a2z of Pondicherry under one roof

PONDICHERRY ATTRACTIONS

SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the brainchild of the Bengali revolutionary and philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh and his ardent disciple Mirra Alfassa, popularly known as "The Mother", who took over from Aurobindo after his death in 1950. Founded in 1926, the Ashram is based on his philosophy of a harmonious community and draws a constant stream of visitors travel across the globe to India. You could visit the Ashram Centre at Rue de la Marine, which has the samadhi (tomb) of the philosopher and his living quarters amidst a pretty little garden of orchids and a variety of other flowers. The International Centre which occasionally screens a film, and the Library are just across the road. You can also visit the Ashram’s Hand Made Paper Factory outlet to pick up some excellent paper and diaries.

Not all seems fine between the Ashram and the locals. Perhaps the malaise stems from the fact that the affluent Ashram is mainly run by people from outside Pondicherry with a majority of Bengalis and Oriyas, and the Ashram, as an institution, seems to do little in terms of charity. Also, the nicest places in Pondicherry belong to the Ashram, and outsiders including the locals are strictly off-limits.


PLAGE PARADISO (PARADISE BEACH)

Plage Paradiso (Paradise Beach) is located at Chunnambar which is 8 kilometers away from the main town, along the Cuddalore main road. This part of tropical paradise is a dream destination for every beach lover. You can spend some time here alone in peace, swim in the cool sea water and bask in the sun. Some times you can just find a sea gull as your sole companion. If you are adventurous and sportive in spirit then try this out - put up a comfortable beach tent for yourself and stay here for a night. Staying overnight in the cozy tree-houses on the backwater banks is in itself a great and relishing experience. You can also try out another lovely experience at the Paradise Beach in Pondicherry, India- a short and enjoyable cruise into the sea from where could see the unforgettable and beautiful sight of dolphins in the natural habitat swimming and playing around.

Plage Paradiso (Paradise Beach) in Pondicherry is just like what its name suggests a paradise beach in this part of the world. If you are a sun or a beach lover then Plage Paradiso (Paradise Beach) in Pondicherry is one place on this earth that you must come to. A trip to Pondicherry cannot be complete till you pay a visit to these magnificent and stunning beaches. Its cool waves and calm ambience looks forward to welcome and soothe your soul.


AUROVILLE - AN INTERNATIONAL CITY

Auroville is a small town 6 km north of Pondicherry. This town was a vision of The Mother from Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry as it's an international town. Auroville is an international city which was built and started in 1968 by the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram with the idea to create international city. The residents live in around 15 different communities within Auroville and speak 55 different languages. It is an exciting project for understanding the environmental needs for spiritual growth.

Matrimandir, the meditation hall, is one of the more important places to visit here. You need to get a pass issued to visit the Matrimandir. There are a number of other things to see in Auroville. A good place to get started is the Information Center.

There is an organized tour of Auroville that begins and ends in Pondicherry. This might be a good way to get around Auroville for first timers.


SERENITY BEACH PONDICHERRY

Serenity Beach Pondicherry is a 1.5km long, rocky shoreline. Some of the bloodiest Anglo-French battles were fought on these sands. Today, however, this beach is ideal for a calm (or romantic) stroll. Or one can just sit on the parapet by the sea (or on one of the rocks) and gaze out at the rolling waves for hours and hours, or watch fishermen at work, or just enjoy the sea-spray.

Goubert Avenue, which runs along the beach, is sprinkled with a number of monuments and memorials. The most imposing among them would be the huge, impressive statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which stands on the seafront, surrounded by eight beautifully carved pillars. I remember reading somewhere that this statue is 'life-size'. Believe me, it most certainly is not. It's big, the way MG never was.

The Pondicherry beach surely is a lovely place to visit in the evenings too. Goubert Avenue is quite well-lit, and the whole place is a lot more serene than it usually is in the day. On weekends evenings, Goubert Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic. The police hold some kind of a parade. They all march along the beach road, playing 'police band music'. They then assemble at the Square near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, and the band plays for an hour or so.


BOTANICAL GARDENS AND AQUARIUM

Botanical Gardens Pondicherry is well known for its various tourist hotspots, which attracts tourists all the year round to this destination. Apart from Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram,various museums and beaches what is an important Tourist Places in Pondicherry is the Botanical Garden . The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry was opened to the public in 1826 , it is located at the southern entrance of city bus stand. The Botanical Gardens situated in the center of the city provides a cool retreat from the oppressing heat and humidity of Tourist Places in Pondicherry . Tourist Places in Pondicherry sprawls over a 22 acres area and here you can just relax and listen to the twittering of birds and explore the rich variety of flora here. The Botanical Gardens is 178 years old and here you will find each and every tree or plant labeled with scientific, common and Tamil names. This has been possible due to the efforts of Department of Tourism .

Aquarium displays many sea living organisms including variety of fish flora. It also exhibits various methods of fishing adopted in coastal areas.


Site Maintained By

Shyam Srinivas, IT Analyst, India