Things to do in Pondicherry India

fishing boats on a beach in Pondicherry

Pondichery is a city in the south east of India and dates back to the 1st Century AD when the Romans mentioned the town of Poduca as a trading settlement. In 1674 the French east India Company set up a trading post in Pondicherry and it would become the major French settlement in India

The main things to see in Pondicherry include:

  • See the Sri Aurobindo Ashram – yoga centre
  • Take a walk in the Puducherry Botanical Gardens
  • Visit the many churches built in the 18th and 19th century in the French Quarter
  • check out the local food at the Goubert market

Must do

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the heart of the city. It is the Samadhi that houses the mortal remains of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother of Pondicherry. It is indeed the most famous pilgrim spot.

Discipline and leniency intermingle to maintain the quiet sanctity of the Samadhi and its surroundings, and the prayers and meditative silences of the devout are an almost palpable presence.

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What do you like best about Pondicherry

Pondicheriens and visitors take the air on the sea side Beach road, especially in the evening and most particularly on weekends and holidays, when most of the kilometre stretch is closed to non-pedestrian traffic.

I prefer this as the perfect place to stroll, chat and snack, The chunambar,7 kms away, has charming backwaters with beach huts and boating facilities. A visit to this Aurobeach is highly recommended.

Here are a few things more things to do in Pondicherry thanks to Tanya.

Best Walk in Pondicherry

The Botanical Garden, Me and my friends usually go to this park, this place is really very calm and it is the greenery spread all around you, it is the best place to be explored on foot.

As the trees here are not just ancient and venerable, there are varieties that are not usually seen elsewhere in the country. In this garden, Huge rocks are carved into benches, here I have seen many saints meditating and hence a very it’s a very peaceful place to keep your mind and thoughts fresh.

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Best Restaurants in Pondicherry

Pondicherry has all kinds of restaurants: big and small, on terraces and off carts. I love having French food, so I would recommend Promenade, it’s a beach hotel on the sea shore; especially this hotel looks great at night.

In Pondicherry we also get European and Chinese food, and the best place to have Indian food is, Hotel Anamalai. Food stuffs like idly (rice cake) and chapathi (wheat flour fiesta), are the typical south Indian food, they are really delicious.

Cooking Classes in Pondicherry

The Sita Cultural Centre have both Indian and French cooking classes.

Akshaya’s Kitchen conducts South Indian cooking classes and also has her own You Tube Channel.

Shyama’s Kitchen operates off of her Facebook Page and conducts Tamil cooking classes from her home at 32 Rue Francois Martin St

Best Music/Festival

Almost every weekend there will some sort of a Music concert produced by famous singers and musicians, who are sponsored from various other cities. It includes Multilanguage tunes, and not only are the local language, Tamil. These music concerts are usually held, right besides-a statue of Gandhi surrounded by ancient columns, along the Beach side.

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Best Nightlife in Pondicherry

I always come back feeling like a fresh person after a visit to the Matrimandir. It takes time for a first timer to understand that this is not a temple. Here in the white marbled lined hall, where the pillars reach, but not quiet, up to domed ceiling. The man-made crystal lit by natural light seems almost surreal.

The silence is almost audible, fifteen minutes into the meditation and I can hear the blood pulsing in my body. In my throat, in my ears. This is a must-see place.

Best Day Trip Out of Pondicherry

There are many places on the outskirts of Pondicherry, but these are some, which one must-see. Chidambaram is synonymous with Lord Nataraja, the awe-inspiring and wonderful dancing form of Shiva.

Its approximately 70 km from Pondicherry. And you can even visit Karaikal, also a former French enclave about 135 km and enjoy its quiet river promenade and charming backstreets. Mallapuram is worth visiting, it is located 98 km north of Pondicherry on the splendid East cost road. On the way don’t miss a visit to the ruins of Alamparey Fort on the shore.

Something that not many tourists would know about Pondicherry

There are many places which most tourists would not know, actually there is an under water tunnel, in the old harbor of Pondicherry. I have been there many times with my mates.  The place is fully surrounded by coconut trees and has a beautiful view of the Beach.

The other one is what we Pondicheriens call it the Sunday market. It’s the best place to shop leather goods and antique furniture and even handloom products.

The most important thing which I wanted to say is that most shops are closed during the heat of the day. In the afternoon, and open quite late into the evening.


David Cronk - Editor

David Cronk is the editor of online travel magazine Travelodium Travel Magazine. David has travelled to over 30 countries of the world and his writing has been published by enRoute magazine - Air Canada's inflight magazine and by Hotel & Accommodation Management Magazine. David has worked as a Sales Executive for Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and for Hotelbookers in London. He has worked also as a Hotel Night Manager and in bars throughout Europe. David eventually settled into a position working as a croupier for several years before changing careers to become a Data, Sales and Statistical Analyst.

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