Things to do in Pondicherry

Sightseeing

Top things to do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is known for its ultra beautiful environment, pristine beaches and beautiful heritage monuments. There are a number of things to do in Pondicherry from cycling through the town to visiting the ashrams or relaxing on the beaches. Among the plethora of things to do in Pondicherry, the most popular ones include scuba diving among the colourful corals, trying your hand at the thrilling water sports, cruising and spotting the dolphins etc., not to forget spending a rejuvenating and revitalizing time on the pristine shores. Pondicherry is truly a travel's delight and has an interesting array of activities to offer to its guests. Have a look at the number of things to do in Pondicherry given below!

Here is the list of 21 Things to do in Pondicherry

1. Take a Ferry to Paradise Beach

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Also known as the Plage Paradiso, Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Adorned with the golden sand, this famous and highly sought after beach is always swaying in a cold sea breeze. This is a little-isolated beach, and to reach here, you have to take a ferry across the backwaters, which takes around 20-30 minutes, and is one of the most exciting things to do in Pondicherry.

2. Cruise and Spot Dolphins at Chunnambar Boat House

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Chunambar is a quaint little hamlet located along Cuddalore Main Road, around 8 km from Pondicherry. This serene town is visited by tourists for its beach, which is know as Paradise Beach, situated near the mouth of the backwater. With pristine sand and crystallized water, it is a perfect place for one to spend a day out playing water sports and bathing in the sun. A short cruise is also organized for the visitors which gives them a fantastic overall view of the serene beauty of the waters. You should definitely check this off of your bucket list of things of Pondicherry. You can also spot dolphins playing around in the water making it a must-visit for the nature lovers.

3. Cycle Around to Absorb the Gorgeous French Architecture

One of the most exciting and picturesque things to do in Pondicherry is to tour the beautiful territory on traditional vintage bicycles. You can also go for guided tours around the stunning French Quarters, charming mustard streets, colonial villas and vibrant Tamil settlements. Besides a very picturesque view of the lovely alleys and narrow lanes, you can also marvel at the gorgeous architecture of the French colonial settlements.

4. Relish a Mesmerizing Sunrise

One thing that you must definitely witness while on a trip to Pondicherry is the very mesmerising sunrise. The lovely beaches, or the gorgeous colonies, or even the promenades, are all amazing locations to experience a wonderful orange sun rise above the horizon. This is one of the top things to do in Pondicherry and is sure to stay with you for a long long time.

5. Thrilling Experience of Scuba Diving

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Packed with enchanting marine life, Pondicherry offers an amazing adventure of scuba diving off the country's East Coast. Boasting of picturesque oceans and indigo waters, Scuba Diving is one of the most thrilling things to do in Pondicherry.

6. Take a Leisure Walk by the Seaside Promenade

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One of the things that does justice to Pondicherry's French Roots is its beautiful Seaside Promenade. The area is well maintained, clean and beautiful and you can actually feel foam spray on your face while sipping a cooler in one of the many cafes at the promenade or just while taking a walk. Whether you're visiting during the sunny day or the starry night, the Seaside Promenade is equally feel good.

7. Try Water Sports and Get an Adrenaline Rush

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With a unique, peaceful coastal beauty to it, Pondicherry is quickly becoming every beach lovers' favourite hideout. Among the several other things to do in Pondicherry, this one tops the list. A number of water sports options along its white sandy beaches are another reason for travellers to love Pondy, as it is lovingly known.

8. Explore the Sites of Arikamedu

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Situated within a half hour drive of the French colonial town of Pondicherry, Arikamedu is an ancient Roman trade centre hidden from the eyes and ears of the commonplace Tamil tourism. Visiting the ancient town is one of the most essential things to do in Pondicherry. This port town was occupied by the people of Rome, Cholas, and French serving as a very famous maritime centre from 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. The glass bead manufacturing factory of Arikamedu is called the mother of all bead centres in the whole wide world.

9. Spot Birds at Ousteri Wetland and National Park

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A national park rich in flora and fauna, Ousteri Wetland and National Park lay 10 km from Pondicherry town on the Pondicherry-Villuppuram road. Spread across an area of 3 sq kms, the place basically lies on the border of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu. One can spot diverse variety of aqua-fauna and avi-fauna here. Apart from that, several distinct species of plants and trees call this place their home that also attracts a large number of migratory birds. Among the top things to do in Pondicherry, this one tops the charts.

10. Find Peace at Auroville Ashram

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Conceived as the 'Universal Town', the Auroville Ashram is an experimental township - the idea is to create a city where people from across the world of all cultures and traditions come and live together in peace. Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a disciple of Shri Aurobindo, French Lady known as 'Maa' or 'The Mother', the Aurobindo Ashram is a place where you can relax and calm your inner being. Visiting the Ashram should definitely be on your list of top 'things to do in Pondicherry'. The project was supported by the Govt. of India, and the UNESCO passed a resolution in 1966 commending this as "a project of importance to the future of humanity". The town was officially inaugurated in 1968. 

11. Relax at Serenity Beach

Located at a distance of 10 kms, on the outskirts on Puducherry in Kottakuppam, Serenity Beach is one of the most amazing beaches and visiting here is one of the top things to do in Pondicherry. Boasting of supreme tranquility and sun-kissed sands, the beach is a gorgeous getaway from the city lapped by sparking waters of the scenic Bay of Bengal. The peaceful stretch is lined with a trail of rocks and dotted with sea-facing resorts ideal for honeymooners. Since the beach is isolated and little known by the locals, it provides an atmosphere of absolute ataraxy and quietude.

12. Take a Walk at Pondicherry Beach

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Pondicherry Beach is also known as the Promenade Beach. It is a famous stretch of beachfront that extends from War Memorial to the Dupleix Park on the Goubert Ave, in the city of Puducherry, India. It stretches up to 1.2 kilometres along the Bay of Bengal and is the most popular stretch of road in Pondicherry. The beach is often crowded with groups of people playing volleyball, jogging, walking, skating, yoga and swimming, especially during the evenings. You definitely have to visit this promenade as it is one of the most surreal things to do in Pondicherry. This attractive beach is usually characterised by ocean sprays, waterscape and waves of chatters.

13. Marvel At the Architecture of Meeran Mosque

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One of the most revered religious spot by Muslims; Meeran Mosque was built about three hundred and fifty years ago. In fact, it serves as the oldest mosque in Pondicherry with a distinct type of architecture. Established by the Arcod Nawabs in Gothic Islamic style, there are four pillars supporting the dome of the structure. The beauty of the shrine is further enhanced by the placement of Bronze Kallasa on the front facing minaret.

14. Visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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One of the most sacred and religious places of Pondicherry, the Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus is situated 2.5 km away from the Pondicherry Bus Station on the south boulevard of the town. One of the 21 Basilicas in India and the only one in Pondicherry, this church was set up by the French missionaries in 1908 which was given the status of the Basilica in 2011. One of the most beautiful Catholic Churches of Pondicherry, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus beautifully showcases the Gothic architecture.

15. Pay your Respect at French War Memorial

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French War Memorial is a stylish structure located in the Goubert Avenue and is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. On 14th of July every year, an annual commemoration ceremony is held here during which the monument is beautifully illuminated. This memorial offers a pleasant experience to all visitors.

16. Natural Retreat at Botanical Garden

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A popular tourist attraction of Pondicherry, Botanical Garden was established by C.S. Perrotet in the year 1862. The garden is home to several exotic varieties of rare plants as well as an aquarium. This wide range of plants has been collected from various parts of India and around the globe. There might be several exciting things to do in Pondicherry but this one is tops the charts when it comes to gorgeous scenery and bounteous nature.

17. Take a Glimpse at History in Pondicherry Museum

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Located in the Bharathi Park, Pondicherry Museum houses a fantastic collection of sculptures. It has the remains of the archeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. Bronze sculptures of god and goddess, a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art are also kept here. Some specimens of Chola and Pallava art from Pondicherry and Karaikal are displayed in the sculpture gallery. A visit to the museum is one of the most amazing things to do in Pondicherry.

18. Marvel at Beauty of Immaculate Conception Cathedral

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Immaculate Conception Cathedral or Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee Church is a beautiful place of worship established in year 1686. Dedicated to St. Peters, it is a church of Capuchins and was first served as a small chapel situated outside the government park. In fact, it was the only surviving structure during the British invasion who aimed at mass destruction of buildings and monuments. Here, the mass is performed at 5:15 am to 6:15 am from Monday to Saturday while on Sundays; it begins at 5:00 pm.

19. Kids Day Out at Jawahar Toy Museum

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An ideal place for kids, Jawahar Toy Museum is a well maintained place situated at the old light house building near Gandhi Maidan. The museum houses a wide range of dolls and toys collected from all over the country.

20. Visit the Ancient Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple

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Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is said to have been established almost 5 centuries ago. Situated behind the Raj Niwas, the sanctum is enshrined with a grand idol of Vinayaka called Vellakkaran Pillai.

21. Visit the Magnificent Mahatma Gandhi Statue

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The four-meter high statue of Mahatma Gandhi is surrounded by eight granite pillars, which were supposedly brought from Gingee, a fort some 70 km from Pondicherry. The statue is placed in the middle of a garden situated at Dumas Street and attracts tourists in large number. And if you around, visiting here should definitely be there on your list of things to do in Pondicherry.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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