Pondicherry

Pondicherry is also known as Puducherry that is located in the state of Tamil Nadu and is one of the seven Union Territories of India

Updated: June 20, 2020

Pondicherry is also known as Puducherry that is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is commonly referred as Pondy,  and is one of the seven Union Territories of India. It is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerizing places to visit in South India. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues. 

Pondicherry has retained all of its old-world French charms with a French colony. Despite being miles away from France, the city can gives you a very authentic feel of the French culture and allure.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most famous ashrams in India which was founded by the renowned Freedom Fighter and spiritual philosopher Sri Aurobindo. Auroville, also known as 'City of Dawn' is a township located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry.

There are a number of old and large churches in Pondicherry, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A number of heritage buildings and monuments are present around the Promenade Beach, including the Children's Park & Dupleix Statue, Gandhi statue, Nehru Statue, Le Cafe, French War Memorial, 19th Century Light House, Bharathi Park, Governors Palace, Romain Rolland Library, Legislative Assembly, Pondicherry Museum and the French Institute of Pondicherry at Saint Louis Street. 

Botanical Gardens of Pondy is located south of the New Bus Stand.

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Devasthanam on Manakula Vinayagar Street is a Hindu temple, which houses Lord Ganesha. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry i.e. before 1666.

In Tamil, 'Manal' means sand and 'Kulam' means pond near the sea. Earlier, there was full of sand around the pond. So, the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar means God near the pond of sand. Later, it was named as Manakula Vinayagar. 

Thirukaameeswarar Temple is one of the ancient temples located in a rural town called Villianur which is located about 10 km away from Pondicherry towards Villupuram. This temple is renowned as Periya Koil 'Big Temple'. The prime god in this temple is Lord Shiva and the prime goddess is Goddess Kokilambigai. There are also other Hindu gods such as Murugan, Vinayagar, Thakshanamoorthy, Perumal, Bhramah, Chandikeshwarar, Natarajar, Navagrahah, and 63 Naayanmaars. 

The majority speaks Tamil in Pondicherry, while there is a community of French people in Pondicherry and a number of French institutions such as the consulate of France in Pondicherry, the French Institute of Pondicherry, La liberte (French Learning Institute in Pondicherry) and L'Alliance fran├žaise.

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