Officially named Puducherry, Pondicherry is a Union Territory in the southern part of India. Though recorded only from the colonial times, its history is quite rich as it was ruled by various peoples like the Dutch, Portuguese, French and British. This longtime foreign occupation has left this city with numerous heritage buildings dating to the contemporary times. Its location on the mesmerizing Bay of Bengal coast is yet another reason people throng it from across the globe. Sandy beaches, lined by the azure sea on one side and lush palms on the other, are a major draw for tourists.
Peace seekers also visit this coastal destination as it is home to several ashrams, churches, temples and spiritual sites. For culture enthusiasts, Pondicherry has many insightful museums. The best time to visit Pondicherry is the winter season owing to pleasant temperature and sunny mornings. As the number of tourists coming here is high, so is the rate at which the hotels in Pondicherry are increasing. The hotels range from luxury to economy in category, and you can book a room at these as per your budget. FabHotels has several budget hotels in Pondicherry that are easily accessible owing to their central location. Apart from direct connectivity to popular attractions, you also enjoy a comfortable stay with all modern amenities in clean and well-lit rooms.
Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry
Whether you are a nature lover, adventurer, peace seeker or culture enthusiast, you will find loads of attractions worth visiting. Here are the 5 most famous places of interest in the town:
- Promenade Beach
- Heritage Town
- Aurobindo Ashram
- Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
To experience the colonial charm of Pondicherry first hand, you can stay at economy hotels in Heritage Town, such as FabHotel Thaneegai Residency Muthialpet and FabHotel Esparan Heritage. Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Rock Beach, Puducherry Museum, Puducherry Science Centre and Planetarium, French War Memorial, Arikamedu, and Old Lighthouse are other popular attractions in the Union Territory. You can also enjoy a range of exciting watersports like surfing, bodyboarding and scuba diving.
Shopping and Dining in Pondicherry
Apart from a famous tourist hub, the city of Pondicherry is also a paradise for shoppers as it is home to numerous boutiques and curio stores. You can purchase textiles like satin, corduroy, twill, Oxford, chambray, khadi and cambric. The town is also a good place to buy clayware and ceramic items made in the region. You can also purchase leather products that are made the traditional way; hence, highly treasured by customers. Mission Street is the place to shop for shoes, fabrics, incense and essential oils. If you are looking for earthenware, then check out the boutiques on Nehru Street. Being on the coast, Pondicherry has a wide variety of seafood, the best of which you can get at Goubert Market. Another popular retail hub, New Town is known for its furnishings and furniture stores.
Dining in the city is an experience to remember owing to the loads of French-inspired cafés here. This is one of the best places in the country for authentic Continental dishes as many of the dining venues here are owned and run by Europeans. The best restaurants in Pondicherry are Auroville Bakery, Café des Arts, Café Xtasi, Le Dupleix, Tanto Pizzeria, La Maree, Surguru, Bay of Buddha, Satsanga, Café Ole, Kasha Ki Asha and Carte Blanche. Appachi, Le Pondy, Lighthouse Rooftop Grill, Farm Fresh and Sea Gulls, Baker Street, Right Path Café, Le Café, Café Artika, Le Club, Café de Flore and Villa Shanti are other good options.
How to Reach Pondicherry
As it is a popular tourist hub, Pondicherry is well connected to the rest of the country by road and rail. National Highways 332 and 32, and State Highway 203 connect it to all parts of South India. If you are coming from Chennai or heading there, you can drive on State Highway 49, also known as East Coast Road, which runs parallel to the coast. FabHotel Rithikha Inn Manapakkam and FabHotel Colors Apart Santhome are among the best pocket-friendly hotels in Chennai. You can take a train to Pondicherry Junction from Delhi, Mangalore, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.