Puducherry, erstwhile Pondicherry, is a Tamil name meaning “new town“.
Puducherry is one of the Union territories of India consisting of four unconnected districts namely, Yanam, Mahe, Kariakal and Puducherry. Pondicherry was a French colonial possession which gives the place its own charm of possessing an amalgam of French and Indian culture.
It is a famous tourist destination for both Indians and foreigners because of the myriad avenues it opens for its tourists ranging from the beaches, sights, shopping, events and activities and entertainment.
Here is a list of things to do when you are in Pondicherry.
Kolam is a form of drawing drawn by female Hindu family members in front of their houses on special occasions like Onam and Pongal. Kolams are drawn using rice flour, chalk, synthetic colours and often flowers. The geometrical patterns are known to bestow prosperity to the family. Kolams in Pondicherry are a major attraction for tourists, who also often take classes from local teachers who are prodigies in this art.
2. AYURVEDA HOLISTIC HEALING CENTER
The center is located at the north of Pondicherry at a walking distance form the main city. Tourists flock to the center for the chanting of “Vedic Mantras” and to seek treatments through Scientific and Classical Ayurveda and Siddha and Traditional Varma. They perform detox services, back procedures, varna point massage, skin treatment and offer ayurvedic massages. The center also offers courses on Ayurveda Massage Therapist, Ayurvedic Panchakarma Therapist, Ayurvedic Baby Massage and Yoga & Meditation and has students and customers from all across the globe.
3. BICYCLE TOUR
Riding bicycles through the city and discovering its narrow lane sand flat terrains isn’t a bad idea, to go for even longer distances when your feet give up. The bicycle tour starts early morning when the traffic is lean and the air is still fresh. The tour is organized by two enterprising women from France, Fleur Soumer and Fiona Guerra who now reside in the city and are working dedicatedly to promote its art and culture. To know more about the cycle tour click here.
4. SUN-BASKING ON THE BEACHES
Pondicherry’s coastline stretches for about 45 kms and its virgin beaches with golden sands and turquoise blue waters attracts all and sundry. If you want to relax far from the din of the city, you must come to the serenity and tranquility of these beaches. The most famous and the most scenic beaches being the Karaikal beach, Mahe beach, Serenity beach, Promanade beach, Plage Paradiso beach, Auroville beach and of course Chunnambar beach, known for its scenic beauty and adventure sports like kayaking, canoeing, boating, and sailing.
Yoga exercises with the sea view is like an icing on the cake. Yoga is the best possible way to poise the physical and mental faculties and for the promotion of controlling the mind and the body. Pondicherry is a hub of Yoga centers offering its yoga services from children to senior citizens. Check out the list of yoga centers in Pondicherry here.
6. MEHENDI ART
Get your feet, arms and palms adorned with Henna tattoos in Pondicherry. Mehendi art is a major attraction for girls and women who come to wear it and also take classes from the centers offering Mehendi art classes. Even tourists and travelers in their short stay in Pondicherry learn this culturally rich art form. You can check out more about Mehendi art classes in Pondicherry here.
7. PLACES OF WORSHIP
Pondicherry is a hub of the collection of best churches in the country. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture, its glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ. The Church of our Lady of Angels, known for its beautiful masonry, has used limestone mixed with white of the egg. Other famous churches being The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of Capuchins, Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health.
A few of the temples and mosques also attract thousands of tourists, Meeran mosque and Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple being the famous ones.
8. HONE YOUR CULINARY SKILLS
The city provides cooking classes to when your culinary skills and lets you discover the origin and taste of Indian cuisines. You can take classes at Candappa Moudaliar street in Pondicherry and learn to cook the traditional Tamil vegetarian menu. The classes are held in Tamil, Hindi, English and French and begin with a market tour to acquaint the beginners with typical spices, fruits and veggies of the city. To know more, click here.
9. BOLLYWOOD DANCING
Bollywood dancing is the style of dance famous from the Indian film industry. It is a mixture of numerous styles like belly-dancing, Indian classical & folk & popular western styles like Jazz, Salsa, Hip-Hop etc. The city of Pondicherry offers bollywood dance classes for all dance maniacs. It allows you to relax, have fun and explore the Indian culture.
Pondicherry is full of small boutiques, local markets and Ashram shops to quench your thirst of shopping for new articles. The city is home to famous brands like FabIndia, Hidesign, Geethanjali and Kalki and also stores which are unique to Pondicherry. The Auroville sells handicrafts, handmade items, soaps made with natural ingredients, perfumes, candles, books, clothes, organic products, jewellery and much more. Casablanca is a great place to shop for international brands of home décor items, linen and leather goods. Goubert market, sprawled in a large area sells a large variety of fish, vegetables and fruits. the other famous centers for shopping are the Mission street, Kasha ki Aasha, La Maison rose, Focus and Serenity Beach Bazar.
DON’T YOU MISS OUT ON ANY OF THESE!
A third year student of Economics from Miranda House, University of Delhi, Anima wants to have a taste of everything in life. With her interests ranging from the love for singing to the passion for sports like basketball and volleyball, she wants to test her abilities in the maximum spheres of life.