Must Visit Places in Pondicherry
The beach is frequented by locals and tourists during the weekends and gets extremely crowded. Visitors are not allowed to booze around at this beach and swimming at Paradise Beach is not advisable. However, you can rent a fishing rod from the nearby shop and try your hand at fishing.
Timings: The opening hours from 9 am to 5 pm
Location: 40, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located at a distance of 8 kilometres from the bus stand
Suggested Read: Places to visit in Pondicherry in One Day
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
One of the most peaceful and spiritual Tourist Places in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry is well-known across the world and was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo. The ashram is sprawling and has libraries. It hosts many physical education activities such as sports, asanas, strength training, and swimming.
At the centre of the ashram is the Samadhi or mausoleum of Sri Aurobindo under a frangipani tree. If you have an inclination towards spirituality, yoga, and meditation, this ashram is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry to find your inner self.
Timings: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Near Junction of Manakula Vinayagar No. 9 Marine Street, Manakula Vinayagar Koil St, Near Junction of, Puducherry, 605002
Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand: Sri Aurobindo Ashram is situated at a distance of 2.6 km from the bus station which is a journey of 9 minutes.
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Coveted as the “City of Dawn”, Auroville Ashram is a futuristic township that is the brainchild of the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Auroville aims to unite humans from all walks of life and from all parts of the world against barriers like caste, creed, status, and religion and to let them live in harmony with one another and it is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry.
The huge golden globe-like structure at the center of Auroville is the Matrimandir, which is actually a massive meditation center where one could just sit and focus on one's inner self. While building this township, soil from 124 countries was brought to the ashram and were put together in an urn and mixed. Today, one can find the urn in the amphitheater amidst Matrimandir Gardens.
Location: Viluppuram District, Pondicherry, India.
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located at a distance of 14 kilometres from the bus stand.
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Activity Location: Pondicherry
Activity Timings: 7 hours (Open from 6:45 AM to 13:00 PM)
About Scuba Diving In Pondicherry:
Pondicherry implies the only diving spot on the eastern coast of India, attracting a large number of tourists every year. Enjoy this splendid scuba diving in Pondicherry and explore the aquatic life and the underwater world - comprising of unique water creatures, beautiful reefs, underwater caves, colorful fishes, fascinating aquatic creatures, and a variety of marine flora. Undergo the fun with safety gears, where you can also opt for underwater videos and pictures at an additional cost.
Prep up for your dive sessions after early morning breakfast, from where you board the dive shuttle. Get the adrenaline rush pumping as you scuba dive and witness natural coral reefs, rocky pop-ups, man-made folds, and a plethora of marine organisms!
Note: The minimum age required for the activity is 10 yrs.
Pondicherry has a naturally formed rocky promenade that has become one of the most sought-after places to visit in Pondicherry by photographers. This naturally scenic place with refreshing cool sea-breeze is perfect for long strolls and fun-filled gala time with your loved ones.
There are several restaurants around this posh area offering a culinary feast. You can also find hawkers selling peanuts and cotton candies by the promenade. If one picture has to mark your presence in Pondicherry, then a picture at the Promenade Pondicherry does the job perfectly well!
Location: White Town, Pondicherry
The beautiful beach offers surfing and serves a great spot to laze around under the shade with your book or just enjoy the company of your loved ones with a refreshing day in Pondicherry.
Location: Kottakuppam, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located about 7 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus Stand
Suggested Read: Beach Resorts of Pondicherry for perfect vacation
Dive deep into the history with this archaeological site of South India, Arikamedu. It was built back in the 19th century and is adorned with Roman lamps, glassware, stone beads, and several other things and it is one of the less explored places to visit in Pondicherry.
The emporium was lately used for archaeological excavations and features a number of Red and black ceramic statues. If you are a history buff then you must not forget to add this destination in your list of places to visit in Pondicherry.
Timings: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Price: INR 10 for adults, INR 5 for kids, and INR 50 for foreign Nationals.
Location: Ariyankuppam, Puducherry 605007
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx. 7.1 km
Located in the pristine “City of Dawn”, Auroville, this is one of Pondicherry famous places and extremely hyped beach, and rightly so. Tucked neatly in the corner of a forest, Auroville beach is the perfect definition of serene and exotic. The beach is a favorite amongst surfers and its shallow waters make it perfect even for beginners.
The beach is often used by ashramites for relaxing, thus further enhancing the calming atmosphere. If you are looking for a soulful escapade then this is the right place for you.
Timings: 24 hours open.
Price: No fee
Location: Auroville beach, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 8.4 km
Also known as "Plage Paradiso", Chunnambar Boathouse is a spectacular boating and picnic spot located on the backwaters where the Chunnambar River meets the Bay of Bengal. At Chunnambar, you can sun lounge and get sun-kissed and even play beach sports with your family and friends and one of the famous places to visit in Pondicherry.
You can also enjoy boating in motorboats, speed boats, sailboats, rowed boats, water scooters, paddled boats, and pedalled boats and sail through the placid backwaters amidst thick mangrove trees. There are many restaurants here that serve delicious, piping-hot Chinese and Tandoori food. Adventure lovers can enjoy jet skiing and have an unlimited thrill.
From Chunnambar Boathouse, there are frequent ferry services to Paradise Beach.
Timings: 9:30AM - 4:00PM
Price: Entry fee is Rs. 10 per head, with extra charges for different water sports.
Location: National Highway 45A | Near Water Sports Complex, Nonankuppam, Pondicherry, India
Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand: The two places are 6.4 k away. If you travel via Cuddalore Road, it will take around 15 minutes to reach the destination.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
It is known for having the glass pictures of 28 saints and many glass panels depict the life of Jesus adding to the interesting sights of this church in Pondicherry.
Timings: The mass timings here are 5:30 am, 12:30 pm and 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. For Sunday, the mass timings are 5:30 am, 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Location: MG Road Area, Puducherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 2 kilometres away from Pondicherry bus stand
The Pondicherry Botanical Garden
Spread across 22 acres of land, The Pondicherry Botanical Garden is one of the no-miss Pondicherry sightseeing places. This lush green garden was built by the French colonists who brought exotic plant species from all across the globe and nurtured them here.
Today, the garden boasts of 1500 species of plants and there are placards that indicate the species' names and their common name. Additional information like the uses of the tree, the amount of oxygen generated and its medicinal value make this outsmart other Tourist Places in Pondicherry. The main entrance of the garden characterises the French architecture.
Timings: 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Location: Marimalai, Maraimalai Adigal Salai, Near Anna Statue, Orleanpet, Puducherry, 605001
Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand: The distance between Pondicherry bus stand and botanical gardens is 1km and it takes nearly 2-3 minutes to travel.
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This interesting spot in Pondicherry is a delightful visit for those fond of history and looking for places to try their hand on photography.
Location:23, Goubert Ave, White Town, Puducherry, 605001
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It can be reached at a distance of 3 km from the bus stand in Pondicherry.
Jawahar Toy Museum
Showcasing a variety of toys the Jawahar toy Museum is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry with kids. The museum features as many as 120 dolls with vibrant colored costumes and styles. The dolls are collected from various states and wear the traditional costumes of the region.
This is one of the rare museums and is a perfect place to learn about the culture of different verticals of the Indian map. The doll collection is from Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, and several other states.
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days
Price: INR 10 for adults and INR 5 for kids.
Location: Old Light House on Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx. 2.5 km
French War Memorial
Located at Goubert Avenue, The French War Memorial is one of the major historical places to visit in Pondicherry. The memorial was built as a homage to the valiant soldiers who laid their lives to rest during the World War I.
On 14th July every year, on the occasion of Bastille Day (French National Day), the memorial is decorated with lights and locals and tourists gather here to pay their respect. The memorial is truly an architectural magnificence and stands tall telling untold stories of the war.
Timings: 10:00 A.M to 17:00 PM
Location: Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry 605001, India
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The Pondicherry Museum
This art and history museum in Pondicherry has an enviable collection of 81 intricately carved bronze sculptures from the Chola empire. Apart from the bronze statues collected from the Chola and Pallava dynasties, the museum also houses artefacts from the archaeological excavations at Arikamedu that takes one on time travel to centuries before
It takes two full hours to witness all the collections on display. While most Pondicherry famous places are open all through the week, the museum is closed on all Mondays.
Timings: 9:00AM - 6:30PM
Location: Easwaran Kovil Street, Canteen St, Puducherry, 605001
Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand: Pondicherry museum is located at a distance of just 3 KM from bus stand.
Other Places to Visit in Pondicherry
The beach does get crowded on weekends but still is well-maintained and clean. There are many restaurants and eateries along the shoreline to savor some scrumptious snacks. Visit the beach at the morning hours when the beach is less crowded and witness the ball of fire rising from the blue water in its full glory.
Timings: It is open for 24 hours
Price: Entry Free
Location: White Town, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Rock Beach is located 3 km away from the bus stand in Pondicherry.
Activity location: Pondicherry
Activity timings: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
About Shopping in Pondy Bazaar:
Experience shopping in Pondicherry, home to various fashionable clothes, jewelry, indoor home decor, and even stylish shoes there is a lot you can find at this bazaar. When visiting such a busy and generally filled place navigating your way can be difficult, there will be a local and experienced guide to show you around and narrate you some local stories. This activity is suitable for all ages.
Mahatma Gandhi Statue
Encompassed by a garden, it is an interesting point of interest for many people in Pondicherry Tourist Places.
Location: Beach Rd, White Town, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 3.7 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus-stand
Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam)
The Park Monument or the Aayi Mandapam is one of the interesting Pondicherry tourist places that has a beautiful history to it. A woman named Aayi gave her own house to erect a water reservoir to supply water for the city. Today, the Park Monument stands tall in the middle of the Bharati Government Park.
This reservoir was built during the time of Napoleon III, a French Emperor, and this white monument has become one of the iconic structures of Pondicherry.
Timings: 8 am – 8 pm
Location: 20, Rue Saint Gilles Street, White Town, Puducherry, 605001
Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand: It takes just 11 minutes to cover the distance of 2.5 km between bus stand and Aayi Mandapam.
Also Read: Experience the Adventure activities in Pondicherry
Bharati Government Park
Bharathi Park is located in the central region of the old colonial town of Pondicherry and is the primary lung space and one of the soothing Tourist Places in Pondicherry. The park is covered in lush greenery with well-maintained lawns. The seasonal flowers and the fountain accentuates the beauty of the park and offers a peaceful space to spend an evening with family and friends.
At the centre of the park lies the magnificent Aayi Mandapam or the Park Monument built in Greco-Roman architecture. If you are visiting the park with kids, do not miss taking them to the kids' play area, that features many play equipment like swings and slides making it top the list of Pondicherry famous places with family and kids.
Timings: 6:30AM - 8:30PM
Location: 20, Rue Saint Gilles Street, White Town, Puducherry, 605001
Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 2.5 km from the Pondicherry bus stand. So you would not take more than 10 minutes to travel in between the two places.
This important freshwater lake is recognised as an IUCN designated wetland and a source of many beautiful migratory birds who flock here.
Timings: The visiting hours at Ousteri Lake is from 9 am to 5 pm
Price: The ticket price at Ousteri Lake varies according to the choice of boat you wish to hire
Location: It is located about 10 kms from Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Ousteri Lake is situated 10 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand
Statue of Dupleix
Situated at the end of the Rock Beach, this statue is a pleasant visit for those interested in history and visit the children’s park where it is located.
Location: Marquis Dupleix Goubert Ave Street, Duppuypet, Puducherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 2.6 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
There are also many relics and statues of Joan of Arc which makes it worth a visit. One should visit the church on Sunday where the only mass is celebrated in Pondicherry.
Timings: Its open from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm
Location: Rue Dumas, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 2 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
One must visit Immaculate Conception Cathedral when mass services are performed to appreciate the spiritual ambiance of this place of worship.
Timings: It is open from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm and then from 3:00 to 8:30 pm
Location: Mission St, MG Road Area, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: The bus stand is 2.2 kilometres away from Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Varadaraja Perumal Temple
The temple looks the most beautiful when it is decorated during the festivals of Diwali, Pongal and Tamil New Year.
Timings: The timings are from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and then from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Price: Entrance is free
Location: Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Heritage Town, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: The temple is located 2.5 kilometres away from Pondicherry bus stand
Cluny Embroidery Centre
Along with appreciating the brilliant work done at this heritage French bungalow, Cluny Embroidery Centre offers many shopping opportunities for tourists.
Timings: It is open from 8:30am-12pm and 2pm-5pm daily
Price: INR 2000-15000/ USD 30-230
Location: White Town, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 3 kilometres from Cluny Embroidery Centre
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Manakula Vinayagar Temple is one of the very ancient Hindu temples in India that is believed to be built before the 15th century. Manakulam translates to "sand pond" in Tamil and this temple is dedicated to Bhavaneshar Ganapathy (Ganesha). The temple is built in the royal Tamilian style of temples with a sprawling mandapam, raja gopuram and praharam and the walls have astounding paintings of events from Hindu mythology.
The chariot at this temple is the key attraction here which is made from 7.5 kg of gold and teak wood. Visit this temple during the Vijayadasami day of Dussehra when the Lord is carried out on this richly ornate chariot for people to witness. A list of places to visit in Pondicherry is never complete without Manakula Vinayagar Temple.
Timings: 5:45 AM - 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Manakula Vinayagar Koil St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001
Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand: The temple stands at a distance of 2.7 km from the bus stand. It is hardly a 10 minutes journey. If you are Lord Ganesa devotee, this is good news for you.
Kanniga Parameswari Temple
The elaborate design of this temple makes it a must-visit for photography lovers in Pondicherry sightseeing.
Timings: This temple is kept open from 6 am to 11 am them from 5 pm to 8 pm.
Price: Entrance fees is free.
Location: M.G. Road, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 2.5 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
Tourists can visit ISKCON Pondicherry to seek meditative relaxation and enjoy the bhajans and artis dedicated to the lord.
Timings: The timings at ISKCON Pondicherry is from 5 am to 8:30 pm.
Location: No. 2-B, 7th Cross Corner, Krishna Nagar Main Road, Krishna Nagar, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 3.1 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus Stand.
Ousteri Wetland and National Park
One of the most fantastic Pondicherry sightseeing is the Ousteri Wetland and National Park that features a hundred-year-old man-made lake. The park showcases a wide collection of flora and fauna that is a true delight to the eyes.
At this time, several migratory birds flock here and can be spotted in different segments of the park. Whether you are a nature buff or a bird lover, this is the perfect place for you.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Price: Free of charge
Location: Pondicherry-Villupuram road, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 10 km.
Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple
The unique temple is oriented towards north while the entrance faces south as the Indian tradition considers Shiva as the Teacher of the South
Timings: The opening timings are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: It is located on the beach at Pudhukuppam
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 17 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand.
The Ganesh Garden
All those who appreciate the company of nature, Ganesh Garden is a great place to discover Pondicherry.
Timings: It remains open from 9 am to 11 am and then from 4 to 6 pm
Location: Ramaraja St, MG Road Area, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 2 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand.
Visitors at Veerampattinam beach can also watch the fishermen who work with their traditional nets to catch their daily fish.
Location: Veerampattinam, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 10 kilometres from the bus stand
Some of the famous dishes offered on its menu are pork chops, peri peri chicken, pasta etc.
Timings: The opening hours at Café Xtasi are from 11 am to 11 pm
Price: INR 900/ USD 14 for two
Location: Shop No.245, Mission Street, MG Road Area, Opposite VOC School, Pondicherry
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is situated 2.3 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus stand
Another one in the array of Tourist Places in Pondicherry is the Goubert Market that is located on the edge of the French Quarter of Vellala Street. The market is dotted with a number of vegetables, fish, and grocery shops.
Apart from this, here you can also find shops brimming with leather goods, intricate jewelry, and trendy apparel that will make you awe-struck. Get your shopping bags and explore the streets of the Goubert market of Pondicherry!
Timings: 24 hours open
Location: Subaiya Nagar, Pudupalaiyam, Puducherry, 605005
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 2 km
Arched with the trails of coconut trees and sparkling golden sands, Pudukuppam Beach is one of the most serene tourist places in Pondicherry. With the laid back vibes of the beach, you can soothe your soul.
One must not dare to miss out on the sunset and sunrise time as the displays are beautiful. You can stroll along with your partner on the beach or just splash the waves with your family!
Timings: 24 hours open
Location: Chinnaiyan Peth Main Road | 8 Km away from Town, Pondicherry 605013, India
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 20.4 km
Locally called the Institute for Yoga Education and Research this is one of the tranquil Pondicherry tourist places. This is the place where you can learn about the various postures of yoga and even attain a degree in the same.
Apart from keeping the yoga sessions here, one can also learn about the origin and benefits of practicing yoga.
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Mettu Street, 605104, Chinna Mudaliyar Chavady
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 7 km
Pondicherry is also home to the beautiful 350-year-old Meeran Mosque (commonly called as Meerapalli), built-in classic Gothic Islamic Style by the Arcot Nawabs.
An extremely important place of worship for Muslims, it’s beauty is further brought out by the Bronze Kallasa located out on the front-facing minaret with the main dome being held together by four pillars. Don’t forget to add this beautiful mosque in your list of places to visit in Pondicherry as it is worth-visiting!
Timings: 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Location: Yanam Vengadasalam Pillai St, MG Road Area, Puducherry, 605001
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 2.5 km
One can spend hours at this striking beautiful beach enjoying the sight of the boats sailing ahead, basking in the resonating sound of the waves and breathing in the fresh and salty ocean air. Photo buffs can take amazing photos with crowd-free backgrounds at this beach!
Location: Kottakuppam, Puducherry, 605101
Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand: Reppo beach is located at a distance of just 10 Kms from bus stand
Ananda Ranga Pillai Mansion
Famed as one of the oldest places to visit in Pondicherry, the Ananda Ranga Pillai Mansion is located opposite to the Grand Bazaar. This mighty mansion features a blend of different architectural styles that is Asian and European.
While the lower floors are adorned with the wooden pillars the upper floor resembles the European Gothic designs. In 1761, a lot of structures were ransacked by the Britishers but this magnificent mansion managed to stay intact.
Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Price: INR 10 for adults and INR 50 for foreign Nationals
Location: Ananda Ranga Pillai Mansion
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 2.5 km
Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple
One of the holy places to visit in Pondicherry is the Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple that is built intricately. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and devotees from different corners come here to seek his blessings.
Though, one can clearly spot the French influence at the temple with the varied traditions. At this temple, a car festival is organized that showcases the French connection.
Timings: 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Location: E Car St, Villianur, Puducherry 605110
Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Approx 8 km