COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Pondicherry
Travel Guide

Pondicherry featuring a sandy beach

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

Accord Puducherry
Accord Puducherry
4.5 out of 5
No.1 Thilagar nagar, Ellaipillaichavady, Pondicherry, Pondicherry
The price is Rs3,300 per night from 22 Jun to 22 Jun
This family-friendly hotel is located in the city centre, within 3 mi (5 km) of Botanical Gardens and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple ...
4.1/5Very Good! (131 reviews)
Excellent Hotel ans Staff
"Amazingly clean rooms and such a friendly staff. They would take extra care and attention."

Reviewed on 3 Jan 2021

Accord Puducherry
Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
4 out of 5
7,8,9, E.C.R Main Road, Tindivanam, Pondicherry
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! (29 reviews)
Unkempt- ocean spray
"Needs to improve a lot on cleanliness Bad house keeping with respect to toiletries . Charging 50 rs plus tax for a litre of water bottle(not even a branded , local made). Gym worst -no or zero maintenance, stinky, fungus,treadmill has lot of moulds . I never complain , but very sry to write this ..."

Reviewed on 25 Jan 2021

Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray
K Resort
K Resort
4 out of 5
No 1, Dr. M.D.K. Kuthalingam Salai, Ranganathapuram, ECR, Koonimedu, Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 12 miles (20 km) of Serenity Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Matrimandir. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple ...
3.7/5Good! (3 reviews)
Lovely, brand new resort with excellent breakfast
"The K Resort is a lovely new development and we felt fortunate to be amongst their first guests, especially as all the staff were so wonderfully helpful & attentive. We really enjoyed our evening meal and breakfast. The property will be even nicer when the greenery has had chance to grow around the ..."

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2019

K Resort
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.
Ulo Pondicherry Beach Escapes
Ulo Pondicherry Beach Escapes
3 out of 5
No.53/15, Rajiv Nagar, Chinna Mudaliyarchavvady, Kottakuppam, Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu
Located in the heart of Tindivanam, this apartment building is within 9 mi (15 km) of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Matrimandir and Paradise Beach.
Ulo Pondicherry Beach Escapes
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 Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Matrimandir ...
OYO 11870 Home Sea View 2BHK Anumandai Beach
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
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
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

Cities near Pondicherry