The capital of the Union Territory of Puducherry, Pondicherry may be a former French colony and is now among the chief tourist destinations of South India. This coastal town was a French colony till 1954 and still retains many colonial buildings, churches, statues and therefore the systematic city planning by the French and is usually called the Europe of India due to its city planning. Although alittle town, the town contains a stimulating mixture of Indian and French colonial heritage and variety of tourist destinations.
A spiritual community established at Pondicherry by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh on November 24th 1926. The ashram has since become one among the prime destinations for tourists and spiritual seekers. The chief aims and ideals of the ashrams are supported the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. The ashram contains several offices, a library, a press , playground, gallery , a dispensary/nursing home, dairy, farms, guest houses, bakery etc. the main building in the establishment are the marble Samadhi which is the resting place of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. The visiting hours are from 8 am to 12 noon and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Consecrated in 1791, the 300 year old church is that the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral as we see today was built on the place where three other churches were built before the French occupation of Pondicherry. The construction started in 1791 and further improvements were made to the building till 1987. The feast of the church is widely known on the 8th of December per annum. The church was also visited by Teresa and is one among the oldest churches in Puducherry. It is also known by the locals as ‘Samba Kovil’.
About 1.5 long, the Promenade beach is one among the most beaches in Puducherry. The walk is characterized by various landmarks and statues including the statue of Joan of Arc, the Heritage government building , Dupleix statue, the statue of Gandhi , the old light house etc. if you would like a relaxed and quaint place perfect for a night stroll, this is often an area you would like to be at. The sea breeze and therefore the sights and sounds work as a soothing potion on your min. The beach may be a recommended visit which is barren of the hustle of the town streets. There is also a well-established tourist center where you’ll get some extra information about the town of Pondicherry.
Located at the south boulevard, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was consecrated on December 17th, 1907. The building may be a fine specimen of gothic style architecture and has become a famous pilgrimage spot for the Christians in India. The structure of this church is 50 meters long, 48 meters wide and 18 meters high and is held by 24 columns. The windows are adorned with glass paintings of 28 saints who were dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. The church premise also features a grotto dedicated to our lady of Lourdes, a parish hall and an adoration chapel. The church was fully renovated and restored in 2005 giving it its current look, however only minor physical changes were made to the structure.