Puducherry  Places of Interest
 

Anglo-French Textile Mills :

Established over a century ago, a visit to the Anglo-French Textile Mills is an education in itself. The mill gives a ten percent rebate on purchases made by tourists who go on guided tours. The acclaimed fabrics and products of this mill make ideal momentoes and gifts.

Aayi Mandapam :

This gleaming white monument built during the time of Napoleon III, Emperor of the France. The monument commemorates both the provision of water to the French city during his reign and the good deed of a lady some 300 years before.

Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum :

Ananda Ranga Pillai was the celebrated dubash of Dupleix, the governor of puducherry while it flourished under the French glory. Pillai’s compilation of diaries serve as a storehouse of information on the 18th century French India. His mansion, completed sometime in 1738, is one of the oldest surviving buildings on the west side - then known as “natives’ quarters”.Its architecture represents a curious mix of French and Indian styles.

Beach :

Beach

Beach Road in the evening is a refuge from the heat. Its formal names have been Rue du Rampart, Cours de Chabrol and now Gouber Salai. Beach Road has little of architectural interest but oceans of charm. Here you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing, free of cost.

Botanical Garden :

Established by C.S. Perrotet in 1826, it preserves a large variety of exotic species of plants from all over India and abroad.
Children’s Museum
: A small museum located next to the Botanical Gardens, it has a good collection of snail shells from the puducherry region.

BotanicalGarden

Bharathidasan Museum :

The museum is the former house of a renowned Puducherry born poet (1891-1960) who was a follower of Bharathi (hence his name). He wrote poetry, plays and film scripts on such issues as support for Dravidian (or South Indian) culture and the rights of women, and in opposition to superstition and casteism.

BharathiarMemorial

Bharathi Museum :

The house of the great Tamil poet had been converted into a museum. He freed Tamil poetry from forms that, while writing beautifully rich and terse, had kept it the preserve of the few.The inscriptions and material in the museum are exclusively in Tamil.

Englise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus Church :

 Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this church is noted for its gothic architecture and stained glass panels which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ.


French Institute at Saint-Louis Street :

The classical colonial building is a research institute in Indian Civilization, history and society in ecology, in environment and development in South and Southeast Asia. The Centre of Indology focuses on Indian languages as a central part of India’s cultural heritage. They are preserving a lot of palm leaf manuscripts. The building is notable for its entrance gate with pediment, arched staircases, arcades, windows.

Jamia Mosque :

This Mosque in the Muslim Quarter. It is worth a visit in the evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to see the distinctive architecture with palm trees behind it and overhead, perhaps, a serenely floating moon. Kanniya Parameswari Temple : dedicated to Shakti, the supreme goddess, is unusual in that it contains many European architectural elements - Ionic columns, for instance.

Jawahar Toy Museum :

Located next to the old lighthouse on Goubert Avenue, the museum is open on all days except Monday. This rather unusual museum has a collection of over 120 dolls, each one dressed in costumes from different Indian states. Also on display is a little ‘fairyland’ with a tiny Ganesha watching over all the proceedings.

Manakula Vinayagar Temple :

Ambedkar Manimandapam

The shrine dedicated to "Manakula Vinayakar" existed even at the time of the arrival of the French in Puducherry in 1673. The temple is located at the junction of Jawaharlal Nehru Street (J.N. Street) and Manakula Vinayakar St. Ph : 0413-2336544.

Auroville

  1. Auroville is located 10 kms north of Puducherry town, Auroville is envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. The construction of this 'universal town' was started in 1968 under the guidance of The Mother, a Paris-born painter musician who became Sri Aurobindo's disciple and close companion from 1924 till his death in 1950. The development of this utopia is still in progress.

  2. The Matrimandir : In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, an unfinished golf-ball-like giant globe covered with golden discs. It was conceived by The Mother as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s inspiration for perfection”.

  3. Silence is maintained inside the Matrimandir to ensure the tranquility of the space and entire area surrounding the Matrimandir is called Peace area.

  4. The Peace area in which the structure is situated is characterised by three main features: the Matrimandir itself with its twelve gardens, twelve petals and future lakes, the Amphitheatre and the Banyan Tree.

  5. Inside the Matrimandir, a spiraling ramp leads upwards to an air- conditioned meditation room of polished white marble.

  6. At its centre, a 70cm crystal ball in a gold mount glows in column of sunlight. Matrimandir has a solar power plant and is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens.

  7. Passes issued for the Matrimandir Gardens every weekday from 6.45 a.m. to 12.30 noon and 1.45 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday 9.45 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Ph : 0413-2623108, 2622239.

Mansion of Ananda Rangapillai :

Built in 1773, this mansion is a fine specimen of Indo-French architecture. Ananda Rangapillai was the courtier of Joseph Francois Dupleix, the Governor. The diary which Rangapillai maintained between 1736-60 is a book of great value as a source of information on the history of Puducherry and the French in India.

Promenade :

The 1.5 km long Promenade running along the beach is the pride of Puducherry. Several landmarks like the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Duplex, the elegant war memorial raised by the French, and the 27 metre tall lighthouse can be found along the water front.

Puducherry Museum :

The museum used to be the residence of a French administrator, so even the housing of the exhibits is a museum piece! The museum has a collection of sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artifacts excavated from Arikamedu, including Greek and Roman pottery that is 200 years old. The museum has a coins section,a geology room, a fossils section, sculptures, glimpses of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armouries, carvings and many other things of historical interest. Open : 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays & Holidays. Ph : 0413-2336236.

Romain Rolland Library :

The Romain Rolland library was established in 1872 and has a rich collection of more than 3,00,000 volumes in both French and English. It also boasts of a mobile library service which has a collection of more than 8000 books. These books are taken to nearby villages by bus, in order to make the books more accessible to the common man. The library also houses some rare editions of books. The reference section on the second floor is open to the general public.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

  1. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India, with devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation.

  2. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. It is open to the public daily between 08.00-12.00 hrs and 14.00-18.00 hrs.

  3. Children below 3 years of age are not allowed into the Ashram and photography is allowed only with the permission of the Ashram authorities.

  4. The Ashram was set up in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, one of India’s greatest philosopher-poets, who originally came to Pondy to escape persecution by the British. It was after arriving in Puducherry, that he was drawn into the spiritual realm and discovered the power of yoga.

  5. His philosophy deeply rooted in yoga and his writings inspired a number of followers.

  6. After Aurobindo’s death in 1950, the running of the Ashram was entrusted to his chief disciple and companion, Mirra Alfassa, (also known as ‘The Mother’). The idea of Auroville or the “City of Down” was conceived by ‘The Mother’. She died in 1973 at the age of 93.

  7. The ashram’s influence can be felt in most of Puducherry. The main ashram building is where the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother are kept.

  8. Ashram Guest Houses For more information : Bureau Central, Cottage Complex, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 3 Ranga Pillai Street, Puducherry 605001, Ph : 0413-2339648, 2339649.

Raj Niwas :

The Government House (Raj Niwas) is a harmonious blend of French and Indian style of architecture. Once the location of the Hotel de la Compagnie (the French trading company that ruled in puducherry from its first settlement in 1674 until the French government took over in 1769) and later played host to Dupleix. It is now the Lieutenant Governor’s residence. It is not open to the general public except on certain national holidays like Republic Day on 26th January, when it is adorned with lights and looks rather impressive.

The Statue of Joan of Arc at Dumas Street :

Another example of the French influence in puducherry is a marble statue of the heroic French damsel Joan d’Arc, which is located in front of the Church of Our Lady of the Angles. The statue is placed in the middle of a garden.

The French Institute of the Far East:

war cementry

This is an internationally renowned research institute. This institute has two impressive and handsome buildings almost diagonal to each other at the corner of Dumas Street and is known for its research in the field of Indology, history and archaeology. Get prior permission to visit.

ARIKAMEDU :

 

 Arikamedu

Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trade centre is 4 Kms. south of puducherry on the right bank of Ariyankuppam river. It has a long history that dates back to the second century B.C. The port town was inhabited by Romans, Cholas and French who left their mark on this wonderful place. The Roman treasure trail and Arikamedu river cruise take you down the History lane. An unforgettable experience that you wouldn’t want to miss.

 

Varadaraja Perumal Temple :

Both the Perumal and Eswaran temples have been recently renovated and repainted. The gopurams or towers are wonderfully colourful.

VaradaraPerumal

Vedhapureeswarar Temple :

It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Both the Perumal and Easwaran temples have been recently renovated and repainted. The gopurams or towers are wonderfully colourful, as are most temples before weather reduces them to the bare stone of deserted or neglected temples everywhere.

Villiayanur :

Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple, architecturally the finest in Puducherry, is located 9.5 kms away. During May-June, a ten-day annual festival (Brahmothsavam) is held here which attracts hundreds of devotees. The temple car rising to a height of 15.25 metres is profusely decorated, pulled out from its usual position and taken on a procession around the town. It is an awe-inspiring sight.

War Memorial (French ) :

The French War Memorial on Goubert Avenue is solemn reminder of those brave soldiers who laid down their lives, for their country during the First World War. Every year on the 14th July (Bastille Day) the memorial is beautifully illuminated and homage is paid to those brave martyrs.

Alliance Francaise at Suffren Street :

This very public and busy place houses a cultural and information centre, a school for the teaching of the French language and a library.

Sri Aurobindo

 

 mother

She was born in Paris, 1878. She was spiritually inclined and chose India as her permanent place of residence. On coming into contact with Sri Aurobindo she decided to become his disciple. The mother worked towards universal harmony and peace. She became the spiritual head of the Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry. She breathed her last on 17-11-1973.

 

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