PONDICHERRY

A beautiful destination located at just three-hour drive from Chennai; Pondicherry attracts travelers with its majestic vistas. The city is a beautiful blend of Indian and French colonial heritage that makes it stand out. Pondicherry is blessed with a range of tourist attractions that reflect the rich cultures, legendary heritage and pristine beauty of the city.
Pondicherry was colonized by the French a long time ago, but the essence of France can still be felt in every nook and corner here. The architecture is French, the road signs are in French (along with English and Tamil), a lot of people speak fluent French and most restaurants serve steak and wine!

Attractions

Dotted with a number of attractions, Pondicherry is a heaven for those seeking peace. Visit the Botanical Garden that features six stunning fountains, a large aquarium with ornamental fish, dancing fountain and a gorgeous children's train. The garden houses 1500 species of plants, making it a treat for the nature lovers. The walkway along the garden is another beautiful area to enjoy leisurely walk amidst nature. The garden is also nestled with caf├ęs and restaurants where travelers can sit in peace and enjoy the view.

If watching a sunset is your idea of spending the evening, then Ousteri Lake is the destination for you. The lake is recognized as one of Asia’s important wetlands by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The beach lovers can enjoy their leisure time at Paradise Beach and Serenity Beach. Both these beaches offer the best escape from the usual chaotic city life.

The city also offers something for the wildlife lovers. The Ousteri Wildlife Sanctuary is among the most popular destinations to eye the wildlife from a closer perspective. Home to over 160 species of birds, 60 species of butterflies and 25 species of fish, this sanctuary is a major crowd puller.

The Bahour Lake, a freshwater wetland, is another popular destination to spot birds. The coastal waters of Pondicherry house a variety of corals, fish and crustaceans. Also, few places in the city like the Karaikal region act as nesting spots for Olive Ridley turtles.

Shopping
When in Pondicherry, you cannot miss indulging in some shopping session. The local vendors here can be seen selling home decor items and junk jewellery. There are also various boutiques that reflect the artistic and intricate handicrafts work of the locals here. The city is nestled with vibrant stalls, where one can also buy Southern silks and fabrics.

Best time to visit
The best time to visit Pondicherry is between October and February. May and June are the hottest months and thus, must be avoided. The weather gets calmer soon after July when the monsoon hits the city shooing away the scorching heat.

How to reach
The closest airport to reach Pondicherry is at Chennai from where travellers can take a 3-4 hours taxi ride. The city is also connected with Chennai, Trichy and Villupuram via rail. Also, travellers looking for bus ride can find numerous direct bus links.

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