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PondicherryIndia

Tour an attractive city on the Bay of Bengal known as the French Riviera of the East for its Gallic culture, cuisine and buildings.

From the cuisine and culture to colonial-style villas and street names, French influences are easily glimpsed in Pondicherry. The coastal town was under the control of France until 1954. Many people in Pondicherry still speak French and in some of the restaurants you can find French specialties. The town is officially called Puducherry, the original Tamil name, but it is still widely referred to as Pondicherry, or “Pondy.” A visit there will reward you with beautiful architecture, beaches and a delightful mix of Eastern and Western culture.

Start your exploration of the picturesque city by visiting some of its old churches, including the 18th-century Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of Our Lady of Angels. Go to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for its stained-glass windows that depict the life of Jesus. Tour the town’s other religious buildings including Hindu temples and the Meeran Mosque that dates back to the 17th century.

Head to Promenade Beach for sunbathing and water sports. Swim, go fishing from a catamaran or book a scuba diving lesson. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade where you can see statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Joan of Arc.

Those who are into nature will appreciate a walk through the Botanical Garden. It was established in 1826 and is home to rare species of plants, a musical fountain, birds and a children’s train. For something a little different, take a Bollywood dance class or massage workshop at the Sita Cultural Center.

Save some time for a visit to Auroville, a small enclave located just outside of Pondicherry. It was established as a universal town where people of all faiths and backgrounds from dozens of countries can live in harmony. Among the architectural highlights is the large, gold-coloured geodesic dome called the Matrimandir. The structure’s spacious inner chamber is for people who want to sit quietly and meditate.

Pondicherry lies on the Bay of Bengal and can be reached by plane, train and car. There are also bus services from several cities, including Bangalore and Madurai.

Where to stay in Pondicherry

Pondicherry Lighthouse showing a lighthouse

Pondicherry Beach

Travellers like the monuments in Pondicherry Beach, and Pondicherry Lighthouse is a top attraction you might want to visit.

Pondicherry Beach
Pondicherry which includes religious aspects

White Town

4/5Very Good!(5 area reviews)

White Town is noteworthy for its beaches, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Raj Niwas.

White Town

Top hotels in Pondicherry

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Le Royal Park
Hotel Le Royal Park
3.5 out of 5
No. 168, Kamaraj Salai, Pondicherry
The price is £37 per night

Situated in Pondicherry, this spa hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Botanical Gardens and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar ...

3.6/5Good! (81 reviews)
Excellent

"The stay was good. Hotel is clean. Service staff is really excellent. Their can be improvement in the food at La Menara. Alisha at La Menara is very sweet and very good at her work. Reception staff is vey cooperative. Thanks for the great stay."…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2020

Hotel Le Royal Park
Accord Puducherry
Accord Puducherry
4.5 out of 5
No.1 Thilagar nagar, Ellaipillaichavady, Pondicherry, Pondicherry
The price is £62 per night

This family-friendly hotel is located in the city centre, within 3 mi (5 km) of Botanical Gardens and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple ...

4.1/5Very Good! (126 reviews)

"Good venue. Very clean and modern. Bed comfortable."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2020

Accord Puducherry
Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth
Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth
3 out of 5
No.4 Rue de Bussy, Pondicherry, Pondicherry

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Pondicherry Promenade Beach and Botanical ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (48 reviews)

"This is a particularity excellent hotel. Everything was outstanding."…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2020

Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth

Popular places to visit in Pondicherry

Paradise Beach
Image for Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

3.5/5(5 reviews)

This private beach provides a slice of idyllic tropical beauty at the meeting point of a river and the Indian Ocean.

Matrimandir
Image for Matrimandir

Matrimandir

3.5/5(4 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Auroville with a trip to Matrimandir. Wander the beaches in this culturally rich area.

Pondicherry Lighthouse
Image for Pondicherry Lighthouse

Pondicherry Lighthouse

4/5(6 reviews)

Find out about the history of Pondicherry when you spend time at Pondicherry Lighthouse. Wander the beaches and seaside in the area.

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Image for Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

4/5(5 reviews)

Pilgrims flocks to this lively temple to say prayers at the sacred shrines devoted to the Hindu gods Lord Ganesh and Lord Murugan. 

Pondicherry Promenade Beach
Image for Pondicherry Promenade Beach

Pondicherry Promenade Beach

4/5(2 reviews)

Why not spend a lazy afternoon at Pondicherry Promenade Beach during your trip to Pondicherry? Wander the beaches and seaside in the area.

French Institute
Image for French Institute

French Institute

Explore the campus of French Institute as part of your travels around Pondicherry. Wander the beaches and seaside in the area.

Top things to do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry Trip from Chennai
Image for Pondicherry Trip from Chennai

Pondicherry Trip from Chennai

£213
Per adult
Chennai to Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry Excursion tour
Image for Chennai to Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry Excursion tour

Chennai to Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry Excursion tour

£156
Per adult
Pondicherry Thanjore & Trichy
Image for Pondicherry Thanjore & Trichy

Pondicherry Thanjore & Trichy

£1,049
Per adult
Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram from Chennai
Image for Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram from Chennai

Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram from Chennai

£176
Per adult
Pondicherry Tour from Bangalore
Image for Pondicherry Tour from Bangalore

Pondicherry Tour from Bangalore

£229
Per adult
Day Trip to Pichavaram Mangrove Forest and Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram from Pondicherry
Image for Day Trip to Pichavaram Mangrove Forest and Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram from Pondicherry

Day Trip to Pichavaram Mangrove Forest and Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram from Pondicherry

£324
Per adult

Reviews of Pondicherry

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 37.5%
4 - Good
7
4 - Good 43.75%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 6.25%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 6.25%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 6.25%

5/5 - Excellent

ANKITA

2 Jan 2020

This is the 13th time i visited and would love to make it millionth time... 

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

Fantastic place to roam around and relax. If you can withstand the humidity/weather then it's an amazing place for a leisure trip.

1/5 - Terrible

I

22 Apr 2019

Its all because of the stupid treebo trend hotel

3/5 - Okay

DO

12 Mar 2019

The city will improve in the future

5/5 - Excellent

JaminiAhluwalia

28 Feb 2019

Acharming place definately worth visiting.

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