Pondicherry Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: October to March Read More

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Also Refered As:


"The French Riviera of the East"

Pondicherry Tourism

Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, and commonly referred to as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India which is bounded by the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This former French colony is a perfect amalgamation of the traditional Indian sensibilities and French architecture, making it a dreamy escape that offers the best of both worlds.

The streets of the French Quarter of Pondicherry, also known as White Town, are dotted with charming mustard-yellow colonial structures with bougainvillaea laden walls. These are interspersed with cosy cafes and chic boutiques that offer delectable French cuisine and beverages. Simply strolling down these streets, can give the traveller an insight into the fairytale charm of Pondicherry.

Topped with authentic French bakeries, bohemian stores and cobble-stoned paths that are delightful for a leisurely stroll or a bicycle ride, Pondicherry has a lot to offer. So head on down to this dream town of the Indian Coast and chug a few beers (at the Union Territory prices; bid adieu to state taxes) or just read a book in one of the quaint cafes.

Come explore the boulevards and rues (the French word for streets) of Pondicherry that will ultimately take you down to the gorgeous seaside promenade, and witness the Bay of Bengal playfully splashing the shores of the famous Rock beach.

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French Culture and Architecture

Pondicherry was a French colony till 1954. Therefore, this city is more like a miniature version of France in India. It gives out colonial, bohemian and serene vibes through its French civilisations. The houses are built in straight lines and are draped wit Bougainvillea. The streets are extremely clean and lined with trees. The people also follow French cultures and talk in French, either with an English accent or a South Indian accent.

What Makes Pondicherry An Amazing Tourist Destination

The coastal city is dotted with untouched beaches and beautifully decorated promenades, which are simply perfect for watching a magical sunrise of sunset. Watching the sun rise over the deep blue expanse of the Bay of Bengal is an experience that everyone should have while in Pondicherry. If your idea of a holiday to a place steeped in history and culture is basking in the old-world charm of French colonial buildings and monuments, then taking a Heritage Walk across town is the best bet for you. Organized by the INTAC and Puducherry Tourism Department, the French Heritage Walk, spanning across two kilometres, is the perfect thing to take you back to the old French era. Stroll along French residential villas and Parisian street cafes, or take a visit to some of the town’s most important French monuments – the French War Memorial, the Old Light House, the Governor’s Residence, the Place de la Rebublique, and the statues of Joan of Arc and Dupleix. The Pondicherry Museum is another place you can visit to get a feel of French architecture at its finest. A holiday in Pondicherry is synonymous with savouring the authentic local cuisine. Pondicherry offers traditional French flavours mingled with local delicacies in mouth-watering dishes. If you find yourself craving for desserts, try the local chocolate mousse and the litchi stew, which are absolutely delicious. The quaint little town has something to offer to adventure seekers as well. Karaikal Beach and Paradise Beach are two of the beaches in Pondicherry that are renowned for their water sports activities such as kayaking, jet skiing, canoeing and backwater sailing. Scuba diving is also organized in Pondicherry, under the supervision of trained instructors, of course. For anyone wanting to experience the best of old-world French history and culture, Pondicherry is the place to be.

Restaurants and Local Food in Pondicherry

The food in Pondicherry is outlined with a dominant influence of the French cuisine, especially in its elements and styles. A lot of restaurants serve authentic French food - definitely the best place in India for French cuisine. Some of the popular items here are Baguettes, Croissants, Italian Baked Beans, Stuffed Cabbage and many more.

The Union Territory also derives flavours from the neighbouring South Indian states and you can find countless South Indian preparations (especially Tamil) in the city.

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Suggested Itinerary for Pondicherry

Day 1- Arrive in Pondicherry, and start your vacation by taking a boat ride from Chunnambar river to Paradise beach. There are many activities and water sports to try out at the seaside like boating, kayaking and jet skiing. Explore some of Pondicherry's well-loved restaurants and cafes like La Pasta or Cafe des Arts for dinner to end your first day.

Day 2- The second day can be spent exploring the quaint French quarters of Pondicherry. Rent a bicycle and ride through scenic and idle locales, making pit stops to have exotic French cuisine for lunch and visiting the local shopping bazaars. Get a flavour of Pondi's nightlife by spending the evening at the nightclub Asta - The Spirited lounge; great for some beers and other beverages.

Day 3 - Devote the third day to visit the famous Aurobindo Ashram. Have a calm and peaceful day exploring the Ashram's history and exhibitions, and taking part in the evening samadhi or meditation.

Day 4 - Pondicherry has much to offer its tourists, it is up to you to choose among its many tempting options! From catching the sunrise and bird watching at Ousteri lake, to spending a relaxed day sunbathing at Serenity beach, or just having a laid-back brunch with pizzas and beer at Cafe Xtasi, the choices are varied. One could also try scuba-diving for a truly magical experience underwater with the marine life and corals, which is organized by Temple Adventures, who offer options for both beginners and experts.

Best Time to Visit Pondicherry

Pondicherry Photos

Aerial view of the city on the coast side
Paradise Beach - Also Known as Plage Paradiso Situated Close to Pondicherry
Matrimandir - Situated in Auroville was Opened on February 2008

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FAQs on Pondicherry

What is the best way to reach Pondicherry?

Located in South India, Pondicherry is very well connected to the rest of the country and most major cities in the world via a good air, rail and road network.
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What is famous about Pondicherry?

Good Beaches. Get a first hand taste of French culture and architecture. Beautiful scenery. Delicious French cuisine.

What is not so good about Pondicherry?

Communicating with locals could be difficult. Summers can be very humid.

Who should visit Pondicherry?

Pondicherry is mainly a city for the explorers. The city gives you the opportunity to explore a French town in India, which is an exciting endeavour in itself. Another highlight of this beautiful city is the beautiful beaches along the Bay of Bengal. These beaches are an amazing place to relax and enjoy.

What is the best time to visit Pondicherry?

Pondicherry is best visited during the months of October to March as the temperature usually ranges between 15 - 30 degree celcius. Over the years, Pondicherry has truly been the gem of South India and an ideal vacation spot. Summers (April-June) are quite hot and the temperature touches 40 degree Celsius occasionally. Monsoons (July-September) is also a good time to visit Pondicherry despite the rainfalls. However, the best time to visit Pondicherry varies from person to person as the place transforms itself every season and celebrates a range of festivals which interest a lot of tourists.

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What is the local food in Pondicherry?

The food in Pondicherry is outlined with a dominant influence of the French cuisine, especially in its elements and styles. A lot of restaurants serve authentic French food - definitely the best place in India for French cuisine. Some of the popular items here are Baguettes, Croissants, Italian Baked Beans, Stuffed Cabbage and many more.

The Union Territory also derives flavours from the neighbouring South Indian states and you can find countless South Indian preparations (especially Tamil) in the city.

Read more about Cafes in Pondicherry
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How much does a package cost for Pondicherry?

The packages for Pondicherry start at INR 6768 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Pondicherry?

There are 526 in Pondicherry which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Pondicherry are Traditional 1BHK Stay near Pondicherry City Centre, Serene 2BHK Dwell in Pondicherry City Centre, Standard 1BHK near Pondicherry City Centre, Hotel O M Residency, Compact Studio Home near Pondicherry City Centre, Elegant 1BR Homestay in Auroville. You can see all the hotels in Pondicherry here

What are the things to do in Pondicherry?

The top things to do in Pondicherry are Paradise Beach, Pondicherry, Aurobindo Ashram, Cafes in Pondicherry, Auroville, Seaside Promenade, Scuba Diving in Pondicherry. You can see all the places to visit in Pondicherry here

What are the places near Pondicherry?

The top places near to Pondicherry are Auroville which is 10 km from Pondicherry, Vedanthangal which is located 68 km from Pondicherry, Chidambram which is located 58 km from Pondicherry, Chennai which is located 136 km from Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram which is located 89 km from Pondicherry

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Popular Questions And Answers on Pondicherry

Q. I wish to go Pondicherry this June......is it the best time....? also I would like to know about rent car and motor vehicle if available.

Mukundan Sri Ram

5 years ago
The best time to visit in from September to march as mentioned in this app as the weather will be perfect and it'll be neither be raining or it'll be hot.. n As it's always better to travel in 2 whee (Read More)ler. And if you guys are more then 4 people with a lot of luggage, car is preferable.
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Q. Im planning to do a road trip to Pondicherry on bike. which is the best motorable route to Pondicherry from Bangalore? and suggestions where to stay?


5 years ago
There are two distinct routes from Bangalore to Pondicherry. One route passes through Hosur and leads to Krishnagiri, followed by Chengam and Thiruvannamalai. The other route passes through Hoskote f (Read More)ollowed by Kolara, Mulbagilu, Palamner, Pallikonda, Vellore and Arani. Both these routes converge at Gingee, lead to Tindalvanam and reach the destination Pondicherry. One can juggle between two routes by taking a diversion from the first route in Krishnagiri towards Ambur and reach Pallikonda and continue with the second route. All three routes take you through a beautiful journey. You can take a look at a list of hotels in Pondicherry on Holidify.com. All the best.
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Pondicherry Reviews

Your rating

Ken Chiramel

5 years ago
A former French colony, Pondicherry is steeped with the trappings of its colonial past. Areas such as White Town and the French Quarter are scattered with the iconic mustard-yellow buildings, boutiqu (Read More)es that sell artisanal clothing, and restaurants that serve up sumptuous fares and freshly caught seafood. The Promenade hugs the coastline along with the salty smell of the sea and makes for a lovely walk along the rocky beaches of Pondicherry. Paradise beach offers people the opportunity to take up surfing lessons and gives them a chance to take on a few waves. Auroville, a township built on the understanding that anybody from anywhere in the world can come and live in, and is a community with an almost mystical quality about it. At the centre of Auroville lies the Matrimandir, an enormous monument that is built with golden spheres meant to symbolise communal harmony.

Rohit Shroff

5 years ago
Pondicherry is a really nice place. I had gone there last week in April with my wife and I stayed there for 2 nights. We roamed around the White Town, which is a lovely area because of French Heritag (Read More)e and amazing architecture. We also went to Auroville by taking a cab for the entire day. We went to many cafes and enjoyed the food. We also went to the seaside and the walking area is very nice. The Pondicherry museum is also nice. It was very hot in the day time, so we did not go out as much, but the evenings were nice and windy. Highly recommended place to go, especially if you are in South India.

Prithwiraj Deb

on Paradise Beach 3 years ago
Golden Sand, seren surrounding, pleasant experience.
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