Affectionately known as Pondy, Pondicherry and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry in Tamil (New Town) since 2006.
here is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for rather pleasant mix of East and West. It is also known as The French Riviera of the East (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est). If you've spent some time in Tamil Nadu and approached Pondicherry by land, you'll very likely experience mild culture shock on discovering French architecture and restaurants serving steak and good wine.
One can cover all main points of Pondicherry on a day-trip (about 8 hours) if you have private vehicle. Two days are more than enough cover all spots leisurely. Anything more if you want to take things very slow and enjoy the city.
Pondicherry is well connected from all sides. Chennai is situated 160 km north of the city (99 miles). Getting to Pondicherry involves a three hour road journey from Chennai. Pondicherry is about 320 km from Bangalore.
Pondicherry is connected to Chennai by an electric broad gauge railway line through Villupuram.
Bangalore Yesvanthapur(YPR) to Podicherry(PDY) is connected by a 3-Tier AC Train called Garibh Rath Express. It covers a distance of 456 kilometres in each direction however it takes 10 hours 5 mins
Pondicherry has an airport with facilities for the landing of small aircraft like Dornier, Cessna, etc.
The best way to see Pondicherry and its surrounding areas is by renting out a "pedal cycle" or a "motorcycle" or "gearless scooter". Within city, walking is great option as many sights are within 2-3 kilometers of each other. There are several rental outlets on Mission St and MG Rd.
The Pondicherry Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has daily bus services for tourists and it covers all the important tourist spots to be seen in Pondicherry.
Places to see
- The Beach / Promenade
- The French Quarter
- Barathi Park / Government Park
Churches - particularly Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus opposite Railway Station
- Botanical garden - Chunnambar Boat House Oustery Lake
- S-CAPEBOX - Live Escape Room Games @Mudaliarpet - 5 themed rooms available - Rs.200/- per person per theme
- Paradise Beach - accessible from Chunnambar Boat House on motor boat 200/- per person
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram -
- Auroville International city
- Matri Mandir in Auroville
- Manakula Vinayagar Temple - temple elephant Laxmi is a joy to see
- Villianur - St. Lourd Church (7Km from Pondicherry towards Villupuram)
- Villianur Thirukameeswarar Temple
- Auro Beach (Opposite to Auroville City)
- Goubert market
- Muslim quarter and the several mosques (near train station)
- The Museum is a jumble with no coherence and almost no French content.
- French war memorial
- Old light house