Pondicherry offers a slice of France in South India! Once a sleepy fishing village, the trading town was a French settlement since the 17th century until the Indian Independence. Today, the city bears several traces of its French colonial influence, from the lovely Promenade and street signs on narrow cobbled lanes, to the colonial buildings of the Old Town and French schools. Discover the famous spiritual community of Sri Aurobindo Ashram on the rue de la Marine, established by the eponymous Indian philosopher along with his collaborator Mirra Alfassa. Just a few km out of town lies the ‘experimental township’ of Auroville, which was designed to promote harmony and shelter people from anywhere in the world!

Highlights

  • French Town
  • Colonial Buildings
  • Aurobindo Ashram
  • Auroville

 Places to stay

Room in Maison Perumal in Pondicherry, India

Maison Perumal

Hotel Style: Boutique

Located in the Tamil quarter of Pondicherry, the Maison Perumal is an old home converted into a ten room heritage hotel.  See Hotel

Swimming pool at the Palais de Mahe in Pondicherry, India

Palais De Mahe

Hotel Style: Boutique

The latest property in the CGH Earth's Chain of leisure stay options, the Palais de Mahé is a Colonial style heritage hotel located in the heart of the French Quarter.  See Hotel

 Things to do

City Highlights of Pondicherry

Explore this quaint French town, its colonial buildings and its most popular edifice – the Aurobindo Ashram; visit the famous temples of Vedapureswarar, Varadaraja Perumal and Manakula Vinayakar.

Visit to Gingee Fort from Pondicherry

Visit the famous 13th century Gingee Fort, located on 3 different hill summits.

Chidambaram & Gangaikondacholapuram City Highlights

Enjoy a day trip to the traditional temple town of Chidambaram where you will find Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Temple, a Hindu temple built by the Chola dynasty to honour Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. Admire the bejeweled image of Nataraja partaking in Bharatanatyam, a cosmic dance that symbolises the motion of the universe. Next, visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the city of the Chola Rajendra I who took the Ganges and was once a capital of this powerful dynasty. Visit the magnificent three storey high Gangaikondacholapuram temple that is surrounded by a huge fort-like wall.

 Map

Explore further travel tips for Pondicherry and our luxury travel destination South India

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