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     PONDICHERRY HOT SPOTS  

The Pondicherry Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (PTDC), also offers bus tours of the city and surroundings.

Half Day Tour of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry Musuem, Chunnambar water sports complex, Matrimandir at Auroville and the Anglo-French Textiles

Full Day Tour of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry Musuem, Chunnambar water sports complex, Matrimandir at Auroville, the Anglo-French Textiles showroom, Manakula Vinayagar Koil, Ashram's handmade paper factory, the Botanical Gardens and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

Tourism Information Services offers package tours to Kerala, Pilgrimage tours to Tamilnadu, Sightseeing in Pondicherry, Auroville & Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Hotel bookings for Heritage hotels & Colonial guest houses, Taxi services, Boat cruises & Train reservations.

Swim and relax in Sanghamam Beach Resort, which is surrounded by scenic beauty and tranquility.

 Contact Address:
     
                            Tourism Information Centre,
                            40, Goubert Avenue
                            Pondicherry 605 001, India
                            Tel: 91 - 413 - 2339497, 2334575, 2330532
                            Fax: 91 - 413 - 2358389
                            Email: tic@tourisminpondicherry.com

For more details and current information, check PTTDC official website.

 Bharathi  Memorial  Museum

Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiar was one of the greatest Tamil poets, a prolific writer, philosopher and a great visionary of immense gen­ius. He was also one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement His national integration songs earned him the title "Desiya Kavi" (National Poet). His patriotic songs emphasize nationalism, unity of India, equality of men and the greatness of Tamil language.

Bharathiar was born on December 11, 1882 in Ettayapuram, which is now part of Thoothukudi District.At the age of 22, he became a Tamil Teacher at Sethupathi High School in Madurai and the same year he was appointed as Assistant Editor of a daily newspaper called "Swadesamitran". In 1906, he was editor of a weekly magazine called 'India".

By 1912, Bharathiar was already a legend in South India and his political meetings were attracting multitudes of young patriots, ready to join the non-violent movement for attaining freedom from the British rule. Bharathiar died on September 11, 1921, at the young age of 39. The legacy of the poet however endures forever. Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiar is honoured with a museum at Easwaran Dharmaraja Koil Street, a house where he spent the major creative period of his life. It was only here that he authored the most celebrated of his works — Panjali Sabatham, Kuyil Paattu & Kannan Paattu. Apart from housing all his published works, this museum also treasures the manuscripts of the poet as well as rare photographs.

 Bharathidasan  Memorial  Museum

Kanakasubburatnam, another great Tamil poet, was born in Pondicherry and assumed the name Bharathidasan, meaning `disciple of Bharathi'. The first son of this divine soil to gain recognition as a poet and dramatist was Bharathidasan who gave the clarion call to free Pondicherry from the clutches of the French. He lived in No.95, Perumal Koil Street, another place of cultural pilgrimage. Bharathidasan's poems compare with Bharathi's in literary achievement and patriotic fervour. All his books, notebooks and his other paraphernalia are exhibited in the museum.

 Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Established by Sri Aurobindo, a revolutionary turned poet, a philosopher and later developed by the Mother, the Aurobindo Ashram has grown into a centre for the practice of Integral Yoga, a seat of learning and a training ground for sadhana. The activities of the Ashram include agriculture, industries, art and cuture. In the main building of the Ashram is the Marble Samadhi where Aurobindo and the Mother have been laid to rest and the houses they lived in.
(for more information visit : www.sriaurobindoashram.org)


                 Darshan days and other Special days
January 1 New Year Meditation
 February 21, 1878 Mother's Birthday
February 29, 1956 The Golden Day
 April 24, 1920 Mother's final Arrival
 August 15, 1872 Sri Aurobindo's Birthday
 November 17, 1973 Mother's withdrawal Day
 November 20, 1973 Mother's Samadhi Day
 November 24, 1926 The Day of Realisation
 December 1 & 2, 1943 Anniversary of the Ashram school
 December 5, 1950 Sri Aurobindo's withdrawal
 December 9, 1950 Sri Aurobindho's Samadhi Day


 Pondicherry Beach

Pondicherry's beach is virgin; its golden yellow sand is unpolluted, the continental slope is gentle and safe. Pondicherry has a lovely beach, 1.5 kms. long, where one can relax, sunbathe, swim or take a stroll along the promenade. The beach has historical connections too. These sands have witnessed some of the fierest Anglo-French battles. On the sea-front are two important monuments a) Statue of Mahatma Gandhi set amidst eight exquistely sculptured monolithic pillars and b) the War Memorial raised by the French to honour the soldiers who died in World War I. The Light house and the 284 metre long new pier are further south of these monuments.

Auro Beach


The Auroville Beach lies in the region of Auroville in Pondicherry along the shoreline that borders the Bay of Bengal. The Auroville Beach is one of the most popular Pondicherry beaches and is commonly visited by the local people and the tourists alike. The beach lies at a distance of 12 kms from the centre of the main Town of Pondicherry lying opposite the road that winds to Auroville. The beach lies by the ECR. The shore of the Auroville beach is washed by small waves.

Scuba Diving Pondicherry


Temple Adventures is India's first and only East Coast Diving Center. We are based in idilic Pondicherry, where we "Give time a [underwater] break"! Currently dive at more than 20 sites ranging from 5m to 40m depth, with average ocean temperatures of 28 C and visibility up to 40M. We provide training and certification in all PADI scuba diving courses and will guide qualified divers through some of the amazing dive sites in the area. Is the diving good in Pondicherry? See for yourself.

We have 2 boats available daily. Bring your family and friends for a great time out in the ocean! See Pondy's famous beach road from the sea side! Have some lunch, do some swimming, or just go for a joyride!

Other Activities : Many other activities are available with us such as wakeboarding, hand boarding, body surfing, frisbee flying disk, Djembe lessons, fishing, motorbike tours, hacky sack, beach cricket, beach tennis, touch footy, camp outs and anything else that's fun

Our Training Facility and Equipment Display Showroom in Pondy is near the landmark Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. Find this, then go into the road opposite the front gates and follow the PADI signs and red arrows. Or just type "Temple Adventures Google Maps" into Google. It comes up first

Contact Details :dive@templeadventures.com

For General enquiries, call the Adventure Sports Hotline! +91-9940-219-449

All Beginner Scuba enquiries call Aravind +91-9003-122-231

Experienced divers can call Rob +91-9840-176-457

Freediving? Try Dave +91-9940-149-680

For Mahabalipuram Surfing Lessons call Mukesh, +91-9789-844-191

Surfing and Diving Equipment Supplies contact +91-9840-176-457

Temple Adventures Scuba Diving
PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort # 36486
East Coast Water Sports Pvt Ltd
Pondicherry & Chennai
India



 Mansion Anandha Rangapillai


This is the beautiful house built in 1735 and is a curious mix of French and Indian architectural styles. However, it is not as a piece of art, but as the home of Anandha Ranagapillai that it is preserved. Anandha Rangapillai, the famous 'Dubash' (Indian representative of a Europian ruler) had access to high places and a lot of diplomatic information. All this he poured into his diaries that are a storehouse of knowledge about French-India between 1736 and 1760.(See also 'Selected pages from Ananda Rangapillai's Diary' in the Home page of this site for more interesting details)

 Raj Nivas

This grand palace-typically French - was once Dupleix's home. Today, the exquisite building, with its beautiful lawns in front decorated with sculptures, is the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry (not open to Public).

The old court, which houses the Legislative Assembly, is also seen in this building. One of the main attractions for the tourists is the monolithic pillars brought from Gingee Fort after its capture in 1751.


 Bharathi Park (Government Park)

The Government Park in Pondicherry serves a classic example of a stunning and aesthetic entertainment park which is frequently visited by leisure travellers and tourists bewitched by its intriguing serenity.

The Government Park in Pondicherry is aptly located in the central region of the old colonial town. The significance of this unique park is derived from the fact that it is surrounded by some of the most prestigious Government buildings like Lt.Governor's Palace, the Legislative Assembly, Government Hospital, Ashram dining room, Cercle de Pondichery private club and the old Hotel Qualite'.

The park not only provides the lush green lawn and flower flooded picturesque beauty of a typical garden, but also offers a rejuvenating placid ambience making it a perfect place for relaxing.

 Promenade


The 1.5 km long promenade running along the beach is the pride of Pondicherry. There one can relax or take a stroll at any time of the day. On the sea front are several landmarks the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Jeanne d'Arc and Dupleix, the elegant war memorial raised by the French, the heritage building Mairie, the 27 metre tall old lighthouse, the circular shaped two storied structures on either side of Gandhi maidan.

The Statue of Dupleix

A huge attraction in Pondicherry, 3 meter high statue of Dupleix, built to honour Francois Dupleix, who governed Pondicherry till 1754. This was commissioned in 1870. It is constructed over beautiful costly granite columns at the Place du Republique. The statue, now after its relocation, overlooks the pretty children's park placed at the southern end of Goubert Avenue.

The statue stands proud and tall, towering at a height of 2.88 meter over half a dozen, massive and elaborately decorated pillars.


French War Memorial

The stylish French War Memorial, located in the beach road, is a monument for those soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Annual commemooration is celebrated every year on 14th July. During that period the memorial gets illuminated beautifully.

A highlighting factor of the French War Memorial and Pondicherry Tourism is the gala Bastile Day Celebration on 14th July, when the monument is all decked and illuminated to look its best. The pomp and grandeur of the celebrations are tinged with sentiment and nostalgia that arouse the patriotic fervor in tourists.


   Kargil War Memorial

Kargil War Memorial built in Pondicherry on the Beach road by the Indian Army in remembrance of a war which was far from conventional or even a widely spread one, but yet claimed the lives of 527 of India's bravest soldiers who fought the enemy in a terrain and altitude, where normal people have difficulty in walking from one place to another, carrying just our own weight.

The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil Conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999.

 The Pondicherry Museum


Established in 1983 , the Pondicherry museum is situated in Saint Louis Street of Pondicherry . It houses sculpture from Pallava, Chola and Vijaynagara temples. There are Budhha images from Kirmampakkam (pondicherry) and bronzes from the Chola, Vijaynagara and Nayaka periods including arms and weapons.Pondicherry has interesting artistic past which can be found through the displayed terracota figures,burial urns, glass beads , shards of Arretine and Roulletted ware that have been excavated from its ground. The Museum provides a glimpse into Pondicherry's rich past and present. The Archaeological section displays a collection of the famous findings from Arekamedu, like Roman pottery, burial urns, etc. The French Gallery is the most interesting part of the museum which has an office and drawing, dining and bed-rooms with furniture typical of French India. The other sections of the museum are on geology, bronze images, arms, handicrafts and art. The Museum brings back to memory the glorious past of Pondicherry from the days of the pre-Christian era down to the present day providing glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagar days.

Open: 9.40am-1pm & 2-5.20pm, closed Mondays. Admission: Rs2.
Address:
49 St Louis St

 Auroville

8 kms. north of Pondicherry is Auroville. The foundation was laid on 28th February 1968, when a boy and a girl representing each of 124 countries of the World poured a handful of their native soil into a concrete lotus, symbolic of their supportof the project. The purpose of the Auroville is to realise human unity.

Auroville is described as the city of Tomorrow where an attempt is made to replicate on much larger scale the experiment that is being carried out in Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the evolution of a new society envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother where people could live "freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single authority that of the Supreme Truth, a place of peace, concord, harmony". Under the Mother's direction it was launched in 1968 with the co-operation of many nations.

The small township of Auroville or the City of Dawn was designed by a French architect, Roger Arger. It is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. There are about 40 odd settlements located around a central focus called the Matrimandir. These settlements are engaged in a variety of activities, including afforestation, farming, education and handicrafts. The total area of Auroville is about 50 sq km. No local transport is available inside the township. A conducted tour of Auroville from Boutique d'Auroville, 12 Nehru Street, Pondicherry, takes interested visitors around settlements of Auroville.
(for more details click here )

 The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry was created in 1826. When the garden came under the control of the eminent botanist Perottet "rare and interesting plants" were procured from Calcutta, Madras, Ceylon and Reumian and introduced. Now it is having a proud collection of 1,500 species.

The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry has Children's train, Six fountains, A dancing fountain, Japanese Garden, Aquarium with ornamental fish

 Anglo-French Textile Mills

Visiting the century old Anglo-French Textile mills in Pondicherry is not only educative but also of tourism importance. The mill gives 10% rebate to the tourists who go on guided tours/buses on the purchases made. The world claimed fabrics and products of the mill will not only be a momento of Pondicherry but also can be used as gifts besides being products of utilitarian/aesthetic value in the houses

 Manakula Vinayagar Temple

The shrine dedicated to "Manakula Vinayakar" existed even at the time of the arrival of the French in Pondicherry in 1673. This Ganesh temple is situated on MV Street. Every Friday, people gather here to seek divine blessings for their new ventures.

There are about 32 temples in Pondicherry. Of these Manakula Vinayagar temple, Sri Vedapureeswarar temple, Kamatchiamman temple and Varadarajaperumal temple are famous.

 Cathedral churches

French missionary zeal in the XVII and XVIII Centuries saw a number of grandly embellished churches built in Pondicherry. The Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Cathedral, the Eglise de Notre Dame A'es Angles are particularly noteworthy.

 Boat House, Chunnambar

Facilities for boating are available at a Boat House, on the River Chunnambar 8 kms from Pondicherry. The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting for boating. Boats are available on hire on all days of the week. A most enjoyable hydroplane and facilities for boating and fishing make this an ideal site for relaxation and picnic.

 Park Monument  (Aayee Mandapam)


Aayee Mandapam, also known as the Park monument is one of the attractive monument in Pondicherry situated at the midst of picturesque Government Park (Bharathi Park). Built in the 16th century by the gallant French in the exuberant Graeco-Roman style to honour an oriented dancing girl stands as a symbolic landmark of all that is unique of Pondicherry and her distinct gracefulness.

 Jawahar Toy Museum

The Jawahar Toy Museum is located in the old Light House building near Gandhi Maidan. Here toys and puppets from different parts of India are on display.

 Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus

This church on the South Boulevard is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is noted for its Gothic architecture, stained glass corridors and panels depicting incidents from the life of Jesus Christ.

 French Institute

Established in 1955, it is a research centre for Indian languages and culture. The Scientific and Technical section prepares vegetation maps, maps of soil types, geology and lithology of India.

 Arekamedu

It is about 4kms from Pondicherry town. Recent excavations at some sites in Arekamedu have unearthed Roman coins, wine jars, etc establishing it to be the earliest Indo-Roman trading centre (around 2nd century AD). Further evidence points to a Buddhist stronghold. This place is assumed to be the place of Roman placements nearly 2000 years ago. Remains of a French Jesuit Mission House assumed to be built in 18th century are also visible here.

According to Wheeler, Arikamedu was a Tamil fishing village which was formerly a major Chola port dedicated to bead making and trading with Roman traders. It flourished for centuries until the Romans left.

 Mailam Murugan Temple

It is about 40 km from Pondicherry town. There is a Murugan temple atop a hillock. The Panguni Uthhiram festival held in March-April attracts devotees in large numbers.


 Mandagupattu

It is about 50 km from Pondicherry town. This is the location of the first Pallava cave temple for the Hindu trinity-Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Called Lakshitayatana, it was built during the reign of Pallva King Mahendra Varaman I.

 Ousteri Lake

It is about 15 km from Pondicherry town. A popular picnic spot on the Pondicherry-Villupuram route. A range of aquatic species is found here. This lake also serves as a bird sanctuary. The best time to visit here is from October to March. The Government has decided to promot and develop the 390 hectare lake to a full-fledged sanctuary.

 Tiruvakkarai

It is about 30 km from Pondicherry town. Large fossil bearing areas fenced in to create the country's first National Fossil-Wood Park here. These petrified trees lying scattered on low mounds and stream sections, date from the Cretaceous Age (100 million years ago) The Chandramouliswara Temple, a monument of great architectural grandeur dating back to the Chola period, is an added attraction. Every Pournami (Full Moon Day), people gather here to worship Goddess Kali


















































































































































 
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