There are many places to visit in India, but wanderlust travelers consider Pondicherry one of their top travel goals.
Pondicherry is also called “The Europe of India” and is the most visited South Indian destination. It has a French colonial legacy that exudes its rich heritage and culture.
It is a haven for fun, frolic, and adventure that will add tons of memories to your memory lane. There are many activities to do in Pondicherry - adrenaline-pumping water sports, historical tourist attractions, nature’s trail, soul-cleansing, and mouth-watering street food. If you are a night owl, then Pondicherry will keep your spirits high with a vibrant nightlife.
The period from October to February is the best time to visit Pondicherry. For nature lovers, June to September is also a good season if you want to experience the lush green landscape.
If you plan a vacation, then here’s a list of the 12 best things to do and places to see in Pondicherry.
Auroville is a small town within Pondicherry and is also known as ‘The City of Dawn.’ If you want to purify your soul, mind and explore the real meaning of life, Auroville is one such place that will help your mind to relax.
Auroville is a universal town as it is a place where caste, creed, gender, culture, the country has no importance. It welcomes you with an open heart and has a motto to spread peace, progressive harmony, a serenity to rejuvenate your mind.
So, take a trip down to Auroville and get away from the hustle-bustle of the city.
Pondicherry is best experienced through a city tour. This fantastic tour of the city might take 8-12 hours to complete but will give you a blissful experience - a blend of Pondicherry’s culture and modernization.
Exploring the city on a BLive electric cycle is one of the best things you can do while checking out the erstwhile French capital. Pedal your way through the beautiful streets on an electric cycle to add some classic eco-friendly experience to your trip. This Pondicherry sightseeing ride will take you to some exotic eateries, cultural and historical places.
The Surreal Churches of Pondicherry
One of the foremost places to visit in Pondicherry is the number of splendid churches. These are architectural marvels having unmatchable interiors. You will get to see the most beautiful churches in Pondicherry.
There is a list of churches that display unique patterns and beautiful construction. Some of the notable churches you must visit are - Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hallelujah Assembly of God Church, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Our Lady of Angels Church, and St. Andrews Church. All of these churches are equally attractive and should be on your must-visit list.
Discover the Spiritual Locations in Pondicherry
The city is well known for its spiritual locations that draw the tourists’ attention towards the religious side of Pondicherry. Temples of this city are known for their historical background, interesting facts, and religious belief. You will also witness their architectural marvel while traveling around the city.
Here are some of the most famous temples in and around the city that have a tremendous historical significance to keep you interested - Manakula Vinayagar temple, Shri Vardaraja Perumal temple, Vedapureeswarar temple, Sivananda Swami temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, Irumbai Shiva temple, and Panchvati Anjaneya temple.
A visit to these temples is one of the top few things to do in Pondicherry. If not all, then take time to visit at least one temple to admire the surreal architectural beauty.
The best hours to visit temples are the morning or evening hours.
The Pondicherry Botanical Garden
If you are in Pondicherry, then do not forget to stroll around this beautiful botanical garden. It is among the most popular Pondicherry tourist places and home to several exotic species of rare plants. This garden is a landmark site on the map because of its educational and recreational value.
This botanical garden was set up in 1816 and was introduced by the French. It also stands out from its surroundings in terms of the location near the sea. Few exotic species, introduced by the French, thrive in abundance in the garden today. There is an aquarium too in the botanical park.
The best time to visit is during the months from December to February. The garden’s entry ticket is Rs. 10, and it also includes a toy train ride for the kids!
Visit the Pondicherry Museums
Pondicherry city is also known for its museums. These museums throw light on the ancient life of its people. Museums in Pondicherry have an array of antique artifacts that were dug from the Archeological place of Arikamedu.
These museums are a great treasure flaunting the city’s distinctive culture and traditions. Plan a tour to the Jawahar Toy Museum, the Pondicherry Museum, and the Ananda Ranga Pillai museum. You will get to experience the grandeur of the Chola Dynasty in their amazing collection of bronze statues. At the same time, the contemporary designed toys of the pre-Christian period will mesmerize you. The museums of Pondicherry are the perfect place to visit if you possess an interest in history.
Don’t Miss Scuba diving
If you are a water sports fanatic, then Pondicherry is another thing to look forward to. The crystal blue waters of the exquisite Kaleidoscopic coastline of the Bay of Bengal are perfect for scuba diving. You get to explore the best underwater flora and fauna.
You will have a mesmerizing time underwater, unraveling the untouched and alluring beauty below. These clear waters will offer you a terrific opportunity to discover its beauty. You will get to witness sharks, manta rays, and jellyfish. Most diving sites range from 4m to 40m and prove to be the best diving place.
Learn diving from professional trainers who are PADI certified divers. Some of the famous diving spots are 4 corners, Temple reef, Arvind’s wall, and the Hole and coral shark reef.
The best time to visit Pondicherry’s beaches for scuba diving is during the period from October to November.
Surfing at the Beach
Do you love to catch the wind and glide through the waves? Then the turquoise waters of the vast blue sea in Pondicherry is a must-do experience on your bucket list. Paradise and Serenity beaches prove to be the best ideal spots for the adrenaline junkies. Surfing in Pondicherry will give you an enthralling surfing experience where you can also enjoy the picturesque Union Territory’s surreal beauty. Hit the board and maneuver through the waves. The surfing activity is open throughout the year.
A Boat Ride in Pondicherry
If you are fond of backwaters and like to discover the charm and steady beauty of the blue waters, then you must visit the Chunnambar Backwaters.
Chunnambar backwaters are located around 7km from the heart of the city. There is a club known as the Chunnambar Boathouse that offers boat rides along the calm backwaters. Do plunge into a pedal boat to discover the backwaters’ true beauty and add some splendid boating experience.
It is the perfect trip for nature lovers as it offers a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the lush beauty that is cossetted by evergreen thickets. You can also spot some exotic birds that dwell in this region.
Paintball in Pondicherry
Experience the thrilling paintball experience in Pondicherry. Escape your daily stress, join a team, wear the gear, and start shooting! You will be provided with the basic drill, and then you are on your own. So, visit the paintball zone in Pondy to feel the adrenaline surging as you run and escape the paint pellets. Best way to sum up your holiday.
Experience the Nightlife at Pubs and Lounge
Pondy’s nightlife is as enthralling as its scenic beauty. Dance away your worries, enjoy a romantic dinner with your loved one, and make your trip even more memorable. It is an excellent destination for party animals. There are several fine-dine restaurants where you can go with friends and family and enjoy a beautiful evening.
Birdwatching at Ousteri Lake
For all nature lovers, birdwatching at Ousteri lake is the most popular thing to do. This habitat offers a divine experience for the tourists. This human-made lake gives you a picturesque and unforgettable view of Avifauna’s plethora, making this lake a paradise for the tourists. You can witness many exotic species of birds like the Painted stork, Tailorbird, White ibis, and White-breasted water hen. From bird watching to seeing the sunset, you will enjoy every bit of this place. The best time to visit is from September to July.
If you have set your sights on Pondicherry, allow us to curate your best holiday plan. You can also check out the details of our Picturesque Pondicherry tour here.