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Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Base Station: Pondicherry

Nearest City to Pondicherry: Pondicherry

Best Time to Visit Pondicherry: October to March

Peak Season: November to January

State: Pondicherry | District: Pondicherry

Pondicherry Weather: Summer: Maximum - 40°C and Minimum - 24°C
Winter: Maximum - 30°C and Minimum - 18°C

At a distance of 170 km from Chennai, 204 km from Trichy, 233 km from Tirupati, 335 km from Madurai, 639 km from Trivandrum, 578 km from Kanyakumari, 96 km from Mahabalipuram, 368 km from Bangalore and 564 km from Kochi, Pondicherry or Puducherry is a city and capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. It is among top weekend getaways from Chennai & Bangalore for a two day visit. Pondicherry is located along the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal.

The Union Territory of Puducherry comprises of four coastal regions namely Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. Puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe on the West Coast in Kerala.

According to legend, Pondicherry was known by the name Vedapuri and this place is also believed to be the abode of the revered sage, Saint Agasthya. Pondicherry had trade relations with Rome during 1st century AD. Roman pottery excavated from Arikamedu near Pondicherry dates back to 1st century AD. Pondicherry was ruled by the Pallava dynasty in 4th century AD followed by different southern dynasties like the Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar kings and later by the Sultanate of Madurai.

The unique location of Pondicherry captured the attention of Portuguese, Dutch, English and French. Pondicherry came under the rule of the French in 1673 and since then it became the site for the battle between the British and the French. Pondicherry remained as the capital of French India for about 300 years, before it attained its independence in 1954. It was in 2006 that the name Pondicherry was changed to Puducherry, which means 'New Village' in Tamil language.

The city is separated into two quarters known as French quarter and the Indian quarter. The French quarter is characterized by building of typical colonial architecture and the latter boasts of ancient Tamil styles and designs. The strategic location, awe-inspiring natural beauty, coupled with its French past and cultural heritage make Pondicherry a major tourist destination. Pondicherry is also famous for its serene beaches. Hotel de Vile, French War Memorial, Puducherry Museum, Aayi Mandapam, Auroville Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Promenade, Chunnambar Resort, Old Light house, Romaine Rolland Library are some of the major Pondicherry tourist places.

The nearest airport is at Chennai, which is about 148 km away. Pondicherry Railway Station is well connected with cities like Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirupati, Bangalore, Villupuram, Howrah, Mumbai, New Delhi and Mangalore. Villupuram Junction is the nearest major railway junction, about 39 km from Puducherry. It has trains from Chennai, Madurai, Mumbai, Rameswaram, Tirunelveli, Trichy, Mangalore, Karaikal, Tirupati, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Varanasi. Pondicherry is well connected by bus with Chennai, Villupuram, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Calicut, Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulum.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 0413
Languages Spoken: Tamil, French, English
Major Festivals: Bastille Day (July 14th), Masi Magam Festival (Full moon day in Masi - Feb/Mar)
Notes/Tips:
The best time to visit Pondicherry is between the months of October to March, while the peak season is from November to January. It usually takes 1-2 full days to explore Pondicherry.

Masquerade, Bastille Day, Masimagam Festival, Pongal and Villianur Temple Car Festival are the prominent festivals celebrated in Pondicherry.

HOW TO REACH PONDICHERRY / PUDUCHERRY


By Air

Nearest Airport: Chennai - Menmbarkam Airport (148 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Pondicherry Railway Station (0 Kms)
Villupuram Railway Station (39 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Pondicherry Bus Station (0 Kms)

29 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN PONDICHERRY / PUDUCHERRY


Park

At a distance of 1.5 km Pondicherry Bus Station, The Botanical Garden is located south of the New Bus Stand. The Botanical Garden along with Aquarium was established in 1826.

The Botanical Gardens is spread over an area of 22 acres in the center of the city. The garden is a famous retreat for locals and tourists. It is spread with pruned trees, flower beds and fountains. Perrotet was responsible for transforming the place into a botanical garden. His memorial can be seen inside the garden premises. He introduced many exotic plants from all over the world. In 1960, after the Transfer of Power from the French, the garden became the hub of horticultural development in Pondicherry.

There are 28 plots in the Botanical Garden and each one has separate theme. Other attractions of the Botanical Garden include Children's toy train, musical fountain, aquarium and a Japanese rock.

The aquarium is home to various types of fishes and other marine life.

Timings: 10 AM to .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Statue of Mahatma Gandhi is located on the beach front of Pondicherry. Built by the famous sculptor Roy Choudhary from Madras School of Art and Crafts, it is one of the major landmarks in Pondicherry. It is surrounded by eight exquisitely carved monolithic granite pillars which were brought from Gingee Fort.

The statue stands 4 m (13 feet) high is the 3rd biggest Mahatma Gandhi statue. It was inaugurated on January 26, 1965. The square in front of the statue referred to as Gandhi Thidal, plays host to various cultural and musical activities through the year.

There is a tunnel below the Gandhi statue which is believed to be leading to Gingee Fort. There were some efforts to explore the tunnel. But, after a few people died of suffocation, the tunnel was closed.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Manakula Vinayagar Temple is one of the famous ancient temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is a popular pilgrimage site in Puducherry.

Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry and the idol of Lord Ganesha is locally known as Vellakkaran Pillai. The French Jesuits and missionaries tried to demolish the temple several times, but every time local population saved the temple.

Facing the east near Bay of Bengal, the temple was known as Bhavaneshar Ganapathy, now called as Manakula Vinayagar. In Tamil Manal means sand and Kulam means pond near the sea. The temple is spread over an area of about 8000 sq. ft with outer mandapam, raja gopuram and outer enclosure. Measuring 18 feet in height, the gold plated kodikambam is a spectacular highlight of this temple. The outside wall of the temple depicts various forms of the Ganesha with its timelines and locations. The rich architectural .....


Museum & Gallery

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Pondicherry Museum is situated in the Bharathi Park and is known for its unique collection of sculptures.

This museum has an excellent gallery with sculptures and has the remains of archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. This gallery is known to have artifacts belonging to Cholas and Pallavas rule of Pondicherry and Karaikal. Burial urns, French furniture, terracotta figures, crockery, guns, swords, paintings, mirrors and several other things dating back to different periods are preserved here.

The painting section includes Tanjore and glass paintings, colonial prints and contemporary oils, pastels and water colors. It has bronze statues of several gods and goddesses along with handicrafts, art work and temple lamps. The ground floor of the museum has a palanquin and pousse-pousse exhibited.

The museum also has a wide collection of snail shells collected from the beaches near Pondicherry.

Timings: .....


Miscellaneous

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a famous spiritual community (ashram) located in Pondicherry. Founded by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (The Mother) in 1926, it is one of the major highlights of Pondicherry and is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. The ashram is also the place of Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

The Aurobindo Ashram is one of the most visited tourism sites in Pondicherry. This ashram comprises several buildings and there are around 1,200 members along with 400 students living in this center.

The serene Aurobindo Ashram comes alive during the festivals. Thousands of tourists, followers and visitors come here. Despite the large crowd the members maintain discipline within the complex, restoring its peaceful environment. The ideals of the ashrams are based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. The ashram contains a library, printing press, playground, art gallery, a dispensary/nursing .....


Beach

At a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Promenade Beach is one of the popular beaches in Pondicherry along the Bay of Bengal. It is a 1.5 km long stretch between War Memorial and Dupleix Park. This is one of the top places to visit in pondicherry.

This beach is called by multiple names like rock beach due to rocks along the beach, Gandhi beach because of statue of Mahatma Gandhi and also as Promenade beach. Popularly this beach is also called Pondicherry beach because of its close proximity to the city.

It's a long stretch of rocky beach with benches and wide pavement for morning and evening walks. It is adjacent to Goubert Avenue, the historical section of the city which has several beautiful colonial buildings. This long stretch has statues of Jeanne d'Arc Dupleix, Mahatma Gandhi and War Memorial. There is also a 27 meter tall old Lighthouse near this place. The Hotel de Ville and Town Hall also adorn this .....


Park

At a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Bharathi Park, also known as the Government Park is situated in the central region of the old colonial town of Pondicherry.

Government Park was once the location of the first French garrison and Fort Louis which were destroyed by the British. In 2006 the park was renovated and several new sections were included to make it more attractive. It is a beautiful and peaceful park ideal to spend time with family or for a morning / evening walk.

The Aayi Mandapam or the Park Monument is a famous monument which lies at the center of the park. At one point, Aayi Mandap was the main water source for Pondicherry town.
The Mandapam is an imposing structure that flaunts brilliant Greco-Roman architecture. The presence of flowerbeds, well-manicured lawns and beautiful fountains around the monument make it an attractive place.

There is a wonderful children's play area with several playground equipment. This park is surrounded .....


Beach

At a distance of 8 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Paradise Beach, also known as Plage Paradiso, is an isolated beach located at Chunnambar. This is one of the most famous beaches of Pondicherry and also one of the best Pondicherry tourist places.

The beach is extremely attractive as the sands are very clean and the water is crystal clear. The Paradise Beach is situated close to Cuddalore main road and it houses the famous Chunnambar resort.

Visitors have to cross the Chunnambar backwaters by boat to reach Paradise Beach. These boats leave from Chunnambar boathouse around 6 km from Pondicherry. The beach has shelters and palm trees for shade and protection from the sun and rain. There is one small bar which serves soft drinks and snacks. The tides at the beach are strong at times and it is not advisable to go deeper into the sea. This beach is famed for its lovely sunbathing options and resting under the cool breeze of .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 13 km from Pondicherry, Auroville (City of Dawn) is an experimental township in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the East Coast Road and was founded by Mirra Alfassa in 1968 and was designed by the French architect Roger Anger. The word Auroville essentially means a universal town, where people can live peacefully, irrespective of nationality, colour, caste and creed. The purpose of Auroville, Pondicherry was to emphasize human unity, promoting message of the founder of Auroville, Mirra Alfassa.

Auroville was officially inaugurated on 28th February, 1968 and was endorsed by UNESCO and the Government of India. During its inauguration, soil from over 124 countries was placed and mixed inside a lotus shaped urn, symbolizing universal oneness. Auroville was built to welcome people from all over the world to live together and explore scientific, educational, cultural and spiritual pursuits as per the Auroville charter.

The town houses the Matrimandir .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Meeran Mosque, also known as Meerapalli, is the 2nd oldest mosque in Pondicherry. It was built by the Arcot Nawabs in late 17th century.

Meeran Mosque was built in the old Gothic Islamic style of architecture. The Dome of the Mosque is supported by four lofty. In order to enhance the beauty of the facade minaret a Bronze Kalasa is placed on the top of the structure. The Meeran Mosque is also the resting place of the grave of Meeran, the one who constructed the Mosque.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple located on M.G.Road is believed to be the oldest temple in Pondicherry, dating back to 970 AD.

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple is also famous for its Dravidian architectural patterns, front gopuram and sculptured towers. The idol can be seen in standing form, majestically 5 feet tall.

The temple also houses a sannidhi for goddess called as Perundevi thayar. There is a mirror room in the temple. The Varadaraja Perumal temple houses assorted avatars of Lord Vishnu which are present in divyadesams.

The idols of lord Rama, goddess Sita, lord Lakshmana, lord Hanuman, Lord Navaneetha Krishna, Sri Santhanagopala and Sri Venugopala are present in the temple. The temple also houses two great Vaishnava Acharyas, Nikamanda Mahadesikan and Manavalamamuni. This temple is also famous for first rice feeding of children known as Annaprasana.

Sri Ramanavami festival, Vaikunta Ekadasi, .....


Museum & Gallery

At a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Jawahar Toy Museum is situated close to the Old Light House on Goubert Avenue near Gandhi Maidan in Pondicherry.

Jawahar Toy Museum is one of the popular museums carrying an exclusive display of a wide variety of toys. The museum has a collection of 120 dolls that are carefully labeled and dressed in beautiful costumes. These dolls and toys have been collected from several states in the country and are seen wearing the traditional dresses of that particular region. The rare collection of toys and decorated dolls represent the culture of different parts of the country. The museum is a must visit place for children.

Jawahar Toy Museum is one of the rarest toy museums in the country. The best collection includes dolls from Punjab, Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Kashmir and southern states. Through art and display, the Museum educates people about the importance of dolls and toys in Indian culture.

The .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the highly revered religious places in Pondicherry and is located on the south boulevard of the town.

It is one of the 21 Basilicas in India and only one in Pondicherry. This church was established in 1908 by the French missionaries and attained the status of basilica in 2011. This Catholic Church is one of the finest churches of Pondicherry.

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an excellent example of Gothic architecture. The structure is 50 meters long, 48 meters wide and 18 meters high and is held by 24 columns. One can see the biblical words on entrance written in Latin along with the images of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mother Mary carved in the entrance door.

It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church. A striking statue of Madonna is placed at the right side of the high altar. The statue .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Immaculate Conception Church, also known as Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee, is located on the Church Street in Pondicherry. Dedicated to Saint Peters, it is famously known as the Church of Capuchins that was founded in 1686. In the beginning it was constructed as a small chapel, outside the government park. Till 1729, it served as the Parish church and the name was later changed to Immaculate Conception Church.

The Cathedral is a magnificent structure with beautifully constructed interior and exterior designs. There is an esplanade in front of the Church where tourists can take part in the ceremonies organized in the church. The church was also visited by Mother Teresa. The feast of the church is celebrated on the 8th of December every year. It draws a large number of devotees from neighboring states.

Mass prayers are organised at this church from Monday to Saturday at 5:15 AM and 6:15 AM. On Sundays, .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 2.5 km Pondicherry Bus Station, Ananda Ranga Pillai House is one of the oldest buildings in Pondicherry and is located right opposite the Grand Bazaar on Ranga Pillai Street.

Built in 1735, the mansion was named after Ananda Ranga Pillai, who was the courtier of Governor Joseph Francois Dupleix. This beautiful mansion is a perfect example of Indian and Gothic architecture styles. The ground floor is traditional Tamil architecture with a huge courtyard with wooden pillars with exquisite carvings.

Also called as Natives Quarters, this mansion is a treasure house to understand the French colonial period in Pondicherry as documented by Pillai in his diaries. The mansion was one of the few buildings to survive the British invasion and has been recognized by the Puducherry government as a heritage building.

Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Sri Kanniga Parameswari Temple on MG Road is an ancient temple and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Puducherry. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati.

Kanniga Parameswari Temple is famous for its unique architecture that reflects the Dravidian and French architecture. The temple features curved walls, massive towers, angel decorations and stained glass windows influenced by French architecture. The inner sanctum and ceilings are designed in traditional Dravidian style.

Navaratri is the most famous festival celebrated in this temple. All Fridays in the month of Adi (around August) are auspicious days and special Pujas are performed.

Timings: 6.30 AM - 10.30 AM and 5.30 PM - 9 PM


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix is situated in children's park on the beach road. Dupleix was one of the most popular French governors to Pondicherry. He tried to prevent British supremacy by forming alliances with local princes. With the defeat of French in Second Carnatic War, Dupleix resigned his governorship and returned to France.

The 2.88 m tall statue of Dupleix stands at the southern end of the park. This statue has been constructed over beautiful granite columns at Place du Republique. Even though Dupleix left Pondicherry in 1754, French recognition of his contribution came only in 1870, with the commissioning of two statues-one in Pondicherry and the other in France.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 3.2 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Romain Rolland Library, formerly known as Bibliotheque Publique, is one of the oldest Libraries in the country and the biggest in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Established in the year 1827, this library has been named after the French scholar - Romain Rolland.

There are more than 315,000 books kept in this library printed in different languages. More than 45000 members are utilizing the Library and nearly 2 lakhs books are annually loaned to the readers. Apart from this, nearly 190 periodicals are being subscribed. About 1,000 readers are using the reading room facilities every day. The library has been segregated into numerous sections, including a separate children's section and the Rare Book Section. The Children's Section aimed to develop the reading habit among younger generation.

The Rare Book section has a collection of about 15,000 old and rare books. Scholars from all parts of the country visit this Library .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, The Church of Our Lady of Angels, also known as Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges Church is one of the popular churches in Pondicherry.

The Church was built in 1865 by French Missionaries in the Greek Roman architectural style. It was modeled after the Basilica at Lourdes located in Southern France. The masonry is done using the fine limestone, mixed with white part of the egg, giving it a texture that looks like a white marble. The church is named in the honor of Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Angels.

The facade of the church has two large columns. The interior central dome has eight circular openings. The pastel peach and lime colours give it a very serene appearance. This church is also famous for its rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was a gift from the French Emperor, Napoleon III.

The cemetery next to the church has the tomb of Marquis de Bussy (dated 1785), who was one .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 3 km Pondicherry Bus Station, The Old Light House is one of Pondicherry's most famous landmarks and is situated on Goubert Avenue.

The engineer of the project, Louis Guerre laid the foundation of this Lighthouse in 1835. The lighthouse is 29 meters high. Its round tower sits on a square base with a foundation 9 meters deep to stabilize the sandy ground on which it was built. However, the beacon had not arrived from France so the lighthouse was not operational until July 1836.

The light house was considered to be quite modern for that time with its unique structure. Its light beam could be seen from a distance of 15 miles. The light source consisted of six oil lamps and two reflectors. The light source was converted to electric lamps in 1913. The new lamp had a range of 26 nautical miles.

The lighthouse was shut down in the year 1979, but is an interesting place to visit.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Raj Niwas is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. It is one of the most important buildings, which once served as a palace during French colonization and was the official residence of the French Governor Dupleix.

Raj Nivas, built during the 18th century is well-known as the 'Palais du Government'. It is a harmonious blend of French and Indian architecture. It was once the location of the Hotel de la Compagnie and later played host to Dupleix. One of the major attractions for the tourists is the monolithic pillars, brought from Gingee Fort after it was seized in 1751.

The complex has an attractive water monument placed inside the middle of a well-maintained garden. Skillfully carved wooden pillars surround the courtyard and decorated stonework of European design support the first floor terrace. Two canons are exhibited on either side of the main gate.

It is now the Lieutenant Governor's .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, French War Memorial on Goubert Avenue is located in French Quarter (White Town). It was built in 1971 to commemorate the brave soldiers who laid down their lives during First World War.

The memorial has four stark white columns with a life-size statue of a soldier leaning on a rifle. On the memorial there is an inscription that says, 'Aux combattants des Indes Francoises morts pour la patrie, 1914-1918' which means French fighters of India who died for their country in 1914-1918.

The memorial is a popular tourist attraction in Pondicherry. There is a small garden built around the monument. The Memorial is beautifully illuminated on the Bastille Day which is celebrated on 14th July.

Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 6 km Pondicherry Bus Station, Chunnambar Boat House also known as Plage Paradiso is famous for its backwaters and it's a popular boating venue and is. Located on the Cuddalore main road, the backwater is situated at a point where the Chunnambar River meets Bay of Bengal. Paradise beach is usually reached by boat from Chunnambar Boat House.

Chunnambar Boat House is ideal for boating and also a great picnic spot. The backwater houses a nice resort managed by the Pondicherry Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (PTTDC), known as Chunnambar Beach and Backwater Resort. The resort offers a range of fun and entertainment options include trekking, yachting, backwater boat trips and beach games. The boating options include motor boats, speed boats, sail boats, rowed boats, water scooters, paddled boats and pedaled boats. Accommodation facility is available on tree top houses.

Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM. Ferry to Paradise Beach: 9 AM to 4 PM.

Boating Fee: .....


Beach

At a distance of 7 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Serenity Beach is a wonderful beach close to East Coast Road. It is a clean, calm and less crowed beach.

Serenity Beach offers several adventure activities like surfing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. This is a perfect destination for sunbathing, swimming and just relaxing. While the picturesque beach is graced by white sand bordered by palm trees, the surrounding blue waters are a surfing hotspot.

Serenity Beach Bazaar is setup on weekends at the beach on East Coast Road. Some of the items sold in bazaar are handicrafts, garments and leather goods.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 7 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trade center is situated on the banks of Ariyankuppam River. Remains of the port which was a major maritime center between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD have been unearthed during excavations. Arikamedu is of special importance in South Indian archaeology and it is best known for its stone bead production.

The port town was inhabited by Romans and Cholas and evidence of their stay have been unearthed by archeologists. It is believed to be the only city with an archaeological record of Roman presence in India.

Arikamedu started off as a fishing village but with the development of trade, the village was replaced by a brick built harbour town. Today, only ruins of the town remain. Besides maritime commerce, evidence has also been unearthed of inland trade with Kaveripattinam, Alagankulam, Musiri and Suttukeni along the river. Various textiles, beads, terracotta artifacts, gold and jewellery .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 600 m from Villianur Railway Station and 8 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is located at Villianur. It was built by Cholas during 12th century along with two beautiful temple tanks.

Varadaraja Perumal Temple is an ancient temple and it has great religious significance. The structure of the temple is very attractive and is highly revered by its devotees. The temple has been constructed in traditional Dravidian style, with large front gopuram and sculpted pillars. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, locally called as Venkatachalapathy.

There is a separate shrine of Lord Narashima behind the temple of the main deity.

Timings: 6 AM - 12 PM and 4 PM - 9 PM.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 750 m from Villianur Railway Station and 8 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, Sri Kokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple is an ancient temple located at Villianur in Pondicherry and is popularly known as Villianur Temple.

This temple was constructed by a Chola king in the 12th century CE. According to the history, the king was suffering from leprosy and worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple and got cured. The King built a town in this place which was earlier a forest of Vilwa (Bel) trees and constructed the temple and named it Vilwanallur which gradually changed to Villianur.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Thirukameshwara, the goddess of this temple is known as Kokilambal. The lingam is made of mud and abhishekas are not performed to the linga directed. Instead, the lingam is covered with brass armor before abhishekas. The rays of the Sun fall on the presiding deity in the month of Panguni (March/April). The Nandi in this temple is called Prasava Nandi and .....


Beach

At a distance of 9.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station and 6 km from Auroville Matrimandir, The Auroville Beach situated near Bommayapalayam on East Coast Road is a nice and serene beach.

The Auroville Beach is one of the popular beaches in Pondicherry and also one of the less crowded beaches. The waters at the Beach are shallow and offer a great opportunity for swimming. The slope of the beach is gentle that facilitates the swimmers.

The beach is mostly visited in the weekends by the local people. On the other days of the week, the beach remains isolated. Sunrise is more spectacular at this beach. There are some beach huts and resorts which provide food and accommodation for the visitors.


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 10 km Pondicherry Bus Station, Ousteri Lake, also known as Osudu Lake, is situated at Osudu Village on Pondicherry-Villuppuram Road. Spread across 390 hectares, the lake is situated between Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu.

It is declared as one of the Asia's important wetlands. The Lake was declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the government. The government has decided to promote and develop the lake to a full-fledged sanctuary. Consisting of water, marsh and mudflats, this site is inhabited by more than 40 migratory birds. Golden Oriole, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Open bill Stork, Tailor Bird and Spotted Owlets are some of the unique bird species seen here. The vegetation ranges from small herbs to trees, which supports migratory as well as native birds.

At one point, Ousteri Lake was one of the biggest lakes and major supplier of drinking water to Pondicherry. Boating facility is available in the lake. Bird watching is another major activity here.

Timings: .....

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