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Pondicheery

Pondicheery

Pondicherry retains a few accents . Pondicherry’s main sights are the Rai Nivas , the Sacred Heart Church and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram . The ashram retreat was founded in 1926 by Sri Auro bindo after whose death the spiritual authority passed to one of his disciples , a French woman known as ‘ The Mother ‘. It is now part of a Union Territory that includes three other small formerly French colonies : Mahe (Kerala), Karaikal (Tamil Nadu ) and Yanam (Andhra Pradesh ).

Cities in Pondicheery

ARIYANKUPPAM

Ariyankuppam (Arikamedu) was an ancient Indian fishing village which was formerly a major port dedicated to bead making and trading with Roman traders. Now Ariyankuppam is administrated as a town under Puducherry Union Territory of India. It’s a historical site, 4 kms south of Pondicherry, which revealed local trade with Romans in 2nd century BC. It displays amazing ruins of an 18th century French Jesuit Mission House here. It was abandoned in 1783. Some even believe that Roman settlements existed here.

ariyankuppam

KAMARAJ NAGAR

Kamaraj Nagar is a residential area of Ariyankuppam Town in the Union Territory of Puducherry(Pondicherry), India. It is surrounded by Chinna Subrayapillai Street in the east, Kazhini (Paddy Fields) in the south, Government Primary Health Center and Sollai Counder Street in the North and Church of Our Lady of Good Health in the West. Kamaraj Nagar is cool and greenery with Concrete roads. Old Name for Kamaraj Nagar is Pudavaikaran Thope. As the name indicates this area was once a thope (garden) property of a textile merchant which in Tamil called as Pudavaikaran Thope.

udhampur

KARAIKAL

Kurnool lies in the west-central part of Andhra Pradesh State, southern banks of the Tungabhadra and Handri rivers. It was the capital of Andhra Pradesh from 1953 until 1956. It is the headquarters of the district . In 12th century AD, the Odders, who carted stones for the construction of the temple Alampur, used the site on which the town now stands as a halting place before crossing the Tungabhadra and greased their cart wheels with oil locally supplied by some of the oil mongers, and called the place ‘Kandanavolu’ which in course of time came to be known as Kurnool.

karaikal

KURUMBAPET

Kurumbapet is a town and a gram panchayat in Puducherry District in the Indian union territory of PuducherryIn Kurumbapet, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. There is one Housing Board Colony in Kurumbapet where the major residents are employees of Anglo French Textile situated nearby. An Association was formed by the residents during 1986-87 and Mariamman temple was built initially. Many industries are came near by, and the city limit is extended up to this village. Kurumbapet come under Oulgaret panchayat board

akhnoor

LAWSPET

Lawspet is an Assembly Constituency in Pondicherry State in India. lawspet is one of the most populated area in puducherry with all amenities, especially known for the education centers. Lawspet boasts of its calm environment (the greeneries) and moreover the airport is located here, now they have extended the runway so that domestic flights can also be handled, most probably flights will be available from 2010

lawspet

Pilgrimages in Pondicheery

Pondicherry has a mixed population with people belonging to various religions. And hence understandably so, the place has a whole lot of places of worship for each faith.

MACULAR VINAYAKAR TEMPLE

This temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple has a golden spire and walls consist of the images of 40 different forms of Ganesha. Manakkula Vinayagar Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesh, is located behind the Raj Niwas in Pondicherry town. The temple is assumed to be constructed nearly 5 centuries back. The Vinayaka, called as a Vellakkaran Pillai, in the sanctum is a grand figure. A major draw is on the 18 day celebration of Brahmotsavam. Other festival celebrated here with piety and enthusiasm is Vinayaka Chaturthi. The Frenchman convinced by the ability and power of the Idol and became an ardent devotee of the Lord

vinayagar-temple

MAILAM MURUGAN TEMPLE

Mailam is located fifteen kilometres from Tindivanam and thirty from Pondicherry. The temple, situated on a small hill , is connected with a village on the Coromandel coast, Bomayapalaiyam, very near Pondicherry, where a Vera Saiva mutt is found. According to the name, bomma or bomme, derived from brahmana. This was a village donated to Brahmans, as is confirmed by the sthala purana .in which Bomayapalaiyam is also named Brahmapuram. In another passage, dating from 1746, Ananda Ranga Pillai mentions that the swami of the mutt cities three pontiffs during this twenty-four year period.

mailam-murugan

CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS

Constructed in 1865, this church witnesses a rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, gifted by French Emperor Napoleon III. Built in a Greek Roman architectural style, the church has a very well furnished interior with serene and quite atmosphere. The pastel peach and lime colours give it a very cool appearance. The cemetery just next to the church has the tomb of Marquis de Bussy, a strong follower of Joseph Francois Dupleix. These sites are visited by people of all faiths and religions.

church-of-our-lady

AUROVILLE ASHRAM

Auroville is a universal township which can accommodate a population of 50,000 people from all over the world. This concept of Ideal Township was thought by the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the early 1930. In 1960 the proposal was offered to the Mother by the Sri Aurobindo society and was passed with her blessings. The proposal was then conveyed to the Indian Government and was subsequently put before the general assembly of UNESCO and was also passed unanimously. The main purpose to build such township was to realize human unity and transformation of consciousness among the people of the whole world.

auroville

JAMAI MOSQUE

This beautiful mosque on Mulla Street is a rare architectural monument. It is one of the oldest mosques in Pondicherry. It has a very well maintained prayer hall that can accommodate more than hundred devotees during Friday prayer session.

jamai

Beaches & Lakes in Pondicheery

The beach-comber and the sun-worshipper have miles of nirvana in Pondicherry. The waters are cool and soothing. The sands clear and sparkling. In splendid seclusion.

PONDICHERRY BEACH

Pondicherry has a lovely beach, 1.5 kms long, where one can relax, sunbathe, swim or take a stroll along the promenade. On the sea-front are two important monuments – Statue of Mahatma Gandhi set amidst eight exquisitely sculptured monolithic pillars and the War Memorial raised by the French to honour the soldiers who died in World War I. The Goubert Salai along the Bay of Bengal is lined with grand colonial buildings. The Frenchman convinced by the ability and power of the Idol and became an ardent devotee of the Lord

karaikal

BOAT HOUSE, CHUNNAMBAR

The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting for boating. Boats are available on hire on all days of the week. A most enjoyable hydroplane and facilities for boating and fishing make this an ideal site for relaxation and picnic. Chunnambar is located in Ariyankuppam which is 7 kms from Pondicherry (Pondy) on the way to Cuddalore and 1 Km from Ariankuppam. As it is located on the Cuddalore main road, all buses going to Cuddalore will take you to the bus-stop near the main gate.

boat-house

OUSTERI LAKE

Ousteri (or Oussudu) Lake is the largest lake in Pondicherry, of around 800 acres of water located approximately 6 km. west of the town. For over a decade, environmentalists have tried to get the lake protected as a sanctuary. The Bombay Natural History Society, has designated Ousteri an Important Bird Area (IBA) of India – over 20,000 birds belonging to over 40 species used to reside or winter at Ousteri. The Asian Wetland Bureau declared Ousteri one of 93 significant wetlands in Asia; and many of the birds recorded at Ousteri, including Spot-billed pelicans, Eurasian Spoonbills, Darters, Painted Storks, and Black-headed (or White) Ibis.

ousteri-lake

PLAGE PARADISO BEACH IN PONDICHERRY (PARADISE BEACH)

At Chunnambar, 8 kms from the town, along Cuddalore Main Road, lies this stretch of tropical paradise. Flanked h a quiet-flowing creek on one side. In fact, you can sail downstream to the sands and pitch up a cozy seaside tent for yourself. Overnighting within the tree-houses on the backwater banks provides a relishing experience of the great outdoors. A short, pleasant cruise into the sea from here could reward you with the memorable sight of playful dolphins in natural habitat, horsing around.

plage-paradise

Monuments in Pondicheery

RAJ NIWAS

Once the official residence of the French Governor Dupleix, Raj Niwas has a well laid out garden with a sculpture of Lord Vishnu (as Varaha avatar) together with Goddess Lakshmi at the centre. The building is a harmonious fusion of both French and Indian style of architecture. Now it is used as the official residence of the Lt. Governor of the UT of Pondicherry. Raj Niwas is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governors of Pondicherry. It is located in the capital city of Puducherry, Pondicherry.

raj-niwas

STATUE OF MAHATMA GANDHI

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, 13 ft height stands on the beach front, surrounded by carved monolithic pillars built by the famous sculptor Roy Choudhary from Madras School of Art and Crafts. There is also the “French War Memorial” commemorating the sacrifice of the soldiers in the First World War. Mahatma Gandhi Statue on Beach Road. This is the Asia’s biggest Gandhi statue

gandhistatue

STATUE OF DUPLEIX

Joseph Francois Dupleix, a great statesman was the Governor of Pondicherry between 1742 and 1754. His life was greatly associated with the people of the Pondicherry. He had tried his best to prevent British Supremacy from Indian Territory by making alliances with local princess. In the struggle for power between British and French, finally French was defeated in the Second Carnatic War. Hence Dupleix relinquished his Governorship and returned to Paris in disgrace. His memorial statue is located at Goubert Avenue.

statue-of-dupleix

FRENCH INSTITUTE OF INDOLOGY

This classical colonial building is now called as the French Institute of Indology, a research institute that explores Indian civilization, history, society in ecology and environmental development in South and Southeast Asia. Established in the mid 1950s by an eminent French Indologist, Dr. Jean Fillozet, the institute was originally set up for the study of local language and culture. Now it has links with various French universities and research organizations in France. The centre is also dedicated in preserving palm leaf manuscripts and promoting the Indian languages. The building has a very well decked entrance gate with pediment, arched staircases, arcades and windows.

french-institute

HOUSE OF ANANDA RANGAPILLAI

Located at Rangapillai Street, this house built in Tamil-French style was the home of an 18th century Indian nobleman – Ananda Rangapillai, the favourite courtier and chief Dubash (trade agent) of Francois Dupleix. The building represents an unusual fusion of French and Indian styles. This lavishly furnished house offered fascinating glimpses into a bygone era. Now it houses a museum that retains very little of its past glory. Prior permission is required to visit the mansion

house-of-rangapillai

Museums in Pondicheery

PONDICHERRY MUSEUM

The Museum provides a glimpse into Pondicherry’s rich past and present. It has the Sculpture gallery, an interesting French Gallery. The Museum brings back to memory the glorious past of Pondicherry from the days of the pre-Christian era down to the present day. It provides glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagar days. The Pondicherry museum housing some of the superb collections of sculpture is located in the Bharathi Park. This museum has an excellent gallery with sculptures and has the remains of archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement.

pondicherry-museum

ANGLO-FRENCH TEXTILE MILLS

Visiting the century old Anglo-French Textile mills in Pondicherry is not only educative but also of tourism importance. The mill gives 10% rebate to the tourists who go on guided tours/buses on the purchases made. The world claimed fabrics and products of the mill will not only be a memento of Pondicherry but also can be used as gifts besides being products of utilitarian/aesthetic value in the houses. The good quality fabrics and other textile products can be purchased as ideal mementos and gifts from this well established textile mill. The mill started functioning dating back to more than one century and is a popular place for study tours.

anglo-french-textiles

ROMAIN ROLLAND LIBRARY

The library established in 1872, has a rich collection of 300,000 volumes, including rare editions in both French and English. The reference section on the first floor is open to the public. The library has a mobile section that takes 8,000 books to the nearby villages for the interests of the people. One of the very old libraries in India and the erstwhile Bibliotheque Publique, Romain Rolland Library is named to honor Romain Rolland, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and a French scholar. The library has a collection of more than 315,000 volumes in many languages. Children section is very impressive, which promote the reading habit of children.

roman-rolland-pondicherry

JAWAHAR TOY MUSEUM

The Jawahar Toy Museum is located in the old Light House building near Gandhi Maidan. Here toys and puppets from different parts of India are on display. A neatly maintained doll museum, Jawahar Toy Museum is located in Pondicherry town at the old Light House building close to Gandhi Maidan. It houses a variety of dolls and toys collected from different states in India. The dolls are vigilantly labeled and beautifully dressed in pretty colorful attires. The small collection of dolls nearly outnumbered 140. This is a good place for children.

jawahar-toy-museum

Gardens & Parks in Pondicheery

In the year 1826, C.S.Perrotet planned and laid out the beautiful botanical garden. It has got good collections of plant species from India as well as abroad. There is also an aquarium with exhibits displaying the local methods of coastal fishing. The peaceful garden is a worth visiting site. There is also a government park which is also known as Bharati Park. This charming park is filled with lush green lawns, flower beds, fountains and sculpture. People who love being alone preferred a park or a garden. They alienate themselves and go to their world of fancy and imagination.

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry was created in 1826. The garden has rare and interesting plants procured from Calcutta, Madras and Sri Lanka. Currently it possesses a proud collection of 1,500 species of different plants and herbs. The Botanical Gardens is 178 years old and here you will find each and every tree or plant labeled with scientific, common and Tamil names. This has been possible due to the efforts of Department of Tourism . Further more information is going to be provide of each tree like Uses of the trees , Amount of oxygen given , Medicinal Value. Here you will get a mix of endangered and exotic species of plants .

botanical-garden

TIRUVAKKARAI

It is about 30 km from Pondicherry town. Large fossil bearing areas fenced in to create the country’s first National Fossil-Wood Park here. These petrified trees lying scattered on low mounds and stream sections, date from the Cretaceous Age (100 million years ago). The Chandramouliswara Temple, a monument of great architectural grandeur dating back to the Chola period, is an added attraction. Every Pournami (Full Moon Day), people gather here to worship Goddess Kali.

wood-park

Fair & Festivals in Pondicheery

Fairs and Festivals of Pondicherry offer a good insight into its culture. Said to be the abode of Lord Sulramaniar and Devi temples such as Muthumariammam and Angalamman and a profound southern French influence, there are some very interesting festivals in Pondicherry. The fire walking festival is one of the most awe-inspiring festivals of Pondicherry, in which the participants who vow to take part in the ritual observe severe austerities and a fast of 40 days.

During this period they wear saffron colored clothes. On the main night of the festival, they take a purificatory bath after which they walk bare-footed through the stretch of fire stretch! All the more amazing is the fact that there are hardly any burns after the walk, which is often attributed to the deep faith and devotion of the participant.