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Tourism in Pondicherry

Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, and commonly referred to as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. This former French colony is a perfect amalgamation of the traditional Indian sensibilities and French architecture, making it a dreamy escape that offers the best of both worlds.

The streets of the French Quarter of Pondicherry, also known as White Town, are dotted with charming mustard-yellow colonial structures with bougainvillaea laden walls. These are interspersed with cosy cafes and chic boutiques that offer delectable French cuisine and beverages. Simply strolling down these streets, can give the traveller an insight into the fairytale charm of Pondicherry.

History of Pondicherry

The City of Puducherry on the southeast coast of India does not have a recorded history from antiquity. Puducherry has history recorded only after the advent of the colonial powers such as the Dutch, Portuguese, English and the French. Nearby places such as Arikanmedu (Now Ariyankuppam), Kakayanthoppe, Villianur, and Bahur, which were annexed by the French East India Company over a period of time and became the Union Territory of Puducherry after Independence, have written histories that predate the colonial era.

Best Time to Visit in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is best visited during the months of October to March as the temperature usually ranges between 15 - 30 degree celcius. Over the years, Pondicherry has truly been the gem of South India and an ideal vacation spot. Summers (April-June) are quite hot and the temperature touches 40 degree Celsius occasionally. Monsoons (July-September) is also a good time to visit Pondicherry despite the rainfalls. However, the best time to visit Pondicherry varies from person to person as the place transforms itself every season and celebrates a range of festivals which interest a lot of tourists.

How to Reach Pondicherry

Travel options
By Air

The airport at Pondicherry can accommodate landing of a small aircraft only and has flights coming in from Bangalore and Hyderabad. However, you can get a connecting flight if you are coming from Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Chennai is the second nearest domestic as well as international airport which is approximately 135 kilometres away from Pondicherry. The Chennai airport is well connected to all major cities across the globe. Once you reach at the airport, you can hire a private taxi to reach Pondicherry.

By Bus

There are several buses that ply frequently from Chennai, Thanjaur, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Madurai to Pondicherry. Both private and state-owned buses are available. The bus fare will depend upon the distance covered.

By Train

The nearest rail station from Pondicherry is Villupuram, which is about 35 kilometres away from the town. The railhead is well-connected to cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Trivandrum. Two of the most popular trains are New Delhi Pondicherry Express and Nagarcoli Express. Once you reach at the station, you can hire a taxi that will drive you to the city.

Road/Self Drive

Pondicherry falls on the National Highway 45, which connects it to major cities of South India such as Chennai, which is about 150 kilometres away and Bangalore, which is 320 kilometres away. You can hire a taxi or get behind the wheel to drive to Pondicherry from these nearby cities. Note that the drive from Chennai to Pondicherry, that is, on the East Coast Road is particularly scenic and offers fantastic views of the Bay of Bengal.

Shopping in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is like a portal that opens straight into the French Riviera! The picturesque French architecture, clear blue skies, and the beach promenade make Pondicherry the perfect destination for a holiday. The town has a rich culture of sustainability and spirituality which is reflected in the various places for shopping in Pondicherry. Handicrafts, fabrics, food items, home decor, you name it, they have it. You will be surprised by the variety of things these spots are selling. Some places are also known to sell everything under one roof that you could possibly need.

Things To Do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is a beautiful place and it’s considered as French capital of the nation. This place offers sanctity and serenity in its actual sense. This city is popular for its urban structural design, calmness, depicting French style, and allure people around the world to see its beauty. Besides sightseeing one need not to bother about things to do in Pondicherry and places to visit in Pondicherry. You will have enormous fun in your small holiday trips to Pondicherry and make a fun filled excursion. When you are visiting Pondicherry then you need to see the best weather to visit this place.Winter and pre-winter, that is from October till February are considered as best and comfortable time or season for holidaying at Pondicherry. It becomes one of the perfect weekend destinations for the folks in south India with a lot of activities to do in Pondicherry.

1 – Surfing at serenity beach!

People who are looking for sea adventure games and surfing in Pondicherry then Serenity beach is the perfect place in Pondicherry. There are many things to do in Pondicherry for people who have fascination towards adventure sports. For people who like to catch glide and wind via mighty waves, surfing proves to be the much apt activity to do in Pondicherry. Surfing takes people into another world completely as you will play with beach waves and just love this sport. Serenity and Paradise, these two beaches offer this adventure sport to its tourists which are pretty famous places to visit in Pondicherry. The gentle wind and playful waves proves out to be the perfect place for surfers. It’s the most enthralling activity to do in Pondicherry.

2 – Take boat rides to paradise beach Island at Chunnambar boat house!

A must experience activity in your itinerary if you are travelling to Pondicherry as a weekend destination. The famous venue provides spectacular boating amenities in Chunnambar River. You will have a gala time in the backwaters of backdrops and lush green plantation. It’s positioned along the main road of Cuddalore, this is one of the best place for chilling-out and relaxing. Once can enjoy magnificent sights of sunset and take sunbathe here. The boasts generally take individual up to the picturesque and placid paradise beach, called as Plage Paradiso. Apart from boating experience on beach, you will get many thrilling and interesting things to do in Pondicherry. You can go for hiking, overnight campaign, picnicking and backwater boating.

3-Experience the heavenly dawn and birdwatching at Ousteri Lake!

Ousteri lake, popularly known as Osudu Lake, is one the best places to visit in Pondicherry. it has most stunning picturesque as well as vital freshwater artificial lake of Pondicherry region. Ousteri Lake possesses mudflats and marshy lands and it’s designated as significant wetland of Asia via IUCN or International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources. This lake is one of the most spectacular tourist magnetisms in Pondicherry. You will be able to accomplish your dream visit here as this place offers some really interesting things to do in Pondicherry. Moreover, the Ousteri Lake and marshes is affluent in biodiversity. Hence, the area houses many residential and migratory birds. You can enjoy this paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers!

4-Scuba diving and underwater date with beautiful colorful corals!

If you love adventure then scuba diving is for you! It is a fun filled and most famous among this list of things to do in Pondicherry. It’s the only spot for diving on Eastern Coast of India. This place is featured by rocky pop-ups, plethora of nautical organisms, man-made folds and expected coral reefs. The marine life of this place includes lionfish, moray eels, manta rays, sea snakes, angelfish, crustaceans, banner fish, triggerfish, kingfish, grouper, corals and parrot fish. PADI centre provides excellent PADI certification course and training in scuba diving. These courses include, advanced, nitrox, deep and over water dive masters. Pondicherry provides some diving sports such as Aravind’s wall, 4 corners, the hole, ravines, temple reef and cool shark reefs for newbie’s and professionals. Scuba Diving at Pondicherry itself can be a quick weekend getaway experience


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