Activities in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or districts, and named after the largest, Pondicherry. In September 2006, the territory and the city changed its official name from Pondicherry to the vernacular original, Puducherry, which means "New village". It is also known as The French Riviera of the East.
It was the former capital of French territories in India.It was established in 1674 by Francoise Martin, the first director of the French East India Company. The town is laid out in a grid pattern, with parallel streets cutting across each other at right angles.Pondicherry main promenade, the 3-km (2-mile) long goubert salai running along the Bay of Bengal, formed part of the French Quarter, with its elegant colonial mansions, tree - lined boulevards, parks, bars and cafes.
Located on Saint Louis Street, Pondicherry Museum functions all day except on Mondays and National Holidays. A beautiful place for all art and history fanatics to see sculptures of ancient times, Roman coins, Muthumakkal Thaali (the ancient burial technique followed in Tamil Nadu), swords and daggers of various sizes, and canons are kept in total harmony with each other. French tables adjoined with walls, dining tables, mirrors, and utensils of the erstwhile French dominate the first floor of the museum building. Photography is restricted inside the arena but you can click some nice pictures outside the buildings line-up with beautiful statues.
One of an integral part of Pondicherry is Aurobindo Ashram in which a bunch of devoted folks continue to hold on to a distinct culture. Nearby Manakkula Vinayagar Temple, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a confluence of silence and good emotions. Usually, people come for meditation in front of Mother’s Samadhi. The Ashram was set up by Aurobindo Ghosh have enough international recognition for its work in the society. There is a library with preachings and past activities of the place. The Ashram was established nearly 100 years back in 1926 and has been focusing on Yoga and Meditation to attain spirituality.
The serene ashram organizes regular meditation sessions to which all are welcome. Sri Aurobindo Ghose was a Bengali poet - philosopher who was part of the struggle for freedom in the early 1900. Being known to the British for his extreme views he took refuge in the French territories where he was drawn into anew spiritual life.
The Botanical Garden was laid out in 1826 and was designed in the formal French style with clipped trees and flower beds. The French introduced many exotic trees and shrubs from all over India and the world many of which are still here today.
It is the home of 1500 species of plants and one of the best botanical gardens in South India. It offers many quiet paths to wander along so visit this during your Pondicherry tourism.
The International Commune, with 40 settlements with names like Grace, Serenity and Certitude has 550 permanent residents. The town was meant to bring people from different castes, religions and nations under one roof, so they could live in harmony.
Two of the settlements Fraternite and Harmonie sell handicrafts made by local artisans. The Matri Mandir is a meditation centre that has a spherical marble chamber inside it containing a crystal that reflects the sun's rays. The concentrated light acts as a focal point for meditation.
Pondicherry popular weekend getaway
Pondicherry consists of four unconnected districts: Pondicherry, Karaikal, and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahe on the Arabian Sea. Puducherry (Pondicherry) and Karaikal are by far the larger ones, and are both enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahe are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, respectively. The territoryis a total area of 492 km². Pondicherry tourist places are as follows.
Auroville "the City of Dawn" is located 8 kilometers northwest of Pondicherry and it was designed by French architect Roger Anger in 1968. Conceived as an utopian paradise by The Mother, Mirra Alfassa, it was planned as a futuristic international city, where people of goodwill would live together in peace.