Its unique blend of French and Indian cultures characterizes Pondicherry. Situated along the Bay of Bengal, the town is adorned with beautiful beaches, quaint streets, colonial architecture, and offers the best things to do in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry, is a captivating Union Territory on the east coast of India.
A former French colony, Pondicherry still preserves its French influence. With its charming French Quarter featuring stunning buildings, cozy cafes, and boutiques. Bougainvillaea-draped buildings line the streets, adding to the town’s allure.
The renowned Aurobindo Ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, is a spiritual hub attracting visitors from around the globe. Its serene atmosphere and spiritual teachings make it a popular destination for seekers of inner peace.
Pondicherry is also home to the experimental township of Auroville, known for its unique philosophy of harmonious living. Auroville welcomes individuals from all walks of life to come together and work towards a sustainable and progressive society.
The town’s coastline boasts picturesque beaches like Paradise Beach, Promenade Beach, and Auroville Beach. These sandy shores provide opportunities for relaxation, strolls along the shoreline, and water activities like surfing and kayaking.
Transitioning from the bustling city streets to the serenity of the rural countryside. Visitors can explore the picturesque villages of Pondicherry, dotted with traditional Tamil houses and lush greenery. Paddy fields and coconut groves add to the rural charm of this region.
Things to Do in Pondicherry
Ousteri Lake, also known as Lac Oustéri, is a picturesque lake located in the union territory of Puducherry, India. Spanning approximately 800 hectares. The lake is a blend of natural and artificial elements, created by the French and transformed into a wetland. It is the largest lake in Puducherry, with around 390 hectares falling within Puducherry and the rest in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Ousteri Lake offers a serene and scenic environment for visitors to enjoy various activities. Boating is a popular choice, allowing visitors to explore the lake and appreciate its tranquil beauty. Birdwatching enthusiasts will also find delight in the diverse avian species that inhabit the lake and its surrounding wetlands.
Temple Adventures Centre
Temple Adventures Centre in Pondicherry is the ultimate gateway for scuba diving enthusiasts and adventurous souls. Established in 2008 by Rob Partridge and Dave Hearn. Temple Adventures is a premier 5-star PADI Instructor Development SCUBA diving center in India. With over 15 years of experience, their dive school offers a range of exciting courses and experiences to explore. The mesmerizing underwater world of scuba diving.
For those interested in trying scuba diving, Temple Adventures offers a “PADI Discover Scuba Diving” program which includes theory sessions, swimming pool training, and a sea dive, allowing participants to experience the magical underwater world and dive into the Bay of Bengal.
If you are looking to get certified as a scuba diver, Temple Adventures provides the PADI Open Water Course. Led by experienced instructors and course director Walter Schmitt, these courses can be conducted in various languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Tamil, and Hindi.
Green Quarter is a charming and eco-friendly neighborhood located in the heart of Pondicherry. Aptly named for its abundant green spaces, lush gardens, and serene environment, this residential area is known for its sustainable practices, promoting a greener lifestyle and a greater connection with nature.
One of the highlights of Green Quarter is its emphasis on organic gardening. Many residents have their own vegetable gardens, where they grow a variety of plants using natural and environmentally friendly methods. Walking through the neighborhood, you’ll be greeted by beautiful flowers, fresh herbs, and thriving fruit trees.
The community in Green Quarter also encourages recycling, waste segregation, and composting, aiming to reduce their environmental footprint. There are communal compost pits where residents contribute their organic waste, which is then used to nourish the gardens and promote sustainable agriculture.
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Goubert Avenue, also known as Beach Road, is a scenic promenade located along the Bay of Bengal in Pondicherry. The avenue stretches for approximately 1.5 kilometers, starting from the War Memorial and ending at Dupleix Park.
Goubert Avenue is a popular spot for taking leisurely walks, jogging, and cycling while enjoying a beautiful view of the ocean. The avenue is lined with towering palm trees and well-manicured gardens, providing a perfect ambiance for relaxation and rejuvenation.
One of the key attractions of Goubert Avenue is the scenic view of the sea. Visitors can witness the breathtaking view of waves crashing onto the rocky shore and soak in the tranquility of the ocean’s blue expanse, making it a perfect spot for watching sunsets.
The promenade is also home to some of the most iconic and historically significant landmarks in Pondicherry. One of them is the famous statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which stands tall and proud just opposite to the statue of Jeanne d’Arc, a French national hero.
Sita Cultural Centre
The Sita Cultural Centre is a cultural space in Pondicherry that celebrates arts and traditions. Located at No-22, Kandappa Mudaliar St, MG Road Area, it serves as a Franco-Indian training and educational centre.
The center offers a variety of activities and workshops for visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. They organize regular classes on traditional dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Indian martial arts such as Kalaripayattu. Additionally, they provide fun and interesting workshops where participants can learn to cook, create mehndi designs on hand, and draw Kolam designs.
With its diverse range of offerings, the Sita Cultural Centre aims to provide a rich and immersive cultural experience for both locals and tourists in Pondicherry. Visitors can participate in various classes and workshops to learn about and appreciate the traditions and arts of the region.
Zero House is a unique and innovative concept in sustainable architecture and eco-friendly living. It is designed to have zero impact on the environment by incorporating various sustainable design features and technologies.
The Zero House is built with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in terms of energy, water, and waste management. It utilizes renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity. Water conservation is another key aspect of the Zero House. It employs rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for various household uses. Waste management in the Zero House focuses on recycling and composting.
Chunnambar Boat House
The Chunnambar Boat House is a popular attraction in Pondicherry, located near the Water Sports Complex in Nonankuppam. It offers a serene and picturesque setting with beaches and backwaters, providing visitors with a tranquil environment to relax and enjoy various activities.
One of the main attractions at Chunnambar Boat House is boating. Visitors can hire boats, including pedal boats and motorboats, to explore the backwaters and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area. Water sports like jet skiing and banana boat rides are also available for those seeking adventure.
The boat house is surrounded by lush greenery, making it an ideal location for picnics and family outings. Visitors can spend time at the beach, indulge in beach activities, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Accommodation options are also available at Chunnambar Boat House. Visitors can rent cottages or beach huts for a comfortable stay near the beach and backwaters. This allows for an immersive experience in the midst of nature.
Dune Eco Village Tour
The Dune Eco Village & Dune Healing Center is an eco-friendly beach resort located in Puducherry, sprawling across 35 acres of rich gardens and untouched nature. The village offers a unique experience with 62 bungalows and rooms that blend traditional and modern architecture.
The Dune Eco Village Tour allows visitors to explore this beautiful resort and its surroundings. Designed like a small riverine village, the property features red soil pathways leading to cottages and houses nestled among rolling green lawns. Coconut groves surround the resort, creating a plantation-like atmosphere.
During the tour, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy various activities and amenities offered by the Dune Eco Village. The resort features a spa and healing center, where guests can indulge in Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, and meditation. The serene environment of the resort makes it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.
To book a tour or learn more about the Dune Eco Village, you can visit their official website. They provide detailed information about their services, accommodations, and activities, ensuring a memorable experience for their guests.
Golden Bridge Pottery Centre
Golden Bridge Pottery Centre is located in Pondicherry, India and it is well-known for its contributions in training Indians in the art of ceramics, producing functional ware, and Ray Meeker’s experiments in building clay houses. It was the first studio in South India to begin producing hand-thrown glazed stoneware, starting in 1971. The centre has been responsible for training a generation of Indian ceramicists and continues to be a hub for pottery enthusiasts.
The Golden Bridge Pottery Centre was founded by Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith in 1971. The centre has been instrumental in training and empowering the local pottery community by providing education, artistic guidance, and creating job opportunities. The centre has also collaborated with local artists and designers to produce ceramics with unique designs and styles. Visitors can witness the pottery-making process and explore the centre’s gallery, which showcases the work of local artists and artisans.
Cluny Embroidery Centre
Cluny Embroidery Centre is a renowned center located in Pondicherry, India. The local convent runs the center, which focuses on providing work opportunities to impoverished women in the community, and is housed in a beautiful 18th-century building. The center dedicates itself to the art of embroidery, showcasing stunning hand-embroidered motifs on various types of linen. Visitors can explore a world of vibrant hues and delicate shades as they admire the inspired masterpieces created by the skilled women at the center.
Cluny Embroidery Centre has earned high regard for its craftsmanship and positive reviews from visitors and tourists. It stands as one of the top shopping destinations in Pondicherry, offering a unique selection of specialty and gift items. The center is open for visitation during specific hours, usually from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.