Pondicherry (or Puducherry), a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside promenade runs along the Bay of Bengal and passes several statues, including a 4m-high Gandhi Memorial
Pondicherry, the French capital of India, is a destination that offers serenity and sanctity in its true sense. The city is calm and its urban architecture, depicting the French style, attracts people from all over the world. Besides sightseeing you don’t need to worry about what to do in Pondicherry, for the tiny holiday destination has a lot to offer and to make it a fun-filled trip for you.
Pre-winter and winter, starting October to February, is comfortable and the best season to visit Pondicherry. October and November may have torrential rain sometimes due to retreating monsoon but otherwise it is the perfect time to plan a trip to Pondicherry. Temperature never drops below 17 degree Celsius. This season is ideal for sightseeing in Pondicherry as well as for water and beach activities. Light woollens are preferred.
How to reach Pondicherry
By Road: Pondicherry lies on NH45. Chennai (150 km from Pondicherry) and Bangalore (320 km from Pondicherry) are the nearest metros.
By Bus: Buses to Pondicherry are available frequently from some of the major nearby cities, including Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and Madurai
By Train: Nearest Railway Station is Villupuram (35 km from Pondicherry); well connected to cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, and Trivandrum
By Air: Puducherry Airport is a domestic airport in Lawspet district of Pondicherry. It has regular flights from Bangalore. Chennai Airport (135 km from Pondicherry) is the nearest international airport.
Fringed with a diverse range of history and culture, Pondicherry makes it to the list of best historical places in the country. No matter in which corner of Pondy you be, you will always find yourself engulfed with its heart-warming locales and diversity! Explore this gorgeous French Colony of India with a heritage walk through lively marketplaces, silent yet colourful lanes and witness how life thrives in this region. During the course of your walk, interact with the locals and get an opportunity to have a glimpse of their daily life. Also, while strolling around, you can witness how perfectly the French essence of Pondicherry got blended with the aura of Tamil lifestyle and cultures. A visit to Indian Square in Vaishali Street will offer you the best picture of how these two cultures embrace each other. On a whole, in the list of the things to do in Pondicherry, a heritage walk is the best and convenient way to know more and get acquainted with this rustic union territory.
After a blissful heritage walk through the quaint lanes of Pondicherry, a city tour is highly recommended. As the city covers an area of around 90 km, this amazing tour around the city might take you 8-12 hours to complete this amazing tour. Unlike the heritage walk, a city tour will take you through how Pondy’s cityscape has changed in the last few decades; the mixture of culture and modernisation is the main attraction of this tour. Beginning at around 10:00AM, a city tour will take you across the length and breadth of the city. Join these tours, visit the French Colonies in the old part of the town and some of the most gorgeous cathedrals, and get acquainted with the bucolic charm and appeal around. The tour will also introduce you with the authentic Tamil and French cuisines around the city; enjoy and relinquish over a gastronomic sojourn. Also, by the end of your Pondicherry city tour, you can visit some of the major tourist attraction points like Botanical Garden, Government Museum and Panchavatti Anchanaya.
Located on the kaleidoscopic coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry also proves to be a blessed scuba diving destination in the entire country! The azure and clear waters around this union territory offers astounding opportunities to take a dive into the mesmeric under-water world and discover its magical beauty. One of the wonderful things to do in Pondicherry, scuba diving is a common trait among the locals and is now gaining immense popularity among the tourists. Conducted under the guidance of expert PADI certified divers, this adventure sport is in fact a not to be missed activity. Most of the diving sites in Pondicherry ranges from 5m to 40m, and proves to be ideal for the novice as well as the expert divers. Moreover, the clarity of the water bed and the wide range of aquatic life makes these dives an extremely exciting affair. Some of the popular diving sites in Pondy includes 4 Corners, Temple Reef, Coral Shark Reef, Arvind’s Wall and The Hole.
Take a dive deep into the turquoise waters of Pondicherry, discover the enchanting beauty of the marine life, swim along exotic fishes, witness the gorgeousness of the coral reefs and curate some of the most magical memories of your tour!
Yet another option for the water sport lovers, boating can also be called as one of the most delightful things to do in Pondicherry! However, for those who love the blue waters, but prefer to discover their charm in a steady and playful way, the Chunnambar Backwaters serve as the ideal spot. Located around 7km from the heart of Pondy and on the way to Cuddalore, Chunnambar Boat House is one of the most popular club that offers boat rides along the silent backwaters. Cosseted by lush and evergreen thickets, boating along this large expanse of tranquil backwaters has a unique and unmatched charm. On your next Pondy visit, make it to Chunnambar and plunge into a pedal boat and discover the beauty of the backwaters as they makes their way to the mighty Bay of Bengal; motor boats are also available with the boating house. In addition to a splendid boating experience, you can also indulge in nature photography and be a shutterbug for the day. For the nature lovers, these rides also offer an amazing opportunity to explore the lush beauty around the vicinity and also spot some of the exotic birds dwelling in this region.
Without peace, serenity and brotherhood, the world will cease to exist! On the path to attain these elements, we should always purify our souls and explore the real meaning of life. The more we discover ourselves, the more meaningful life will become for us! And in order to achieve this divine stage, we all need peace of mind, relaxation and unity. Auroville in Pondicherry is one such place that will help your mind to relax and explore the real meaning of life. It is a place, where caste, creed and colour are of no importance; everyone is welcomed here with an open heart.
With a motto to spread progressive harmony, this township in Pondicherry is known for the peace, serenity and devotion that can soothe your mind, help you in bonding with other members and make you realise the value of unity. A must in the list of things to do in Pondicherry, a visit to Auroville will not only allow you to enjoy its tranquil ambience or be a part of its progressive harmony, but will also encourage you to be a part of it. Also, within the ‘Matrimandir’ that is located centrally in this township, you can also indulge in meditation and find your mind’s consciousness.
For those adrenaline junkies who love to catch the wind and glide through the mighty waves, surfing proves to be a much sought after activity. A must to have experience in the list of things to do in Pondicherry, surfing take these water sport lovers far into the turquoise waters of the ocean and have a tryst with the gentle wind and play with the waves! Paradise and Serenity beaches in Pondicherry, with their playful waves and gentle wind proves to be two of the ideal spots for the surfers. Among all the Pondicherry things to do, surfing is indeed the most enthralling experience an adventure junky can enjoy in this scenic union territory. Come Pondy, get your surf-board and hit the waves! Once you have balanced yourself on the board, catch the wind and manoeuvre through the waves to get your desired dose of adrenaline!
Kayaking & Canoeing
Like most of the other water sports, kayaking and canoeing are two of the activities that do not require much of hard and fast training or an expertise. With proper guidance and instructions from an expert trainer, even a first-timer can manoeuvre these vessels and embark on a delightful ride over the water. And when it comes to things to do in Pondicherry, these two water sports should not be missed at any cost. Though considered as an enthralling water sport, it can also enjoyed by the beginners; the thrill quotient depends on the roughness of the water and the rapids. If you are one of the kayaking or canoeing enthusiasts, make it to the scenic Karaikal Beach in Pondicherry and join for an amazing experience with both of these activities. Visited by a large number of tourists, this sandy retreat is an ideal destination that makes these two Pondicherry things to do a must to have experience! Gentle waves, pleasant ambience and the favourable flow of the water around this beach will make kayaking and canoeing an exciting experience for you!
Yachting or Sailing
Through the expanded coastline of Pondicherry satiates the requirements of most of the water adventure lovers, this do not sound enough for some of the thrill seekers. In addition to thrill and adventure, they also yearn for luxury while sailing. Well, for these classes of thrill lovers, Pondicherry offers a wide and charismatic ranges of yachts. Decked with almost all the luxury and comfort, these vessels usually come with a high-powered engine that ensures high speed and grooviness on the water. A lively combination of speed, elegance and comfort, yachting has now become one of the most enjoyed things to do in Pondicherry and attracts a large number of tourists visiting this pictorial union territory.
Beach Walks & Activities.
Blessed with an amazing coastline, Pondicherry is one of the most popular beach destinations in India. Unlike the other beach destinations in the country, beaches here are known for their tranquil ambience and tranquillity. For the beach lovers, a visit to these beaches will not only make their holiday memorable, but will also allow them to indulge in an array of fun-filled and exciting activities. Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach, Karaikal Beach, Promanade Beach and Mahe Beach are some of the ideal retreats that attracts most of the beach lovers visiting Pondicherry. While some of these beaches are often thronged by the tourists, few of them showcases a tranquil ambience and are less crowded. However, irrespective of the beach you visit, you will always be promised with an array of fun-frolic and exciting moments! Swimming, beach volleyball, cricket, kayaking, boating, canoeing and fishing are some of the most commonly enjoyed activities around the beaches of Pondicherry.
Bicycle tours in Pondicherry!
Take Bicycle Tour to experience the pastel town!
Pondicherry is the most mesmerizing place for tourists and offers various activities to do. This place offers fascinating and fantastic guided tours all around the French colonies as well as classical Tamil settlements on vintage bicycles. The tour includes Muslim quarters also known as green quarters, followed by French and Tamil houses, historical, traditional places and various cultural centers. These walking and bicycle tours are often supervised by French and English speaking guides. You can explore the design and city architecture as well as its people on Pondicherry cycle tours. These bicycle tours ensures entire snapshot of French capital of the nation in 2 hours. These are various things to do in Pondicherry.
Bonfire, romantic walks and sunrise at beaches.
When you plan a visit to Pondicherry then don’t forget to go for bonfire night and sunset along with beautiful and memorable romantic walks. The nightlife of Pondicherry is beyond unconventional. Apart from this, the nightclubs, pubs, romantic walks, diners, this place houses many stupefying beaches such as the promenade, karaikal, mahe, serenity and auroville beaches. You will get to do many adventurous sports here and enjoy bonfire, camping and strolling, which are a must have experiences in Pondicherry at night.