15 Best Pondicherry Beaches And Visiting Places You Must Know

Know the best beaches and places to visit in Pondicherry. Read about Pondicherry tourism, know where to go for shopping in Pondicherry, get details on scuba diving in Pondicherry and more.


Puducherry Travel Guide Places To Visit

Travel writer Mark Jones once described Pondicherry as “A corner of India that is forever FRANCE”!

– the ‘parfaite’/ perfect phrasing to conjure up the miniscule Union Territory in southeastern India.

It is a combined precinct of four constituencies of the former French East India Company – Pondichéry, Karikal {both in Tamil Nadu}, Yanam {in Andhra} – (on the Coromandel coast) and Mahe {in Kerala} – (alone on the Malabar coast), of which Pondichéry/Puducherry is the biggest district of them all.

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Pondicherry Tourism French Architecture

Living up to the expectation of being ‘French in style’ from colonial mansions to thick bougainvilleas; be it cobblestoned paths or tree avenues; whether you choose to stroll around the walkways or ‘bicycle’ through the alleys of ‘White Town’, to discover the newer unconventional cafes, boulangeries & patisseries so as to indulge your taste-buds with French gourmet food, you will realize how Puducherry doesn’t allow its ‘Frenchiness’ to fade out, even decades after being coalesced into the Republic of India post-Independence.

Tourist Places in Pondicherry

Ergo, all those hodophiles looking to ferret about the ‘rues’ or streets of a ‘mini-France’ in India, can fill in some pages of their travel journals with les saveurs (flavors) of French expériences, by just heading straight to PONDY!!

Let’s check out the best beaches and places to visit in Puducherry.

1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Located on Rue de la Marine, it was founded by the much esteemed poet & philosopher, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh in 1926, who taught mankind how spiritualism can be blent with yogic principles as a mode of life to attain salvation. The Ashram has expanded and functions in full fledged manner till date and continues with ever increasing numbers of devotees from around the world, each year.

One of his sincere disciples, Mirra Alfassa, a French musician & painter, was so inspired by the truth of his ‘words of wisdom’ that she stayed on in the Ashram and soon took on charges of setting up and dispatching duties in different departments such as the Library, dining room, art gallery, workshops, farms etc.

She was regarded as ‘The Mother’, who also conceived the idea of ‘Auroville’ or the ‘City of Dawn’.

2. Auroville

Matrimandir Auroville Places To Visit Pondicherry

An experimental township intended to be developed into a ‘Universal Town’; is present 15 km away from Pondicherry city in Villupuram district. From the time of its inception in 1968, its motive has been to bring men and women of diverse backgrounds from any part of the globe together, to live in harmony, learn the tenets of attaining inner peace, get actively involved in sustainable living, and evoke a divine consciousness within them.

Aurovillians’ from more than 200 countries who reside here abstain themselves from materialistic pursuits and happily participate in running the township like in gardening, wellness programs {physiotherapy, acupuncture, ayurvedic massages, yoga} spiritual education, art exhibitions, and organic meal preparations.

  • A visit to Auroville will introduce you to an isolated, undisturbed, yet contented team of courteous people bearing different nationalities and speaking different languages, albeit all of them following a uniform doctrine as insisted by ‘The Mother’.
  • Other than that, outsiders get to spend a good time at the Auroville Market selling hand-made merchandise; Auroville Bakery for their tempting cheesecakes and delicious snacks made from local produce, & dine-ins such as Marc’s café, Greek café, Chocolate café, Pizzerias, vegan cafeterias etc.

Two other compelling points of interest in Auroville are:

Auro Beach Pondicherry

  • Auro beach – A tidy & uncluttered beach without any encroachments that exudes a tranquil aura! It is ideal for a rejuvenating walk, a reviving swim, collecting colorful little shells from the shimmering sands, performing beach yoga or simply meditating in the calmness.
  • Matrimandir – the “golden globe”!At the centre of Auroville, it is the ‘soul of the city’ in a large open space termed ‘Peace’, an idea conceptualized by none other than ‘The Mother’. Matrimandir literally means ‘Mother’s Temple’.It is a centre for practicing ‘Integral Yoga’, a very high form of ‘mental concentration’ into the self realms at pin drop silence.

    The monument is a huge geodesic dome fitted with golden disks on the outside to reflect sunlight and therefore looks constantly radiant. A spiral staircase inside the dome, leads all the way up to the upper hemisphere, into a spacious round air-conditioned hall.

The Hall is enhanced with features which are supposed to impart the highest state of a heavenly ambience required for transcendental meditation:

  • The walls are done up in milky white marble
  • The floor is covered with white carpeting woven from the finest wools obtained from New Zealand.
  • Whitewashed pillars surround the Hall at the centre of which one can find The Mother’s symbol.
  • The inner meditation chamber holds the ‘crystal’ – the world’s largest optically flawless glass sphere {70 cm in diameter} imported from Germany.

The crystal naturally illuminates the chamber without the need for artificial lightings! A single sunray is caught by a ‘heliostat’ fixed on top of the Mandir, which is projected onto a mirror. This mirror projects it to a lens which casts it on the centre of the crystal. The crystal then re-emits the focused ray and brightens the entire Hall.

  • There are 12 gardens around the Matrimandir in the Peace area to represent the 12 powers as laid down by Sri Aurobindo as the vibrations necessary for complete manifestation. The mother christened them as:
    – Bliss
    – Consciousness
    – Existence
    – Perfection
    – Harmony
    – Youth
    – Progress
    – Utility
    – Wealth
    – Power
    – Life
    – Light

3. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

Locally called as Dumas Church for being located on the Dumas Street in White Town, the church has been built in Greco-Roman architecture; whose original structure was commissioned by Napoleon III himself in 1855.

4. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Established in 1908 by the French missionaries, this neo-Gothic Basilica is a key pilgrimage centre for the Roman Catholics. The church is well known for elaborate glass paintings that depict the life of Christ and other saints.

5. Ousteri Wetland

About 10 km far on the Puducherry-Villupuram road, lies the Ousteri/Ossudu Lake – a man-made freshwater lake which is nearly a century old!

It is a combination of marsh, water and mudflats; hence the 390 hectare ‘wetland’ is a burgeoning diversity of a plethora of flora & fauna. It particularly grips the attention of bird lovers and photographers, who have to be ready with their camera lenses to lay hold of tailor-birds, egrets, golden orioles, spotted owlets, ibis, pelicans, water hens, and more such migratory species.

Ousteri is a ‘chirpy’ habitat and is heralded as the single largest freshwater dispenser to the city.

6. Karneswari Nataraja Temple

One of the most unusually designed temples in India is probably found at Pudhukuppam beach on the East Coast Road near Pondicherry. Purposely made to resemble a Pyramid of Egypt, the deity – Lord Shiva, is present in the central chamber, right under the pointed dome.

The Temple pyramid is oriented ‘North’wards to derive maximum ‘energy’ and has been tactfully constructed with compressed stabilized earth blocks and stabilized earth cement.

7. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple

An ancient Hindu temple venerated for Lord Ganesha; whose existence is clearly believed to have been since the pre-French settlement era. The sculptures found here iterate that it must be at least 500 years old.

8. Pondicherry Museum

A marvelous gallery of art, artifacts, antiques {coins, shells & fossils} and carves that were gathered from Arikamedu, an excavation site with archaeological remains 7 km away from Pondy; it was discovered to be the pivotal port of call for seafarers from ‘Rome’ during the erstwhile Chola and Pallava empires!

Roman jars, glass beads and precious stones dug out from this site speak volumes about the flourishing trade relations with Europe that must have astonishingly been in place as early as the Middle Ages!

Bronze sculpts of gods, goddesses and temple lamps that are excellent specimens showcasing talent across South Indian dynasties belonging to various centuries, are also kept on display in the museum.

9. Statue of Dupleix

French Governor Marquis Dupleix ruled Pondicherry between 1742 and 1754, when he famously prevented confiscation of the territory by the British.

An expensive granite statue, 2.88m in height was erected in reminiscence of his contributions at the southern end of Goubert Avenue, on Beach Road, to serve as an important historical landmark in the city.

10. French War Memorial

It was constructed in 1938, in solemn memory of all those soldiers from ‘French-India’, who turned martyrs, during the First World War. It is simple in form, found right opposite to Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue on Goubert Avenue.

Every year, on Bastille Day (July 14th), the Memorial is illuminated to pay due homage for the ‘sacrifice’.

11. Rock beach

Rock Beach Pondicherry

A one and a half kilometer long beachfront beginning at the War Memorial and ending at the Dupleix Park, also referred to as the Promenade beach.

Unlike the typical look of a ‘beach’, this one has a concrete path flanked with sea-facing restaurants, and boutiques selling clothes or souvenirs on one side, and a fortified wall of rough rocks touching the sea on the other.

This stretch is flocked by joggers, walkers and those who wish to submerse themselves in the fab twilight moments. Just have fun while trying to fit the ‘circular’ sun in the sky within your circled fingers at sunrise or sunset!

12. Serenity beach

Pondicherry Beaches and Visiting Places

A ‘serene’ beach befitting its namesake, is extremely popular for its quietude nature! Hemmed with curved palm trees, the comfortingly warm hues of the golden seashore with a string of rocks, reach out to the buoyant waves that form white lacey patterns on the sand.

‘Surfing’ as a favorite pastime activity is promoted in the mid-tidal zones of the Bay of Bengal at Serenity beach!

13. Botanical Garden

Botanist G.S. Perrotet had a striking vision of an enchanting garden and decided to work on the same on a 22-acre land near Pondicherry’s New Bus Stand, in the 1800s.

Nearly 1500 species of indigenous, alien and endangered plants collected from different parts of the world were brought down. It is of great interest to the horticulture department today.

In order to attract the best of public attention, the Garden has been thematically divided into 28 plots, with musical fountains, flower-beds, tall trees and graveled-paths. There is even a children’s park with a toy train, an Aquarium, and a ‘Japanese’ rock!

Honoring its worthy master-mind, Perrotet’s memorial is well present inside this Botanical Garden.

14. Chunnambar Boat House

Chunnambar Boat House Puducherry Tourist Spots

Situated 8 km far off from Pondy, on the Cuddalore Main Road, is the Chunnambar Beach & Backwater Resort. Tourists love picnicking here for a relaxed stay on a tree-house or just sunbathing on the beach, overlooking a creek.

The Boat House offers watersport adventures and entertainment, like sail-boating, water-scooter riding and yachting.

Besides people can be ferried to the nearby Paradise Beach or the Plage Paradiso, which is at the mouth of the backwaters; or take them on a short cruise in the deep blue sea for ‘dolphin watching’.

Boating is particularly alluring in the monsoons, because that is when the new spells of rain preen the backwaters in fresh layers of cool green!

15. Scuba Diving

Pondicherry Scuva Diving Things To Do

Being the only place on the Eastern Coast of India for scuba diving, the underwater venture is truly an out of the world experience!

Reasonable levels of visibility in the Bay of Bengal sea waters here, as well as abundant ‘schools’ of aquatic creatures like the manta rays, lionfish, kingfish, crustaceans, moray eels, and sometimes even turtles, and whales, summon a good deal of ‘adventure crazy’ divers as deep as 30-feet below into the sea to discover a clandestine rainbow of ‘life’ hidden inside these ocean sinks!

All the more… naturally present dusky-pink coral reefs build onto the intoxicating affair!

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