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PondicherryIndia

Situated on the seafront, the former French colony of Pondicherry has a distinctly European air, with wide boulevards and shady cobbled streets overlooked by charming colonial architecture. 

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.

Where to stay in Pondicherry

Top hotels in Pondicherry

A La Villa Creole
A La Villa Creole
3 out of 5
N0.50 , La bourdonnais st, white town, Pondicherry, Pondicherry
The price is Rs1,450 per night from 5 Dec to 6 Dec

Located in White Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pondicherry Promenade Beach and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Sacred Heart of Jesus and Government Place ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (9 reviews)
recommended

"Very nice people, family feeling. Nice small restaurant that serves beer too. Good quiet location."…"

Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020

A La Villa Creole
Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
4 out of 5
7,8,9, E.C.R Main Road, Tindivanam, Pondicherry
The price is Rs7,000 per night from 13 Dec to 14 Dec

Located on a lake, this family-friendly hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Serenity Beach, Pondicherry Promenade Beach and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Botanical Gardens ...

3.6/5Good! (27 reviews)

"Was not up to our expectation. Need to renovate the rooms looks rundown but outside facade looks good but the rooms conditions were below standard. Need to ask for basic things like soap, shampoo etc."…"

Reviewed on 3 Feb 2020

Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth
Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth
3 out of 5
No.4 Rue de Bussy, Pondicherry, Pondicherry
The price is Rs5,982 per night from 5 Dec to 6 Dec

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Pondicherry Promenade Beach and Botanical ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (48 reviews)

"This is a particularity excellent hotel. Everything was outstanding."…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2020

Palais de Mahé- Cgh Earth
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Pondicherry

GuestHouser 3 BHK Cottage 26O3
GuestHouser 3 BHK Cottage 26O3
3 out of 5
GreenLand Farm House Mortandi, Battanoor, Vanur (T.K) Villupuram (D.T), Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu
The price is Rs10,000 per night from 5 Dec to 6 Dec

Situated in Tindivanam, this villa is within 6 miles (10 km) of Matrimandir, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Raj Niwas. Botanical Gardens and Pondicherry Museum are ...

GuestHouser 3 BHK Cottage 26O3
The Paperflower - A Wandertrails Stay
The Paperflower - A Wandertrails Stay
3 out of 5
Viratipatu, Heritage Town, Pondicherry, Pondicherry

Located in Heritage Town, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Raj Niwas and Pondicherry ...

The Paperflower - A Wandertrails Stay
OYO 11870 Home Sea View 2BHK Anumandai Beach
OYO 11870 Home Sea View 2BHK Anumandai Beach
3 out of 5
#24,Hidden Bay,Ocean Retreat, Chettikuppam Vlg,Anumandhai Toll,E.C. Rd, Tindivanam

Situated in Tindivanam, this holiday home is within 16 miles (25 km) of Serenity Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Matrimandir. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple ...

OYO 11870 Home Sea View 2BHK Anumandai Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Pondicherry

Reviews of Pondicherry

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 37.5%
4 - Good
7
4 - Good 43.75%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 6.25%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 6.25%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 6.25%

5/5 - Excellent

ANKITA

2 Jan 2020

This is the 13th time i visited and would love to make it millionth time... 

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

Fantastic place to roam around and relax. If you can withstand the humidity/weather then it's an amazing place for a leisure trip.

1/5 - Terrible

I

22 Apr 2019

Its all because of the stupid treebo trend hotel

3/5 - Okay

DO

12 Mar 2019

The city will improve in the future

5/5 - Excellent

JaminiAhluwalia

28 Feb 2019

Acharming place definately worth visiting.

Cities near Pondicherry