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Pondicherry is the Capital of this Union Territory. It is on the east coast about 162 kms south of Chennai (Madras) located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. There are no hills or forests in this region. Pondicherry is a unique place because of a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied town.
Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the town's bustling, yet easy going life. The inherent ambience of Pondy, as it is fondly called, becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town which flanks the seashore boulevard.
In the mid of this century Europe seemed to have one obsession in India and that was Pondicherry. France was the first to carve a foothold. Pondicherry with Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam formed a part of this. Pondicherry was perhaps also the first attempt in India of organised town planning. With well laid out streets and avenues the city is amongst the easiest to move in. The city presents an unusual attraction of European culture and Indian traditiona. An added attraction here is the township of Auroville, an oasis of peace and enlightment. Another hallowed spor is the Aurobindo ashram which draws devotees from all over the world.
How to reach
By Air - The nearest airport is Chennai 135 kms away.
By Rail - The railway station is 1 kms downtown.
By Road - Pondicherry is linked by an excellent network of roads with all major centers in the region. Road distances include
Chidambaram - 68 kms
Mahabalipuram - 105 kms
Thanjavur - 198 kms
Chennai - 163 kms
Bangalore - 303 kms
The East coast highway is a best access to visit the city. The 163 kms stretch is wide and runs close to the coast. Another popular mode of travel is the bicycle because the distances are not too large and the roads are well paved and even. Pondicherry also has city bus services which is very nominal but crowded at peak hours
Places to see
10 kms away it is a developing town. The Maitri Mandir is a center of meditation and is a architectural marvel. Soil from various countries was brought as a mark of international amity as preached by Sri Aurobindo.
It is 5 kms away and is now abandoned. It used to guide the ancient sea farers to Pondicherry. Standing on the Red hills 29 m above sea levelit was first lighted in 1836.
It is 4 kms away and is a historical site which revealed local trade with Romans as early as the 2nd century. Wine seems to have been a major import. The ruins of the 18th century house of Jesuit Mission can also be seen here.
The 1.5 kms long section is the best entertainment center of the city. The beach is good for bathing and one can also spot dolphins close to the sea here. There are also a array of eating joints here
Boat house Chunnambar
The backwater and lush greenery on both sides of the river Chunnambar is a beautiful place for boating.
The museum has many archeological relics of the traders and the visitors.
Planning a visit to Puducherry read through travelogues to plan your trip
October is a good time to visit and in November there are rains. As Christmas and New Year are very important here, November and December are activity months and the best time to visit. After March it becomes hotter. Till June the summer lasts where the temp touches 40 degrees. Humidity is also high.