Pondicherry is now renamed as Puducherry. It is located on the south-eastern coast of India, facing the Bay of Bengal. It is always different from other tourism destinations of the country. Ruled by the French for more than three hundred years, Puducherry has retained its Indian heritage in addition to French influences on it.
The wonderful buildings made by the French stand as glorious examples of the classic French architectures. The French and the Indian culture have mixed in this lovely town to bring out a very acceptable social culture. These factors added with picturesque landscape have made the place a favourite tourist destination.
Most attractive tourist spots in Pondicherry
French Fort Louis is one of the important monuments and one of the tourist attractions in Puducherry. According to historical sources, the French Fort Louis was constructed around the year 1709. It has a pentagonal shape and boasts of five bastions and a couple of gates. The exciting part of the fort is the underground chambers. These chambers were made to store arms, ammunition and other commodities.
Aayi Mandapam is one of the major tourist attractions of the city. According to the histories, it was built during the 16th century. It was named after a lady courtesan called Aayi who abolished her own house to a water reservoir to supply water for the city. At that time Napoleon III was the ruler of France. Later on, the French authority named the palace to remember her contribution to the city. The Aayi Mandapam monument was built in the Greco-Roman style of architecture.
Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum claims to fame for the renowned dubash of Francios Dupleix, the former governor-general of the French colonies in the Indian subcontinent.
The French War Memorial in Puducherry, a fitting tribute to the valiant warriors, is another talking point of the Union Territory’s heritage. A highlighting factor of the French War Memorial is the gala Bastille Day celebration on 14 July when the monument is all decked and illuminated to look its best. The pomp and grandeur of the celebrations are tinged with sentiment and nostalgia that arouse the patriotic fervour in tourists along with the inhabitants.
The Aurobinda Ashram is the most favourite spot for the tourists and pilgrims in Puducherry. The great patriot, nationalist, philosopher, spiritual leader and guru Sri Aurobindo Ghosh spent his last phase of the life of spiritual awakening here. The great thinker was so popular in this part of the country that till today he is adored and respected with the same fervour.
The Ashram, the home of ‘The Mother’ and Sri Aurobindo during their Pondicherry halt, was built in 1926. Now it is maintained by a registered Trust Body. The sprawling complex of the Ashram is the residence of one thousand and five hundred members. People from all over the country and from all parts of the world have taken membership of the Sri Aurobindo Society.
The 19th Century Light House in Puducherry stands pretty on the Red Hills in Gorimedu. It is located at a distance of five kilometres from the western border of the city, being one of the prime producer’s attractions.
The Statue of Duplex, standing tall in Puducherry, aptly depicts the Intrinsic France connection with the territory. It is towering at a height of 288 m over half a dozen massive and elaborately decorated pillars.
The Statue of Joan of Arc sited in Puducherry portrays the legendary French woman in her triumphant best as she stands to overlook the picturesque town. Thus, the peaceful yet exciting beaches, the monuments with colonial nostalgia and the backwater lakes and gardens in Puducherry are major attractions for the tourists.