South Indian City Guide – Pondicherry
Pondicherry, the largest French colony in India, is a Union Territory. At present it is officially called Puducherry. For more than 300 years, the French ruled this Indian Territory and at present, it stands as a living testimony of French culture flourished in India.
Pondicherry City Guide
The city is located on the East – Coast about 160 kms, South of Chennai. From visitor’s point of view the city is considered a unique place having distinct spiritual vibration. The whole town is designed as a grid delimited by a crammed boulevard.
The Pondicherry Union Territory is formed out of four independent districts Karaikal, Pondicherry, Yanam and Mahe. Karaikal and Pondicherry are located on Tamil Nadu’s East Coast, while Mahe is on the West coast in Kerala and Yanam in Andhra Pradesh. Telugu, Tamil, French and Malyalam are the official languages of Pondicherry.
Population : 9, 73,829. Area : Union Territory: 480 Sq. Km; Pondicherry city: 290 Sq. Km , Literacy : 74.91% Climate Conditions : Winter (Nov to Feb), Temperature : Max 300 C & Min 240 C.Summer (March to July), Temperature : Max 400 C (in May) and Average : 380 C to 350 C
Monsoon : In August there are occasional showers that continue in September and October (mostly). The weather condition in Pondicherry is hot, but is manageable.
Tourist Attractions of Pondicherry
Sri Aurobhindo Ashram
Another important place of interest in Pondicherry is Sri Aurobhindo Ashram which was set up by the Freedom Fighter and the Philosopher Sri Aurobindi He was an activist and a Philosopher too. After Sri Aurobhindo, the ashram was operated by “the Mother”, who was the chief follower of Aurobhindo. The spiritual principle of the Ashram represents a blend of modern science and Yoga.
It is called the ‘City of Dawn’ and is an experimental city. It was established by Ms. Mirra Richard who is also known as ‘Mother’. The city is said to be a universal city, where men & women of all creeds, nations and nationalities are able to exist in progressive harmony and peace. The mission of Auroville is to understand human unity. It is to be found at a distance of 8 Km from Pondicherry.
Manakkula Vinayagar Temple
This holy place is above 300 years old. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and features golden spire as well as walls portraying 40 different figures of Lord Ganesha.
This museum is positioned in the former dwelling of the French Administrator building. It has an assortment of rare stone and bronzes sculptures from the Chola and Pallava dynasties as well as relics, which were excavated from Arikamedu.
Ways to Get in
Railways : The train network in Pondicherry is intermittent and sluggish. The constricted gauge trail is linked from Pondicherry to Villupuram.
Airways : Chennai is the nearest airport.