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Home » Southern India
Pondicherry
Pondicherry Map

Settled in the early 18th century by the French, Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal in the state of Tamil Nadu has a Gallic flavour. Relinquished by the French in 1954, the town became the headquarters of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, administering other former French enclaves scattered across South India.

Pondicherry (or Puducheri) meaning ‘the new settlement’ was one time a French settlement comprising of Karaikal, Mahe & Yanam other than Pondicherry itself. A unique fact about Pondicherry is that it simultaneously spreads in to several states. Karaikal is in Tamil Nadu while Mahe is in Kerala. Yanam on the other hand is an element of Andhra Pradesh. Today, Pondicherry is a union territory located about 2000 kms south of Chennai. However, its French connection is distinctly visible on the architecture & culture of the place. However, its fame lies in its relation with the saint-philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh, who founded his ashram here. Today, the ashram is home to nationals from different corners of the world, who come here in pursuit of peace & solitude. Unlike most other places in India, Pondicherry is a planned city. All the roads meet at right angles, adhering to the grid process & a long Petit Canal divides the city on the sea-ward side.

Pondicherry Facts

• Area 19.54 sq. km
• Population 203,065
• Altitude Sea Level
• Languages Tamil, French, English
• Best Time to Visit October to March
• STD Code 0413

Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the major parts of their lives, is the greatest attraction for tourists in this little city. The Pondicherry Museum houses some of the most exquisite collections of architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a beautiful beach alongside a promenade and lots of historical monuments to peruse. Other interesting sites are the Bharti and the Bharthidasan Memorial museums and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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