A calm beach holiday on your mind? Paint your days in vibrant hues of yellow, and gear up to explore Tamil Nadu’s fun beach town, Pondicherry. Treebo presents *drumrolls* the ultimate Pondicherry travel guide to help you plan a delightful trip in the right weather, covering all the gorgeous places to visit in Pondicherry, along with the best ever places to stay in this Catholic town.
Just like Goa, Pondicherry can be visited round the year. The sun may get slightly harsh in the summer, but the clean beaches, the colonial vibe, and the pictures you’ll click at these places will definitely make up for it. The place is a vision during monsoon and winter. From September till March, this quaint town witnesses the maximum footfall.
Places to visit in Pondicherry
If you’re in search of a European vibe, but time and budget are two legit constraints, you can consider visiting this gorgeous town. The next segment in this Pondicherry Travel Guide is about all the cool places that you must visit when in town.
Coromandel Cafe and Restaurant, White Town
La Maison Rose was once an it-spot in Puducherry. The old french quarter housed an eatery and a few shops that sold jewellery, footwear, apparel, souvenirs, and home decor.
Coromandel Cafe and Restaurant is a charming eatery that has replaced La Maison Rose. The place is as much a treat to the eyes as to a starving belly. The artistically decorated cafe has gigantic pillars, chandeliers, very European wallpapers, and a lot more to please an avid Instagrammer’s heart.
Some of the must-orders from the menu are prawns, pizzas, American cheesecake, carrot cake, ice-cold coffee, and garlic bread.
In Gen Z’s lingo, this popular tourist attraction in Pondicherry has the vibe!
French War Memorial
The French War Memorial in Goubert Avenue was erected in the year 1971 to honour the brave soldiers who lost their lives serving in World War 1 (1916-1919). Amid the four mighty white columns stands the statue of a French soldier leaning on a rifle, with his gaze fixed downward. A well-kept garden surrounds the ensemble.
The monument is a sight to behold on Bastille Day, celebrated on July 14 every year. It’s illuminated with attractive lights, and people from all over the city gather to pay veneration.
It can be visited from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days of the week. Do add the French War Memorial to your list of places to visit in Pondicherry!
Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges
Visit the Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges Church in Rue Dumas for the charm of French and Portuguese architecture. This place of worship dedicated to St. Peters was established in the year 1686 and served as a parish church till 1729. It was redecorated in 1855 to look like Basilica at Lourdes in southern France.
The church faces the statue of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms and lies opposite to the Joan of Arc Park.
It opens at 7:00 am in the morning and has its doors open for visitors till 6:30 pm. Do add this church to your Pondicherry itinerary if you’re a history buff or an appreciator of age-old architecture.
Remember the European gardens described by Austen and other famous authors in their books? Well, the Botanical Gardens, also known as Jardin Botanique, in Pondicherry are decorated just like that!
Everything about this garden, from the entry gate to the toy train ride, the musical fountain, and the never-seen-before species of flowers and trees, is mesmerizing. The constant chirping of the birds is another pleasant highlight.
Viewing their collection of unique and healthy succulents, cactus plants, and aquatic animals is another visual treat. Oh, and did we mention the fossil plants that you can check out at Jardin Botanique? Well!
If you aren’t tempted to visit already, click here and learn why you should add this tourist attraction to your list of places to visit in Pondicherry.
The park opens at 10:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm, like most of the other visiting places in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry’s Old Lighthouse was built by the renowned engineer, L. Guerre in the year 1836. After being productive for longer than a century, the 29-meter high lighthouse went out of order in 1979 and was given the due retirement. It’s undergoing restoration and will soon be turned into a museum.
The old lighthouse near Promenade Beach is most certainly one of the places to visit in Pondicherry if you want some instagram-worthy photos!
The entry ticket to the lighthouse costs INR 10.
Statue of Dupleix
Joseph François Dupleix was the last French governor of Pondicherry. He had dreamt of establishing a French colony in India, and had even reached the verge of actualizing it. But after facing defeat in the second Carnatic war, he left for France.
He saved Pondicherry from British domination during his tenure, i.e., from 1742 to 1754. To honour him, a 2.88-meter-tall granite statue was carved and established in the union territory.
The statue shows Dupleix in an authoritative posture, with the map of Pondicherry in one hand and a sword in the other.
It’s situated in a children’s park at Place du Republique, Goubert Avenue, and can be visited at any time between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Up for a sunny adventure? The next destination on Treebo’s Pondicherry travel guide is where you can enjoy one! Trek all the way to the Gingee Fort situated in the outskirts of Pondicherry. Out of the many names given to the fort, a few are Senchi, Jenji, and Senji. This fort has witnessed the rule of Marathas, Mughals, Cholas, and even Nayakas. Due to its indestructible traits, it was titled “Troy of the East” by the British.
The fort has three citadels that give it the shape of a triangle. The surrounding hills added another layer of boundary to the already impenetrable Gingee Fort. The scenic setting is good for photography, along with a dose of some interesting history.
Some interesting things to look at are the vintage banquet halls, the tanks, the granaries, and a few other antiques.
As you move a few kilometres towards the south of Pondicherry, you’ll reach the old, historical Arikamedu. The town that now sits abandoned was developed as a port back in the Roman times (sometime in the 1st Century BC, to be precise).
The town has been named after the Tamil word Arikanmedu, which means “eroding mount”. After centuries of abandonment, the town was rediscovered in 1940 by an Indologist, Gabriel Jouveau. The site was excavated, and several awe-striking articles belonging to the Megalithic period were discovered, like utensils, cutleries, ornaments, gemstones, and even epitaph stones.
The area is in ruins and doesn’t have many guesthouses or eateries either. So pack for your outing accordingly. We advise carrying your own water and food to the site.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral – Sanctum of God
The 3-centuries-old Immaculate Conception Cathedral is one of the most-visited tourist spots in Pondicherry. It’s also popular as Samba Covil.
In a span of about 350 years, the church has faced brutal destruction and undergone 3 renovations. The first one was constructed in the year 1692 by the Jesuit Fathers, using the financial aid provided by King Louis XIV. The first time, the Dutch took the credit for demolishing the holy place. It was reconstructed to be destroyed yet again by the British during the Seven Years’ War.
The church was reconstructed in 1791 with elements of Portuguese, Herrian, and French architecture, and has been standing proudly ever since.
The small town of Auroville was established in the year 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, referred to as The Mother. Auroville is one of the places to visit in Pondicherry if you’re looking for optimism, calm, and belongingness.
The town intends to inspire humans to rise above creed, nationalities, and politics, and live together in harmony. The folks at Auroville recommend the visitors to spend a good number of hours, or maybe even a day at the place.
People travelling to Auroville from Pondicherry generally rent a scooter, take a tuk-tuk, or hop into a city bus from Bussy Street.
Matrimandir is another must-visit place in Pondicherry that should be reserved for the day you visit Auroville. The temple is open between 9 am, and 4 pm from Monday to Saturday, and 9 am to 1 pm every Sunday.
Beaches at Pondicherry
Whether you’re a party fanatic or someone who’s looking for some tranquil hours by the splashes of water, Pondicherry has beaches to cater to every kind of mood. Here are some of Puducherry’s best beaches, along with the reasons why you should visit them:
It’s an unspoken rule to take out an afternoon to unwind and make castles with the golden sand at Paradise Beach when visiting Pondicherry. One will have to take a boat and ride through the mangrove forests and city’s backwaters to reach this heavenly-in-all-senses beach. Unlike a majority of Goa’s overcrowded and sullied beaches, this beach has blue waters, clean and soft sand, and unmatched tranquility.
The setting is ideal if you’re looking for some quality time to spend with a loved one, read a book, indulge in photography, or enjoy the water. The beach is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day.
As the name suggests, the tourists come here to escape the chaos of their routine lives and find serenity. This beach is perfect for youngsters on a workation or holiday, or newlyweds looking forward to spending a few laid-back hours.
Want to learn how to surf? Well, you can find your instructor and learn the art of surfing in no time at this tourist attraction in Pondicherry.
If you chance upon the beach on a weekend, do not miss the Serenity Beach Bazaar. Local vendors set up their kiosks and sell handicrafts, jewellery, footwear, bags, and various other trinkets that you can store in your Puducherry souvenir collection. One can also relish some delish seafood, shakes, ice creams, etc., at this bazaar. The doors to this bazaar stay open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all Saturdays and Sundays.
Nothing to worry about even if you’re visiting the place in the middle of the week. You’ll still find some small eateries and shacks by the beach to keep the hunger at bay.
Interested in knowing more about such unique marketplaces? Do check out our blog on Iconic Indian Markets.
Auro Beach, a.k.a. Auroville Beach, is situated far from the centre of Pondicherry and close to Auroville. From a calm, picturesque, and sun-kissed shore with soft sands, to crystal clear waters perfect for a swim or surf, this beach has a lot to offer.
Auro Beach is one of the few beaches in the city with shacks. Not just the tourists, even the folks from the Auroville Ashram love to gaze at the rising and setting sun at this beach.
This beach on the list of places to visit in Pondicherry can be visited for free during the hours when the sun’s up on all days of the week.
Looking for a budget-friendly and, at the same time, a safe and cosy place to stay in Pondicherry? Treebo’s doors are always open for you! Treebo’s Pondicherry hotels are all geared up to host you in this quaint town. Arrive, unpack, and explore every destination mentioned in this Pondicherry travel guide. For everything else, Treebo has got you covered.
We offer thoroughly sanitized rooms packed with all the amenities, complimentary breakfast, free wifi, and a lot more! Click here to check out all our hotels in this vibrant, picturesque city.