Popular as Puducherry, Pondicherry is one of the top-tourist destinations to visit in India. The scenic charm and the serenity of the city attract a lot of travelers from all parts of India and across the globe. The city is settled on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, approximately 170km from the main city of Chennai.
In the earlier times, Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India. The city still marks the influence of French culture and heritage through its several attractions, cuisines, customs and traditions. The city has various tourist sites to keep a traveler engaged. Some of the important places of interest to visit in Puducherry are Sri Aurbindo Ashram, Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple (holy shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha), Auroville, French Institute, Raj Niwas, Promenade beach and Pondicherry museum.
Aurbindo Ashram is a peaceful place where Aurbindo lectured his ideas on peaceful community. The members of the ashram are engaged in different activities like farms, gardens and small industries. There is a Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and Mother Mirra Richard; Auroville is a city famous for its Auroville Information center and Matrimandir which is a place with complete silence where you see a man-made crystal ball, one of the world’s largest; French Institute, an institute under the supervision of French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the French National Center for Scientific research and Raj Niwas, a residence of lieutenant governor of Pondicherry.
Not to forget shopping in Pondicherry which is also listed among the major attractions. The best buys of the place are traditional and contemporary Indian art and craft, shimmering jewelry, miniature paintings and excellent furniture designs of rattan and cane.