Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry is a splendid union territory with beautiful beaches, museums and churches. French presence can still be felt in the architecture of this wonderful city. It is one of the most discreet getaways with a distinct colonial flavor in India. So many things you can do in this lovely city of Bay of Bengal where shades of cream, yellow with bursting bougainvillea greet you at every step. Below is the list of 20 things you can do in this city
1. Scuba Diving
Best Time September – November and February – May
Go for scuba diving. Enjoy swimming with colourful fishes. or Learn scuba diving lessons.
2.Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The spiritual ashram established by Shri Aurobindo in the year 1926. Place to seek your inner peace. Also do visit magnificent Auroville.
3. Chunnambar Boat House
Boating in Chunnambar Boat House is one of the most recommended things to do in Pondicherry. The scenic backwaters with a dense forest in the surrounding makes up for a great photo shoot.
4. Evening walk or morning water sports at Paradise Beach
The destination of Chunnambar Boat House is Paradise Beach. Clean and one of the most splendid beaches of India. Reach early in the morning before the clock strikes 11 or 12, and enjoy water sports like kayaking, banana ride and others. Weekdays are peaceful. Evening walk are romantic here.
5. Relax at Bharati Government Park
A nice place to relax and breathe in fresh Oxygen. It would indeed take you back to the sixteenth century. If you are lucky, you might get to enjoy the performance of a band of musicians. Check out the statue of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati in the park. Activities for the kids as well. A wonderful white marble monument by the French known as Aayi Mandapam is a must visit for all the tourists. Its an excellent place to click photographs.
6. The sea view at Seaside Promenade
Watching the sea waves gushing at the shore with the soothing water on one side and charismatic French buildings on the other are the major attractions of Seaside Promenade. It is quite near to Bharati Government Park, and a must visit place.
7. French Architecture at Auro Beach
Situated in the heart of Pondicherry, Auro Beach is a wonderful place to enjoy the wilderness of the sea. Sit a bit far away and see how rough the waves can get. Check out the ruins of French buildings at the shoreline of this beach. It is also called Rocky beach or Gandhi beach.
8. Little paradise of The Ganesh Garden
The Ganesh Garden is a peaceful botanical garden to get a deep insight into the medicinal plants and other important plants. Kids would have a gala time in the garden. The colorful flowers and fountain add to the beauty of this quiet place.
9.Exhibition at Tasmai, a center for art and culture
Tasmai is one of the places if you like local and contemporary art of India, to visit in Pondicherry. You can get a chance to meet local artists at this place and know more about the Indian art. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and have a look at the wonderful stuff displayed in this gallery.
10. Kallialay Surf School
To explore the world of surfing, Kallialay Surf School offers you a unique experience. Kite surfing and windsurfing are the services they offer. Give a try on your trip to Pondicherry.
11. Collection at Ananda Ranga Pillai House
For the history lovers, Check out the collection of photos and statues in Ananda Ranga Pillai House of Pondicherry.
12. French War Memorial at sunset
The splendor of French War Memorial at Seaside Promenade is sure to catch your attention, specifically at sunset. Built as a landmark to commemorate the French soldiers who lost their lives in the World War. Visit it while taking a stroll on Seaside Promenade.
13. Serenity Beach to check out jellyfish
Serenity Beach is a serene beach as the name suggests. Basically a beach for the fishermen, but you can surely go there to check out the jellyfish. Swimming is not advisable on this for the same reason. A quiet stroll in the morning is pleasant.
14. Saint Joan of Arc Statue
If you around on 30th May, you can see the French game Bathan. Located opposite to the church of our lady of the Angels or Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges as known in French.
15. Birdwatching and boating at Ousteri Lake
Birdwatchers have a great time at Ousteri Lake, however, a bit far away. You can certainly visit with sufficient time on hand. Go for boating, Ousteri Lake is a good option for you.
16. Temples like Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Kanniga Parameswari Temple
For a spiritual aura and a calm environment, visit Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Kanniga Parameswari Temple. Tamil and French cultures are perfectly amalgamted at Kanniga Parameswari temple. The ancientness of Sri Varadaraj Perumal Temple of Lord Vishnu would leave you totally spellbound.
17. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The architecture of the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is awesome and must visit for the tourists. Located opposite to the Pondicherry railway station, it is easily accessible.
18. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
Beautiful design of this church brings you a lot closer to God. The pink color looks wonderful even from far away. The stained glass enhances the church even more. Visit it during the evenings to see how amazing it looks. It is the ultimate destination for solace in Pondicherry.
Shop in the ashram, lovely boutiques and also in the market that offers lovey traditional stuff. Do not miss out shopping in Auroville. Pondicherry is shoppers paradise and things are quite affordable and very likable.
20. Foodies Paradise
Haven for foodies with Indian, French, Indo-French, continental and local delicacies. Also several bakeries and confectioneries. Try out on the authentic south Indian food and the local sea food.
These are the 20 things to do on a Pondicherry trip. Besides these places, you can opt for a full day at Gingee Fort (around 68 kilometers from Pondicherry) and cave temple at Madagapattu (around 20 kilometers from Gingee) or the hill shrine at Panamalai.