Although the glorious days of the French are long gone, a Pondicherry tour opens your eyes to that small part of India where French influences can be seen and felt everywhere. Quaint centers where one can learn French; exotic restaurants that dish up great cuisine or the famous Ashram with followers from all over the world- these are just a few of the many delightful Pondicherry tourist destinations that truly fascinate. We pick out the ‘do not miss’ hotspots for your Pondicherry tour.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This majestic Neo-Gothic church with its beautiful stained glass art depicting different tales from the life of Jesus is a delight. Each of the windows carries the painting of a saint and there’s even one of Joan of Arc. Various Indo- European style architectural features such as twin spires, terracotta motifs and carved interiors are reflected here. The church is over a 100 years old and other than a few cracks, has withstood the test of time successfully. A statue of the Virgin Mary and the mix of colors used throughout the church are both very striking.
A highlight of Pondicherry Tourism, this Museum is the resting place of some of India’s best sculptures dating back to the time of the Pallava and Chola dynasties. Different objects that were found in Arikamedu which was an ancient port that conducted trade with the Romans are kept here as well as Greek and Roman jars, ancient handicrafts, pieces of art and curios from the Tsung period in China. There is even a geology room and a fossil room where the bed used by Dupleix is on display.
Located around 10 km away from Pondicherry, is Auroville or the ‘City of Dawn’ which was meant to be a city where humans could live as one and work in harmony for peace and progress. The buildings designed by a French architect, combine both western and traditional Indian elements and are located in a beautiful natural setting. Tourists can take walks in the garden, learn more about the Mother and her work for society or enjoy a meal at the cafeteria. The selfless concept behind Auroville and the way it has been maintained over the years make it a hot Pondicherry tourist destination.
On your Pondicherry tour, become one with nature at the Botanical Garden which is more than 183 years old. Here, nature lovers can admire many endangered and exotic species of trees which are further sub-divided into smaller plots, each carrying a different theme. This garden spread over 22 acres of land is ideal for an evening walk. There are 6 fountains spread throughout the park including an attractive dancing fountain, a Japanese rock and an aquarium with exotic fish.