|Sri Aurobindo Ashram||Located on rue de la Marine|
|Auroville||Located about 8km North-East from the heart of the city of Pondicherry|
|Promenade||Lies alongside the main Pondicherry Beach (rock beach)|
|Paradise Beach||Located about 8km from the town, along the Cuddalore Main Road|
|Serenity Beach||Located about 10 minutes drive to the north of the town|
|Auroville Beach||Located close to the Auroville|
|Bharathi Park||Located at the heart of the city|
|Arikamedu||Located on the banks of the Ariyankuppam River about 4 km from Pondicherry|
|Pondicherry Museum||Located in the Bharathi Park|
|French War Memorial||Located in the well known promenade of Goubert Avenue in Pondicherry|
|The Church of Our Lady of the Angels at Dumas Street||Located in Dumas street|
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Ashram built by Sri Aurobondo Ghose in Pondicherry is one of the veritable attractions of the city. Located on rue de la Marine is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India, with devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation.
Sri Aurobindo is amongst the most acclaimed philosopher-poet of India whose teachings involve an amalgamation of yoga and modern science. Today, the Ashram also enshrines the Samadhi, or the mortal remains of the sage, as well as a Parisian mystic, painter and musician called Mirra Alfassa, who was so inspired by his philosophy that she stayed on in puducherry and was instrumental in establishment of the ashram.
The Ashram remains open to the public daily between 08-1200 hrs and 1400-1800 hrs. Children below 3 years of age are not allowed into the ashram and photography is allowed only with permission of the ashram authorities.
Auroville, or ‘the city of Dawn’ is the brainchild of The Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Located about 8km North-East from the heart of the city of Pondicherry, Auroville is a celebration of human unity and integrity.
Designed by a French architect Roger Ander, Auroville is the destination of around 2000 people who harmoniously live in settlements with names like Grace, Fraternity, Fertile, Certitude and Transformation. Nearly two-thirds of the residents are non-Indians.
One of the veritable attractions of Auroville is the Matrimandir, which is not a temple but a place for individual silent concentration, is set in an area of 62 acres at the centre of the emerging township, and is seen as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection. Union with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity.”
Beaches in Pondicherry
Though not exactly a beach hotspot by the popular standard, the four beaches that Pondicherry is endowed with, are quite attractive amongst the tourists. The relatively less crowded beaches of Pondicherry are good places for hanging out and having leisurely walks at the dawn and dusk.
One of the veritable attractions of Pondicherry is the promenade, stretching over 1.5km along the beach. This promenade is not only the place of relaxation and respite for the tourists as well as the natives but is also hosts several landmarks of the city like the War Memorial , the statue of Joan of Arc, the Town Hall , a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, an old light house and an old pier all reflect the glory of the bygone era of the city. A view of the sun rising from the horizon of the sea from this promenade is an experience in itself.
The Paradise beach is located about 8km from the town, along the Cuddalore Main Road. What makes the beach even more attractive is the fact that it can only be accessed by boat. A sleepy little creek flows on one side of the beach making it even more appealing.
The Serenity beach truly lives up to its name. Located about 10 minutes drive to the north of the town, this virgin beach is an ideal place to laze away your day.
Located close to the Auroville, it is right off the ECR, opposite the road leading to Auroville. The exact distance of this beach from the main Pondicherry town is 12km. Its shallow waters and small waves make it an ideal place of swimming. It is a fairly popular destination on weekends. On weekdays it is relatively less crowded.
Though located at the heart of the city, the Bharati Park is a wonderful piece of green that enhances the appeal of Pondicherry. The thick canopy of shady trees provides respite from the scorching sun of the city. The park also houses the Aayi Mandapam, a beautiful monument built during the reign of Napoleon III, Emperor of the France. It commemorates both the provision of water to the French city during his reign and the good deed of a lady some 300 years before. Other attractions in the park include beautifully carved granite pillars
Historical Places in Pondicherry
Arikamedu is the name given to the Indo-Roman trade city, excavated in the early phases of the twentieth century. Several evidence excavated from this area like wine jars and Roman coins fabricate the glorious past that this place has witnessed, it is assumed that the area in and around Pondicherry was the seat of the legendary Roman Empire almost 2000 years ago.
Remains of a French Jesuit Mission House assumed to be built in 18th century are also visible here. This place is of particular interest to the Archeologists and history enthusiasts.
Located in the Bharathi Park, the Pondicherry Museum encases some of the most exotic historical artifacts. Even the sculptures from Arikamedu find place in this Museum, thus turning the place into a virtual paradise for the lovers of antiquity.
Apart from the sculptures, what enhances the beauty of the place are the snail shells, bronze statues of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, a huge collection of Temple Lamps and some specimens of Chola and Pallava art from Pondicherry and Karaikal are displayed in the sculpture gallery.
French War Memorial
This grand piece of architecture on the Goubert Avenue has been built in the glory of all those brave soldiers who had laid down their lives in service to their nation during the First World War. On the Bastille Day, celebrated on the 14th of July every year the memorial is beautifully illuminated and homage is paid to those brave martyrs.
Religious Places in Pondicherry
The Church of Our Lady of the Angels at Dumas Street
This church exemplifies the Greek Roman architectural style. Built in 1855, it is adorned with two unadorned square towers faces east towards the ocean. The interior is roofed by a barrel vault, with a great dome rising over the crossing. The pastel peach and lime colors give it a very serene appearance. This church is also famous for its rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was a gift from the French emperor, Napoleon III. The church has old pews (seating) made of cane, Indian stained glass that filters sunlit patterns of color into the interior.