Pondicherry was a French colonial settlement until 1954 and a few people here still speak French or English with the French accent. The place is famous for French food, the sea air, beer, and yoga and meditation. The sea poses absolute heavenly at Pondicherry. A former French colony, Pondicherry has retained all of its old-world French charms, and despite being miles away from France, the city comes close to giving you a very authentic feel of the French culture and allure. Famous for its brightly painted houses with bougainvillaea laden walls, large boulevards, streets and road signs boasting French names, gothic churches and colonial buildings, serene backwaters and pristine beaches, topped with authentic French cuisine, Pondicherry has a lot to offer.
There are lots of interesting places in Pondicherry
which fascinates the people and tourist like:
• Pondicherry Beach
Pondicherry Beach is a paradise for all beach lovers and tourists. It is flanked by a flowing creek on one side and is also known for its tree houses, which are located on the backwaters. The seashore is also known for organising a wide range of activities including cruises in the backwaters, trekking, beach volleyball, chess, picnic, themed events, table tennis, and catamaran rides for travellers.
• Raj Niwas
Currently, the Niwas is located in the Government Park and parts of it are opened to the public. Dr Iqbal Singh, the present Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry resides here. The place is well known for its parks and gardens, along with sculptures from the medieval and contemporary era, giving a keen insight into the culture and life of Pondicherry.
• The Pondicherry Botanical Garden
Located south of the New Bus Stand, it is a reminder of French architecture, providing an insight into how architecture in France developed and how colonization has had an impact on the development of Pondicherry. Tourists can enjoy the sight of fountains, gravel-lined paths, beautiful flowerbeds and pruned trees. One of the most ornately designed gardens in South India, the botanical beauty houses around 1500 varieties of plants.
The Promenade, also known as the Goubert Avenue is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. Designed in a French style, it has boulevards and swaying palm trees all around. After the jogging or morning walk, make sure that you try tea stalls and coffee stalls here. The place is great for enjoying the sound and mist of sea breeze. It is also known for its bustling bazaars in the evening. If you love the bustle, then the evening is the time to visit. But if you favour serenity, make sure you visit it during the morning hours.
• Chunnambar Boathouse
Chunnambar River is widely popular for its backwaters, which offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy picnicking with their families and children. Among the tourist places to visit in Pondicherry, this boathouse not only allows one to stay in a luxurious manner but also ensures that travellers enjoy the trip of a lifetime amidst nature and greenery. The boathouses here are driven by the crew and oarsmen in the Chunnambar River. They have one, two or three rooms along with sundeck, balcony areas and other facilities ensuring that you stay in a leisurely manner. Apart from boathouses, the river here also has a water sports centre, where travellers can enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities.
• French War Memorial
French War Memorial is a popular place of interest. Built on the Goubert Avenue or The Promenade, it serves as a reminder of those valiant soldiers who lost their lives during the World War-I from 1916 to 1919. The memorial, built in 1971, is reminiscent of the fact that war leaves fatalities behind and doesn't answer any questions or offer any solutions. Closely located to the Gandhi Statue and surrounded by eight pillars, this statue reminds one of the era gone by and the Indian struggle for independence. French influence can be seen close by as an iconic, marble statue of Joan of Arc, located here.
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