins and the various offerings from the hands of the devotees and blesses them with its trunk.
This place is literally visited by various devotees and tourists from across the globe and thus it becomes one of the famous temples to visit in Pondicherry.
#16. Famous Churches in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is also famous for the presence of the following churches. Here are some of the famous churches that are well-known in Pondicherry:
|1.||Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus||Subbayah Salai|
|2.||Immaculate Conception Cathedral||Mission Street|
|3.||Our Lady of Angels Church||Rue Dumas, White Town|
|4.||Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine||Villianur|
|5.||St Andrew’s Church||Reddiarpalayam|
|6.||Hallelujah Assembly of God Church||Thennanjalai Road|
|7.||Our Lady of Assumption Church||The Parish Priest Assumption Church Street, Nellithope|
|8.||Our Lady of Good Health Church||Madha Koil Street, Ariyankuppam|
#17. Famous Temples in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is also famous for the presence of the following temples. Here are some of the famous temples that are well-known in Pondicherry:
|1.||Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar||White Town||Lord Ganesha|
|2.||Vedapureeswarar Temple||Mahatma Gandhi Road, Heritage Town||Shiva Lingam|
|3.||Varadaraja Perumal Temple||Mahatma Gandhi Road, Heritage Town||Lord Vishnu|
|4.||Kamakshi Amman Temple||Kamatchi Amman Koil Street||Goddess Kamakshi (Parvati)|
|5.||Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple||E Car Street, Villianur||Shiva Lingam|
|6.||Sithananda Swamy Temple||SH 49, Karuvadikuppam||Samadhi of the saint Guru Sithananda Swamigal & Shiva Lingam near it|
|7.||Irumbai Shiva Temple||Irumbai Mahalam, Villianur||Mahakaleshwar (Lord Shiva)|
|8.||Panchavati Anjaneya Temple||Pondicherry-Tindivanam Road||Lord Hanuaman|
|9.||Navagraha Temple||Moratandi, Villupuram||Nine planetery gods|