Cycle around Pondicherry’s streets taking in the sea air and the smell of sweet French pastries baking in a café. After the hustle and bustle of many other Tamil cities “Pondy” feels like something of an oasis.

While the town’s name was changed back to its original Tamil “Puducherry” in 2006, it’s still widely referred to as Pondicherry. It was the largest French colony in India for around 200 years, from the mid-18th century. During that time, Pondicherry turned into a town that wouldn’t be out of place on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Get a sense of Pondy’s French heritage on a guided walking tour, run by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). During the hour-long Heritage Trail, take notes on the sights that interest you so you can make a return visit. Attractions you’ll pass include the Gandhi Statue, Romain Rolland Library, Pondicherry Museum, French Institute of the Far East and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels. Guided tours begin at the Tourist Information Centre, where you can pick up a map in English. Use this map to take a self-guided tour if you prefer to explore at your own pace.

One of the buildings you’ll pass on the Heritage Trail is the world-famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This ashram was established in 1926 by philosopher-poet Sri Aurobindo Ghose. While at the ashram, he developed a philosophy rooted in yoga. Contact the ashram’s Bureau Central to book a stay or to organise a guided tour.

The year-round warm climate makes a swim at Pondicherry Beach an attractive option whenever you visit. Dry off with a cycle along the promenade, admiring the colonial houses along the seafront. Head to the Botanical Garden, located in the city centre, for some shade and tranquility.

Pondicherry is 3 hours south of Chennai and is well connected by road and rail to most nearby cities. Come to Pondy to discover an interesting blend of European and Tamil influences and enjoy the coastal city’s beaches and relaxed atmosphere.

Known for

rockyBeach, Sandy Beaches and Sharks

Explore map

Where to stay in Pondicherry

Pondicherry Beach
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Pondicherry Beach

Monuments

Pondicherry Beach is a neighbourhood that welcomes all visitors.

White Town
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White Town

Natural Parks, Universities, Monuments

White Town is a welcoming, walkable neighbourhood. The neighbourhood has many appealing features, among them its university culture and rich culture. Many visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty of the beaches.

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Top hotels in Pondicherry

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for The Windflower Resorts and Spa
The Windflower Resorts and Spa
3.5 out of 5
Manavely Revenue Village, Pondicherry
Rs4,950/night
24 Jul-25 Jul
3.8/5Good! (18 reviews)

"Lovely spot"…"

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2019

The Windflower Resorts and Spa
Image for Hotel Le Royal Park
Hotel Le Royal Park
3.5 out of 5
No. 168, Kamaraj Salai, Pondicherry
Rs2,700/night
31 Jul-1 Aug
3.6/5Good! (71 reviews)

"Staff are very friendly. EXCELLENT STAFF: PRASANNA KUMAR, FRONT OFFICE MANAGER"…"

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2019

Hotel Le Royal Park
Image for The Promenade
The Promenade
4 out of 5
23 Goubert Avenue Pondicherry - 605 001, Pondicherry
Rs5,699/night
30 Jul-31 Jul
3.7/5Good! (103 reviews)

"We really enjoyed our stay at The Promenade. The staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Food was excellent. The room was very comfy and quiet. The hotel itself could use a small renovation/freshening. We hated the air freshener they sprayed in the room. We would definitely recommend ..."…"

Reviewed on 6 Jan 2019

The Promenade

Popular things to do in Pondicherry

Paradise Beach
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Paradise Beach

This private beach provides a slice of idyllic tropical beauty at the meeting point of a river and the Indian Ocean.

Pondicherry Lighthouse
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Pondicherry Lighthouse

Enjoy a stop at Pondicherry Lighthouse, a landmark worth seeing in Pondicherry. While you're in the area, stroll along the beaches.

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
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Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Pilgrims flocks to this lively temple to say prayers at the sacred shrines devoted to the Hindu gods Lord Ganesh and Lord Murugan. 

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