On this six-hour tour explore the major sights of the former French colony of Pondicherry and visit the unique township of Auroville. Pondicherry, or Puducherry as it is now called, remained under French rule until 1954. Even today, French influence is visible everywhere. Auroville is an experimental township that was founded in 1968 and is today home to people of several nationalities.Highlights: • French quarter • Statue of Mahatma Gandhi • Bharati Park • Matrimandir - Auroville • Sri Aurobindo Ashram
You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and your Guide will take you on a tour of the city. As you drive around you will notice the French influence in the facades of the mediterranean style houses, the local bakeries and the roads and avenues. French is still spoken by the locals although English is widely understood. Pondicherry is also referred to as the ‘French Riviera of the East’.Visit the old French quarter and note the contrast with the newly constructed parts of the city. Take in the sights of the long, rough shoreline from the beach promenade. Visit Bharati Park, the green centre of the city. Other major attractions are the Government Park, the Botanical Gardens and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also, go to Gandhi Mandappam that has the tallest statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the country.Next drive to Auroville, which literally translates to the ‘City of Dawn’. People from over 50 nations of the world reside here and the architecture of the township reflects this universality. Visit Matrimandir, a golden flower shaped meditation centre and spend some time there in silent contemplation. Auroville is not a destination but a way of life. Get an insight into the lifestyle of this community at the Sri Aurobindo ashram.After the tour enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (own expense). After lunch you will be driven back to your hotel.