Step into Pondicherry and you’ll wonder if you’re in India or France. The architecture is French, the road signs are in French (along with English and Tamil), a lot of people speak fluent French.
You can see everything there is to see in Pondicherry in one day. But if you have more time, you can just relax, slow down and find meaning and purpose in the simple things in life.
Here are 12 reasons why Pondicherry should be your next travel destination:
One of the best things about Pondicherry is the beaches. There are 4 main beaches: Promenade beach, Paradise beach, Auroville beach and Serenity beach.
There is a lot of seafood that can be enjoyed in Pondicherry and, being in the south, the traditional South Indian fare of idli-dosa is available too. And thanks to the French influence, good steak and wine are served in most restaurants.
3) Old Lighthouse
The lighthouse was constructed in 1836, this is one of Pondicherry’s most famous landmarks.
4) Pondicherry Museum
At various points in time, Pondicherry was under the control of the French, the British and the Dutch. The Pondicherry museum houses various relics and artefacts from those periods
5) Chunnambar Boat House
Why just sit on the beach when you can go into the sea!
Also called Osudu Lake, Ousteri is a lake just a few kilometres away from Pondicherry. The lake is a heaven for birdwatchers as several migratory birds flock to Ousteri during season.
7) Scuba Diving
February-April and September-November are the best months for scuba diving in Pondicherry.
8) Aurobindo Ashram
This place is now visited by thousands of spiritual seekers from all over the world. Aurobindo ashram gives a lot of importance to yoga as it helps in transforming body and mind.
There are 32 churches in Pondicherry. Their beauty lies in the French architecture.
10) French War Memorial
It is a simple construction of four pillars erected in memory of all the French soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.
11) Gandhi Statue
Located on the Promenade, the statue is surrounded by 8 monolithic granite pillars from the 17th century. The entire monument is very striking.
Several artefacts from Ancient Rome, including sculptures, glassware, lamps and gems, have been discovered in Arikamedu, supporting the belief that it used to be a port for trading between Rome and Tamil Nadu.