Must-see attractions in Puducherry (Pondicherry)

  • Seafront

    Pondy is a seaside town, but that doesn’t make it a beach destination; the city’s sand is a thin strip of dirty brown that slurps into a seawall of jagged…

  • S
    Sri Aurobindo Ashram

    Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French-born woman, ‘the Mother’, this famous spiritual community has about 2000 members in its many departments…

  • P
    Puducherry Museum

    Goodness knows how this converted late-18th-century villa keeps its artefacts from disintegrating, considering there’s a whole floor of French-era…

  • I
    Institut Français de Pondichéry

    This grand 19th-century neoclassical building is also a flourishing research institution devoted to Indian culture, history and ecology. Visitors can…

  • S
    Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple

    Pondy may have more churches than most Indian towns, but the Hindu faith still reigns supreme. Pilgrims, tourists and the curious get a head pat from the…

  • N
    Notre Dame des Anges

    Looking out to sea, past a statue of Joan of Arc (opposite), Notre Dame des Anges was completed in 1855, and is arguably Pondy's most attractive church…

  • É
    École Française d'Extrême-Orient

    This handsome heritage building and library is home to over 11,000 Indology books and a series of Sanskrit, Tamil and Manipravalam palm-leaf manuscripts…

  • S
    Sacred Heart Basilica

    Inaugurated in 1907, the Sacred Heart Basilica is a soaring brown-and-white neo-Gothic structure beautified by restored stained glass.

  • R
    Raj Nivas

    Once home to Governor Dupleix, the neoclassical governor's residence looks out over Bharathi Park from the north. You can't go inside.

  • B
    Bharathi Park

    A shady green haven that's always busy, Bharathi Park faces the neoclassical governor's residence, Raj Nivas, on its north side.

  • G
    Gandhi Memorial

    The main sight along seafront Goubert Ave is this bronze striding statue of Gandhi.

  • O
    Old Lighthouse

    Pondy's lighthouse was completed in the 1830s and functioned for more than a century before being replaced in 1979.