Situated on Coromandel Coast, about 160 kms. South of Madras, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The French ruled this territory for 300 years and today it stands as a living monument of the French Culture in India.
Being a small, calm and quiet enclave off Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed the Tamilian culture and language.
What has brought international reputation to this coastal town is the Aurobindo Ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926. After Aurobindo's death, the Ashram came under the spiritual control of a French lady known as the "Mother", who died in 1973. Visitors throng to pay homage to the samadhis (final resting places) of these two spiritual companions at the Ashram premises. Aurobindo Ashram attracts hundreds of devotees - not only Indians, but also foreigners, because the doctrines taught there are based on a fusion of modern science and yoga.
Islands in the Sun
10 kms. away from the Aurobindo Ashram. Also known as the "City of Dawn" it is an experiment on international living in peace and harmony rising above all barriers of caste, creed and nationality.
The Ashram Beach office and Auroville authorities have put up photographic exhibition of their various activities. Tourists can also avail of the various booklets, journals pamphlets published here.
The manufacture of perfumes based on French technology is a lucrative business in Pondicherry.
Other Places of tourist interest in Pondicherry are:
The Raj Nivas
The Government Palace
The Botanical Garden
The French Institute
Romain Rolland Library and Museum
Churches of Pondicherry:
The three important churches of Pondicherry are:-
Eglise De Notre Des La Conception
Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges
Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus
Temples of Pondicherry
However, the important ancient temples are:-
The temple of Lord Tirukameshwarar at Villianur 8 kms. from Pondicherry, has a 7th century idol.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.