Pondicherry, or Puducherry is a union territory that is found along the Eastern Coastline of India and was a former French territory. This French connection is quite visible in its architecture and lifestyle of the locals. The most influenced part though, is the food. There are multiple restaurants and cafes that are dotted all over the territory and one can find a café at almost every corner.
Pondicherry, previously named Putucceri is derived from the Tamil words ‘Putu’ which means new and ‘ceri’ which means village. The colonization of the French changed its name to Pondicherry. The history of Pondicherry dates back to the 18th century when the French colonized this territory to increase their spice trade.
It offers you a serene environment and a home-like feeling that makes everyday feel like you are at home away from your home. The natural beauty of this place will enchant you and will put you in a trance. Apart from the abundance of nature, you can also enjoy adventure activities and urban pleasures too.
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Let us walk you through the streets of Pondicherry and help you decide the best time to visit Pondicherry.
What to do in Pondicherry
1) Paradise Beach Island
Located along Chunnambar river, this island is quite literally a paradise for sunbathers and for the general public that loves to hang out at the beach and have a good time. This place offers a great view of the sunset and is very picturesque.
Also known as Plage Paradiso, this island is a must try as it offers not only boating up to the beach, but also backwater boating and overnight camping on the island. Some people are also lucky enough to spot dolphins. If luck favors you as well then you might too!! The entry to the boat house is quite cheap at 5/-. You can also take a jet ski or a motorboat if you want to have a private tour.
2) Ousteri Lake
Ousteri Lake is considered as one of the biggest and the most important artificial lakes of Pondicherry. It is a mixture of wetlands and mudflats and was commissioned by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
One stop at this lake and you wont even know how your time has passed. Beautiful sights will greet you at every turn. This Lake is very famous for birdwatching and its budding biodiversity.
3) Scuba Diving
Pondicherry is famous for being the one and only location that offers facilities for scuba diving along the entire East Coast of India. Here, the diving instructor firstly provides lessons, and then takes you out to dive. The marine ecology is very rich and thriving and has many fishes, like Lionfish, corals, kingfish, eels, etc.
The experience of doing scuba diving is once in a lifetime. The sights totally mesmerize you. The instructor is very professional and makes you follow all the safety mandates. Also, the seafloor is rich in fauna, and you can see schools of fishes swimming around the corals and other marine plant life. This is a truly magical experience for all.
4) Serenity beach
Serenity beach is one of the most beautiful and amazing beaches in India, let alone Pondicherry. This beach has glittering sands, beautiful, crystal-like water, and is dotted with colorful boats that further add to its charm. Its plus points are the super clean and spotless beaches, and the fact that you can relax here without any disturbances. This is because the beach is not crowded at all.
You can also get the freshest catch available from the fishermen who come in from the sea in their boats. The quality that you can get from here is unmatched. The fishermen also share great experiences that they have at the sea, so it is a wholesome experience overall!
5) Shri Aurobindo Ashram
Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded in the November of 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and few of his disciples. Sri Aurobindo was a great philosopher, writer, and an influential personality of his time. The ashram was built with the vision to help devotees enhance and develop their personality and help in gaining a higher understanding.
The Ashram which had started form 2-3 small houses has now grown exponentially throughout the town and now has more than 400 buildings. The ashram is open for visitors from 8 AM to 12 PM and from 2 PM to 6 PM.
6) Underwater Museum
The joint venture of Indian Navy and the National Institute of Ocean Technology and many others have bore a very famous and an innovative product, the underwater museum. This museum is supposed to be the INS Cuddalore, which was an integral part of the navy and covered nearly 30000 nautical miles before being de-commissioned.
This project aims to boost the marine ecology in this ship. It is nearly about 7 KM from the coastline at the depth of around 26 meters. Growth of algae and fungi will lead to the increase in marine fauna.
7) The French Quarter
The only French part of India exists only in Pondicherry, and it is so beautiful that you may never want to leave from here. Painted yellow and white, the houses have an old-school charm to them. The architectural design is very precise and classy. The street art and graffiti are also good in taste and more than just art, it’s a message to the visitors from the locals. One should also try the famous mutton dishes served here.
Best Time to visit in Pondicherry
Pondicherry has three main seasons, namely Summer, Monsoon and Winter. Let us see what season suits your needs and which season is the best time to visit Pondicherry. In summer, temperatures soar up to 41 C and since the sea is close by, the air is very humid. The weather might be a bit uncomfortable, but since there is a lack of crowds, the city is ours to explore. Summer lasts from March to June.
Monsoon is a great weather all over but the city experiences extreme rainfall during this period, thus monsoon is a good time but not the best.
So, you might be thinking “what is the best time to visit Pondicherry”? Winters are the perfect season to visit Pondicherry as the weather is just right and the temperature is around 17 C to 22 C. One can enjoy sightseeing and other such activities in winters.
So, in my opinion, winter is the right time to visit Pondicherry. If you know any more such spiritual and motivational places inn Pondicherry, let us know in the comments.