Best Places to Visit in Puducherry- Holiday trip to Pondicherry
Pondicherry- India’s French Connection
Whenever we speak about English, Dutch and French invaders and their influence on our country, we cannot escape from taking about Pondicherry. Pondicherry became a notable place during foreign invasions, especially during French entrance. Though French invasion and trading started long back during the 16th century, still Pondicherry acquired its fame and name in 1673. During 1673, French acquired this area from the Qiladar of Valikondapuram during the rule of Sultan of Bijapur. And French people named this place as Pondicherry. Now the name changed to Puducherry which is derived from the original name “Puducheri”, it means “new settlement” in Tamil local language. Though Puducherry had its existence since back from Roman times, its existence and other details in recorded since 1674 after the French started to reside and operate from this place.
As per the archaeological department records, there are indications that Romans visited the place back in first century AD for trade. Remains have been found during excavation done in Arikamedu which is just 7 kilometers towards the south of Pondicherry. Reference has been found that Romans used to come to trade at Poduca in Indian coast which meant Pondicherry.
Do you know?
Francois Martin founded Pondicherry who was the First Governor General of the place. He was also the Commissioner of French East India Company. He made Puducherry the capital of all the four territories- Yanam, Mahe, Karikal, and Chandernagore that were under French rule.
Pondicherry has a huge influence of Portuguese, The Dutch, The French and the English, you can find different culture here, and the place has all such references too. Initially, it was a small fishing village and with time it grew to be a huge port city which was and is accessed for trading and import and export of valuable materials. The place has its vintage history and you can still find the air is filled with those foreign cultures and practices.
Pondicherry is a beautiful place with Bay of Bengal at its one border. The place has temples, churches, and mosques. People of different culture and tradition reside over here. It is a laid-back beach city often called a French colony. The place is neat and clean. Different from other cities in India, this place has all the roads, with a name engraved on a board with direction, this will help to navigate easily even without a GPS.
Do you know?
Puducherry is still a Union Territory of India. And being a Union Territory Pondicherry has its own Legislative Assembly.
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Places to visit in Pondicherry
Auroville Ashram is popularly known as the Universal Town which was first inaugurated in the year 1968. The place was started by Maa who was a disciple of Swami Aurobindo. The project as supported by Govt. of India and UNESCO. The place is dwelled by people of different culture. It was basically made with an insight of to make a common union of all cultures. It is towards the development of future humanity. The architecture of the city is very interesting. The city is established in a circular shape with Matrimandir in the middle. The city has an industrial zone, green zone, cultural zone, residential zone and peace zone.
The best thing about this beach is its golden sand and cold breeze kissing the sand. This beach is also known as Plage Paradise, the beach is situated at Chunnambar close to Puducherry. The most amazing thing is reaching the place by taking a ferry from boathouse that is situated in backwaters. You will reach the beach crossing mangroves. The early morning view is something to adore.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This church has a Gothic style and most attractive part of this huge church is the amazingly beautiful stained glass window which depicts the life of Jesus. This is really one the most amazing place to be.
Do you know Why Pondicherry became a Union Territory?
According to the Treaty of Cession which was signed in 1956, it was guaranteed by India that the four territories which belonged to former French India will be retained with their administrative status that is why Puducherry is allowed to be Union Territory with some independent rights.
Laid back in 1926, 24th November by Shri Aurobindo Ghosh the place is famous for spiritual attainment. People come from far and wide to learn the art of achieving inner peace. This ashram is one of the richest ashrams and has more than 500 disciples and 500 students. Mirra Alfassa also was known as the Mother was the second person who helped in establishing the Ashram.
This beach is also known as Promenade Beach. This beach has a lot of attractions for tourist, the place is surrounded by War Memorial, the heritage Town Hall, old lighthouse, the statue of Joan of Arc, the remains of the old pier, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Dupleix Statue, and the old customs house.
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple
This temple is one of the ancient temples and is believed to have been established five centuries ago. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and has a grand idol known as Vellakkaran Pillai. The temple has a myth, it is believed that a Frenchman tried to remove the Ganesha idol, but each time he did that, the idol reappeared, and after several attempts, he gave up and became a devotee of Ganesha.
French War Memorial
French War Memorial is located at Goubert Avenue, this stylish structure is dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. Visit the place on 14th July, an annual commemoration ceremony is organized.
Do you know?
Pondicherry, Yanam, Mahe, Karaikal, and Chandernagar remained a part of French India under “De- Jure” until 1954. And November 1 Pondicherry got its freedom but got legally merged with India on August 16, 1962.
Pondicherry Museum has some fantastic sculptures, bronze sculpture collection of gods and goddesses. You can find art forms of Chola, Karaikal and Pallava era. There are also some archaeological findings of Arikamedu Roman settlement.
Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple
The temple is situated in a town named Villianur which is 11 km from Pondicherry. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has a beautiful structure and has French influence on its structure.
Along with this you can also visit Chidambaram, Arikamedu, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Meeran Mosque, The Statue of Dupleix and Church of Our Lady of Angels
Do you know what the districts of Pondicherry are?
Pondicherry has 4 administrative divisions which are the four districts of the place named as – Mahe, Karaikal, Yanam, and Puducherry.
How to Reach
Pondicherry is well connected by road, rail, and flight from major cities. The Villupuram Railway Junction is the nearest railway station. Puducherry Airport at Lawspet and the Karaikal Airport are the two accessible airports to reach Pondicherry.
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