Pondicherry is a charming seaside town lying 160km south of Chennai. Though not packed with tourist attractions it is still a great place to relax and soak up the unique atmosphere stemming from its French colonial past and south Indian location. The town is well suited to those who like to walk or cycle around, check out the architecture, eat great food or even get in touch with their spiritual side. Formerly renowned as the ‘French Riviera of the East’, Pondicherry has more recently gained fame as a location in the blockbuster movie Life Of Pi. Pondicherry proper – rather than the urban sprawl that surrounds it – is quite easy to navigate and is basically divided into four ‘quarters’: French, Tamil, Muslim and Christian. The Tamil area hosts the markets, temples and hustle-and-bustle of the town, but most tourists will head for the quaint and picturesque French Quarter where streets retain their French names, locals still use bicycles to get around and crumbling (and renovated) French-era villas stand next to old churches. Pondicherry is famous for its association with Indian spiritual guru Shri Aurobindo and the Mother. The grey and white buildings that dot the French quarter are owned by the Aurobindo trust and a visit to the Aurobindo ashram is a common reason to visit Pondicherry, as well as a trip to nearby Auroville, a fascinating part of the guru’s legacy.
The best mode of transportation to move around in Pondicherry/Tamil Nadu is the extensive taxi services which provides guest with a hassle free experience. With a wide fleet of private taxi service in Pondicherry/Tamil Nadu, you can be assured of a safe and comfortable ride through the beautiful sights of this place. Pondicherry/Tamil Nadu taxi service comes with chauffeur who will pick you up from any venue and will take you all around Pondicherry.
With more and more tourist turn up, Pondicherry/Tamil Nadu call taxi service in Pondicherry has gained more importance and has soon become one of the major means of transportation among both national and international guests.
PLACES NEAR PONDICHERRY
It was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra and Kadaram (Kedah in Malaysia) at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire southern India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south and other South East Asian countries. The Gangaikondaan temple is an architectural and engineering marvel because the shadow of the main tower never falls on the ground throughout the year. The Gangaikondaan temple is an architectural and engineering marvel because the shadow of the main tower never falls on the ground throughout the year.
The Kon dynasty laid the foundations for the Gingee Fort in 1190 AD. The fort was later built by the Chola dynasty in 13th century. In 1638, Gingee came under the control of Bijapur Sultanate from Vijayanagar. In 1677, it was under the control of Maratha king Shivaji. In 1690, it came under the Mughals, when it became the headquarters of Arcot. It changed hands to the French in 1750, and then to the British in 1762. During this time, many sculptural aspects of Gingee were shifted to Pondicherry by the French. The Kon dynasty laid the foundations for the Gingee Fort in 1190 AD. The fort was later built by the Chola dynasty in 13th century.
Before 1739 Karaikal was under the regime and control of Raja Pratap Singh of Tanjore. In 1738, Dumas, a shrewd calculative prudent man and a lover of peace and above all one who was anxious to extend the French territory in India by smooth means, negotiated with Sahuji of Thanjavur for possession of Karaikal, the fortress of Karakalcheri and five villages for 40,000 chakras. On 14 February 1739 the French took possession of Karaikal town, the fort of Karakalcheri and eight dependent villages. Karaikal is a major port city on the east coast of India and is part of the Union Territory of Puducherry. It has one of the best natural beaches in South India and is home to the temples of Lord Shiva and Vishnu.
India was a colony of western countries for over 2 centuries. While a major portion of India was under the British, there were some pockets under the French, Danish and Portuguese. Pondicherry (aka Puducherry) was under French India. While British India gained Independence on 15th Aug. 1947, French India did not. In 1954, a vote was taken by the French governed pockets to decide about the merger with India. On 18th Oct 1954, representatives of these pockets voted; 170 votes were for the merger with only 8 against. Thence these pockets came under the Union Territory of Puducherry. The voting took place at Keezhoor! India was a colony of western countries for over 2 centuries.
Mandagapattu is home to a 7th century Hindu Cave Temple, Mandagapattu Tirumurti. Hewn from rock by the Pallava ruler Mahendravarman I in honour of the Hindu Trinity, the cave temple is considered to be the oldest stone shrine to a Hindu god discovered in Tamil Nadu. In one of his inscriptions, Mahendravarman I boasts that he caused a stone temple to be built in honour of the Hindu Trinity without the use of brick, mortar, timber or metal. Though the inscription does not state clearly whether this is the first of its kind, the enthusiasm of the king and mention of brick, timber, metal and mortal specifically in the inscription suggests that this is probably the first attempt in this direction hence the creator was overwhelmed at the success and inscribed such words over the pillar.
As per Roman records, this coastal town had been a major port in the 1st Century AD. Marakkanam was connected to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh via the Buckingham Canal, a 420 km long fresh water navigation canal. The 110 kms Stretch from Marakkanam to Chennai is called the South Buckingham Canal. The canal connects most of the natural backwaters along the coast to the port of Chennai. It was constructed by the British for transportation of goods. The ruins of the Alamparai Fort lies on the coast near the north channel to Kaliveli Lake. Kaliveli Lake nearby, is one of the largest wetlands in peninsular India.
There are urn burials in and around the city from the Sangam period indicating some level of human habitation. The inscriptions from the Kayarohanswami temple indicate the construction was initiated during the reign Narasimha Pallava II (691 – 729 CE). In the 11th century CE, Chudamani Vihara, a Buddhist monastery was built by Javanese King Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Raja Raja Chola. In the early 16th century the Portuguese started commercial contacts and established a centre by 1554. In 1690, the capital of Dutch Coromandel changed from Pulicat to Nagapattinam. When the Dutch and British reached a peace agreement in 1784, Nagapattinam was formally ceded to the British.
This small coastal town, on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, is world famous for the tomb of the Muslim Saint Hazrat Miya. The festival season in Nagore occurs during the month of May, typically, but the festival dates change as they are based on the lunar calendar. The popular Kandhuri festival is celebrated with pomp and splendour. Notable temples exist, too. This shows the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and other faiths. The Seeralamman temple situated in the fishermens area near Nagore railway station is a century-old Hindu shrine maintained by local fishermen. The annual Seeralamman festival season has ten days of celebration.
The site is known for the various ancient structural temples built during the Pallava dynasty. Narasimhavarman II, (aka Rajasimhan) is credited with constructing several temples of the Pallava dynasty; namely the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, Kailasanathar Temple at Kanchipuram and Talagirisvara Temple at Panamalai - built on a small hillock overlooking the Panamalai Lake. The garbhagriha houses a Dharalingam and as in Pallava temples of that time, there is also a Somaskanda panel on the rear wall of the sanctum. On the walls of the Ardhamandapam (half Mandapam) one can see panels of deities.
Pichavaram mangrove forest is located between two prominent estuaries, the Vellar estuary in the north and Coleroon estuary in the south. The Vellar - Coleroon estuarine complex forms the Killai backwater and Pichavaram mangroves. The backwaters offer abundant scope for water sports such as rowing, kayaking and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and backwater cruises, but also another very rare sight the mangrove forest trees are permanently rooted in a few feet of water. Pichavaram is located near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. The nearest railway station is Chidambaram from where it is accessible by road.
Pugar (also known as Poompugar) is a town in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. It was once a flourishing ancient port city known as Kaveri poompattinam, which for a while served as the capital of the early Chola kings in Ancient Tamil country Tamizhagam. Puhar is located near the end point of the Kaveri River, next to the sea coast. Ancient pottery dating back to the 4th century BC has been discovered off shore, by marine archaeologists, east of the town. Two important landmarks that attract tourists on a yearly basis are the Masilamani Nathar Kovil and the Silappathikara Art Gallery. The Masilamani Nathar Koil was built in the 14th century AD and has borne the brunt of tidal erosion.
Singavaram is about 4 km from Gingee. The temple of Lord Ranganatha, is on top of the hill. This 7th Century Cave Temple is a good specimen of South Indian type of rock-cut-shrine. The idol of Lord Ranganatha, in a reclining posture, measures 24 ft. in length which together with the inner sanctorum, is carved out of a single rock. It is said to be bigger than that of the idol in Srirangam. Like Thiruvananthapuram Ananthapadmanatha Swamy, the head, chest and leg portions of this Perumal have to be worshipped through 3 separate entrances.
Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar) means "place of the singing waves". It was a Danish colony from 1620 to 1845, and in Danish it is still known as Trankebar. The place dates back to 14th century. The Masilamani nathar (Shiva) temple was built in 1306, in a land given by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I. As of now, this temple is the oldest monument. In 1620, when the Danes came, the place was under Thanjavur Nayak kingdom. Danish admiral Ove Gjedde felt the place would be a potential trading centre, made a deal with Raghunatha Nayak and built a fort, which is known as Fort Dansborg. Nevertheless, a Jesuit Catholic church was already in place before that, catering to the Indo-Portuguese community.
The Satrumallesvara Temple at Thalavanur, built by Mahendra Varman I, belongs to the early phase of Pallava architecture represented by a series of rock-cut shrines built between the 5th and 9th centuries in the Tondaimandalam region, around their capital Kanchipuram. These temples were the first in South India to be carved out of hard, granite rock. Earlier rock cut shrines, mostly Buddhist, were excavated into the softer rock in the Deccan. This temple is a fine example of temple architecture built without the use of conventional materials. Sculptures and Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions are found here. The Satrumallesvara Temple at Thalavanur, built by Mahendra Varman I, belongs to the early phase of Pallava architecture represented by a series of rock-cut shrines built between the 5th and 9th centuries.
The history of Tiruvannamalai revolves around the Annamalaiyar or Arunachalam Temple. The earliest reference to the temple is in the poetic epic work Tevaram. It is one of the largest temples in South India built between the 16th and 17th centuries by the Vijayanagara kings. The main deity here is Siva and it is the holiest of all Siva temples. The 1000 pillared hall and the66 metres tall gopuram have some excellent carvings. On the foothills of the Arunachalam lies the Samadhi of Sri Ramana Maharshi at his Ashram, one of South India’s most sought after spiritual centres.The history of Tiruvannamalai revolves around the Annamalaiyar or Arunachalam Temple. The earliest reference to the temple is in the poetic epic work Tevaram. It is one of the largest temples in South India built between the 16th and 17th centuries by the Vijayanagara kings.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a 30-hectare (74-acre) protected area some 75 kilometres from Chennai on National Highway 45 (NH45), south of Chengalpattu. More than 40,000 birds (including 26 rare species), from various parts of the world visit the sanctuary during the migratory season every year. It is the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country. This area was a favourite hunting spot of the local landlords in the early 1700s. The region attracted a variety of birds because it was dotted with small lakes that acted as feeding grounds for the birds. Realising its ornithological importance, the British government took steps to develop Vedanthangal (meaning hamlet of the hunter) into a bird sanctuary as early as 1798.
Once a port that traded with Rome and Greece, the tiny commercial centre gradually lost its importance to the larger city of Nagapattinam. The canal built to link this town with Vedaranyam still lies to the west. The Vellayar, a minor branch of the Cauvery River, runs south of the town and discharges into the sea. Velankanni, is a very popular Roman Catholic pilgrimage centre and is the home to the imposing Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health. The town is fondly referred to as the ‘Lourdes of the East’ because like Lourdes in France, millions of pilgrims visit the shrine throughout the year, praying to our Lady for various needs and thanking her for the favours received through her intercession.
It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva; these have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also known as the Plage Paradiso, Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Adorned with the golden sand, this famous and highly sought after beach is always swaying with cold sea breeze. This is a little isolated beach, and to reach here you have to take a ferry across the backwaters, which takes around 20-30 minutes. Part of the fun in reaching the beach is actually the beautiful ferry from the boat house - the backwaters on the way to the beach are really green and have thick mangrove forests. The sand of the paradise beach is extremely soft and grainy - and a walk along the entire beach is amazing.
One of the things that does justice to Pondicherry's French Roots is its beautiful Seaside Promenade. The area is well maintained, clean and beautiful and you can actually feel foam spray on your face while sipping a cooler in one of the many cafes at the promenade. Whether you're visiting during the sunny day or the starry night, the Seaside Promenade is equally feel good.
Conceived as the 'Universal Town', the Auroville Ashram is an experimental township - the idea is to create a city where people from across the world of all cultures and traditions come and live together in peace. Started by the Maa, a disciple of Shri Aurobindo in 1960s - the project was supported by the Govt. of India, and the UNESCO passed a resolution in 1966 commending this as "a project of importance to the future of humanity". The town was officially inaugurated in 1968.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This Gothic style building is a highly revered place of worship in Pondicherry. Visitors comprising of both tourists as well as devotees, who are staunch believers, visit to offer their prayers to the All Mighty here. The extremely beautiful stained glass window depicts the life of Jesus. This gigantic church is one of the most attractive spots is whole Pondicherry.
Previously known as Palais du Government, Raj Niwas is an eighteenth century building presently serving as the residence of Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry. Not open to general public, the structure serves as a prime tourist spot of Pondicherry. A water monument is another attraction of the building lying amid the well-maintained garden.
Varadaraja Perumal Temple
Varadaraja Perumal Temple is an ancient temple dating back to 12th century and is of great religious significance. Situated in Villiannur, the structure of the temple is very attractive and is highly revered by its devotees.
Promenade Beach (or, known as, "Pondicherry Beach") is the popular stretch of beachfront in the city of Puducherry, India, along the Bay of Bengal. It is a 1.2-kilometre-long stretch in Pondicherry, starts from War Memorial and end at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Ave.
Located in the Bharathi Park, Pondicherry Museum houses a fantastic collection of sculptures. It has the remains of the archeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. Bronze sculptures of god and goddess, a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art are also kept here.
Church of Our Lady of Angels
Also known as Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, the Church of Our Lady of Angels is mainly renowned for its immaculate stone work. The beautiful texture of white marble is highlighted by using the fusion of limestone and egg white. Situated in Rue Dumas, the structure is said to have a stark resemblance to Basilica at Lourdes, Southern France.
Aurobindo Ashram has been named after its creator- Sri Aurobindo Ghosh on 24th November in the year 1926. This ashram was created when he was surrounded by his disciples all over after he retired from politics and settled in Pondicherry. This ashram was set up with the aim of helping people attain moksha and inner peace. The ashram does not have any branch. Thousands of tourists from all over the country visit the ashram to experience and attain spiritual knowledge.
Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple
Situated 11 km from the Pondicherry in small town of Villianur, Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, one can clearly witness the French influence over the temple through their varied traditions. A car Festival organized by the temple clearly depicts the connection to the French heritage.
French War Memorial
French War Memorial is a stylish structure located in the Goubert Avenue and is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. On 14th of July every year, an annual commemoration ceremony is held here during which the monument is beautifully illuminated. This memorial offers a pleasant experience to all visitors.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Immaculate Conception Cathedral or Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee Church is a beautiful place of worship established in year 1686. Dedicated to St. Peters, it is a church of Capuchins and was first served as a small chapel situated outside the government park. In fact, it was the only surviving structure during the British invasion who aimed at mass destruction of buildings and monuments.
Arikamedu is located at the mouth of the river Ariyankuppam, and its name has been taken from the Tamil word- 'Arikanmedu' which means 'eroding mount'. This port town was occupied by the people of Rome, Cholas, and French. It has been prevalent as a famous port town ever since the old Roman times. It served as a very famous maritime center from 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. The glass bead manufacturing factory of Arikamedu is called the mother of all bead centers in the whole wide world.
A popular tourist attraction of Pondicherry, Botanical Garden was established by C.S. Perrotet in the year 1862. The garden is home to several exotic varieties of rare plants as well as an aquarium. This wide range of plants has been collected from various parts of India and around the globe. Aquarium is an interesting place to visit which abodes diverse collection of aquatic organisms as well as fish flora. One can also see the different methods of fishing adopted in the coastal areas being showcased here.
Jawahar Toy Museum
An ideal place for kids, Jawahar Toy Museum is a well maintained place situated at the old light house building near Gandhi Maidan. The museum houses a wide range of dolls and toys collected from all over the country. The collection features around 140 dolls, all attired wonderfully in colourful dresses and each one carefully labeled. Also often referred to as doll museum, it is a delightful place to visit.
The Statue of Dupleix
Commissioned in the year 1870, this 3 meter high statue was established to honour Francois Dupleix, who governed Pondicherry till 1754. This statue situated at the Place du Republique is built over amazing granite columns. One of a major attraction of the region, it overlooks a lovely children_?_s park lying at the southern end of the Goubert Avenue.
The beach of Chunnambar is near the origin of the backwater. The sand is clean, and the water is crystal clear. It is a perfect place for one to spend a day out playing water sports and bathing in the sun. A short cruise is organized for the visitors which gives them a fantastic overall view of the serene beauty of the waters. One can also spot dolphins playing around in the water. It is a must-visit for the nature lovers.
Chidambaram is a highly revered temple town located about 58 km from Pondicherry. The town is known for its several ancient shrines and historic buildings. The main deity of the town is Nataraja, Lord Shiva in his dancing form. The temple complex of the town displays a detailed depiction of natya shastra, an ancient dance text of India, through intricate engravings. Beautiful sculptures in various Bharatnatyam poses, adorns the interior of the temple.
One of the most revered religious spot by Muslims; Meeran Mosque was built about three hundred and fifty years ago. In fact, it serves as the oldest mosque in Pondicherry with a distinct type of architecture. Established by the Arcod Nawabs in Gothic Islamic style, there are four pillars supporting the dome of the structure. The beauty of the shrine is further enhanced by the placement of Bronze Kallasa on the front facing minaret.
Ousteri Wetland and National Park
A national park rich in flora and fauna, Ousteri Wetland and National Park lay 10 km from Pondicherry town on the Pondicherry-Villuppuram road. Spread across an area of 3 sq kms, the place basically lies on the border of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu. One can spot diverse variety of aqua-fauna and avi-fauna here. Apart from that, several distinct species of plants and trees call this place their home that also attracts a large number of migratory birds.
Scuba Diving in Pondicherry
Packed with enchanting marine life, Pondicherry offers an amazing adventure of scuba diving off the country?s East Coast. A dive into the sea will let you explore the rich life comprising of beautiful natural coral reefs and other exotic creatures such as manta rays, kingfish, sea snakes, lion fish, butterflys, crustaceans, moray eels and many more.
Water Sports in Pondicherry
With a unique, peaceful coastal beauty to it, Pondicherry is quickly becoming every beach lovers' favourite hideout. A number of water sports options along its white sandy beaches are another reason for travellers to love Pondy, as it is lovingly known. The union territory of Pondicherry constitutes four coastal provinces spread across three Indian states: Yanam (in Andhra Pradesh), Pondicherry city, Karaikal (both situated on eastern coasts of Tamil Nadu) and Mahe (located across the western coasts of Kerala).
The Chennai airport Airport, located around 135 km away, is the nearest airport to Pondicherry. The Puducherry Railway Station is located about 5 km away from the city centre and connects Pondicherry to other major cities like Trivandrum, Cochin, Vellore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
Top Car Routes From Pondicherry
Oneway drop taxi is based in Pondicherry and our service details are provided as below. we provide return trip also along with one way if needed. We are the leading outdoor taxi service in chennai by providing best service at the lowest fare .For any queries you may contact our customer service.