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Pondicherry travel guide

Published: 24/07/2013

Introduction to Pondicherry

Pondicherry is the capital of the Union territory of the same name located on the Coromondal coast of Peninsular India. This territory was under the French rule for nearly 281 years until as recent as 1962 when the French Government transferred it to India. So there is a strong reflection of French influence in Pondicherry in almost all aspects of the city. With a huge number of French people hanging around, more than anywhere else in India, one can even find street hawkers speaking in French. An extremely peaceful city, Pondicherry is a well planned city with beautiful colonial mansions, sea front promenade, wide boulevards, and many streets retaining their French names. Puducherry, as Pondicherry is presently known as, is unlike any other place in India, not even Goa, which was also a part of the French colony in India. The most remarkable feature of this city is that the minute you step on its soil there is a feel of peace, quietude, spiritualism and retrospection. It is because of this quality, probably, a number of meditation and yoga centres have been set up here, the fore runner being the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Aurovilla.

Pondicherry Travel Information

Best time to visit Pondicherry

The best time to visit Pondy is from October to March as summers can be too hot and humid especially from mid May to the end of June.

How to reach Pondicherry?

The nearest airport to Pondicherry is Chennai International Airport around 135 Kms Away while the nearest railway station is Villupuram around 36 Kms from the city. However, Pondicherry has a good network of roads, which connects it with most cities of South India.

Pondicherry Tourist Attractions

Pondicherry offers several unique places for the visitors.The beaches are pristine and beautiful no doubt but Pondy is more famous for Sri Aurobindo Ashram,Aurovilla,Promenade and the French monuments.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

The main tourist attraction is the Ashram Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo, a revolutionary turned Yogi from Bengal along with the Mother (Mira Alfassa) a French painter as well as a sculptor. Sri Aurobindo Ashram aims at providing ways to transform human nature to divine life without the renunciation of life and pleasure through Yoga and Meditation. The Ashram and Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy has attracted followers from all over the world. The Ashram complex houses a school, hospital and dispensary, handmade paper factory, a cottage industry of handicrafts and handmade textile, several Yoga learning centres and many more. In fact the Ashram is a mini township with people from many countries. The main attraction of the Ashram is the Samadhis of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
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