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Welcome to Pondicherry...
Tamil culture with a strong French flavor and loads of cosmopolitan tendencies make Pondicherry, a place definitely worth a visit. Blessed gracefully by nature, the entire region is dotted by pretty water bodies, stretching greens and a serene ambience. Mostly untouched and least crowded, the calm and serenity that Pondicherry affords is simply amazing. The serenity of the place drew Sri Aurobindo Ashram here which in turn attracts millions who come here in pursuit of spirituality. A famous monument here is the Aayi Mandapam at the centre of the Park. The French Consulate, Raj Nivas, the former palace of Dupleix, Botanical Gardens, Chunnambar boat house, Bharathi Park, Museum, Romain Rolland Library, Botanical Garden, Anglo-French textile mills, the 400-year old banyan tree at Keezhoor are some places worth visiting Pondicherry. The city is also a comfortable base to explore other interesting places around. Auroville, the city of unity, Kanchipuram, the temple town, Mamallapuram, the heritage town are some important places that can be visited conveniently, making Pondicherry the base.
 Sri Aurobindo Ashram Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the place where the Sri Aurobindo and Mother lived for the most part of their life. This Ashram attracts thousands of tourists every year. This ashram was founded in 1920 when Sri Aurobindo reached Pondicherry and put in place his ideas of peaceful community. This ashram was run by his French companion Mirra Alfassa, universally known as the Mother for a long period of time. The ashram is a diversified community with more than 1,200 members out of which 400 are the students of the Centre of Education. This ashram has various departments to look after basic needs of the members. There are various farms, gardens, printing press, libraries, and a number of small-scale industries in the Ashram. The ashram also houses the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the mother.
 Pondicherry Museum The Pondicherry museum is situated in the Government Park. The Pondicherry Museum is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. This museum has a good sculpture gallery and a section of archaeological finds from the Roman settlement at Arikamedu. There is also a French section which tells about the history of the colony. There is also a superb collection of snail shells from the Pondicherry region.
 Aayi Mandapam (Park Monument) The magnificent white monument at the lush Government Park in the heart of city is the most recognizable monument of Pondichery. It was built in 16th century in Greco – Roman architecutal style during the reign of Napoleon III – the emperor of France and commemorates a 16th century courtesan named Aayi. The Government Park in (Bharati Park) is also noted for its lush green lawns, flower beds, fountains and fine sculptures. It is surrounded by many stately buildings like-Raj Nivas, the Museum, Pondicherry Art Gallery etc.
 French War Memorial The fine memorial on the Goubert Avenue (Beach Road) was erected in the honour of the soliers who laid their lives during the First World War. It is beautifully illuminated during the annual commemoration held on Bastille Day, the 14th of July.
 Auroville Auroville is situated just across the border in the state of Tamil Nadu, about 10 km away from Pondicherry. The place is also known as 'City of Dawn,' and was founded in 1968 as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo. It is a lush green cover created over 25 years by sheer hard work and dedication. The place is spread over 50 square km and has a population of over 900. The Mata Mandir situated in the centre of the town is the spiritual centre with a 30 meter high globe with lotus-shaped foundation urn.
 Dupleix Statue Statues of Francois Dupleix, the French Governor were commissioned in Pondicherry as well as in France in honour of this able administrator in 1870.
 Botanical Garden The beautiful garden was planned and laid out in 1826, by C.S. Perrotet. It has a rich and varied collection of plant species not only from different parts of India but abroad as well. There is also an aquarium here.
 Serenity Beach The beautiful 1.5 kms. Long beach is idally suited for relaxation, sunbathing and swimming. The sea front is graced by an impressive statue of Mahatma Gandhi set amidst eight exquisitely carved pillars and wonderful War Memorial.
 Sri Manakula Vinayakar Temple The famous 18th century shrine of Lord Ganesha is located just behind the Raj Bhavan. The presiding deity is also referred as Vellakkaran (White Man) Pillai (Ganesha). It is said that a Frenchman residing near the shrine desperately tried to remove the idol of the deity from here. But, the idol kept on reappearing miraculously and convinced by the prowess of the deity, the Frenchman became a devotee of the Lord. The temple walls are adorned with forty fabulous friezes in honour of Lord Ganesh. Other important shrines are – Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Vedapureeswarar Temple.
 Arikamedu The archaeological site about 4 kms. South of Pondicherry reveals the ancient history of the region. Excavationson the right bank of the river Ariyankuppam reveal that a port town flourished here about 2,000 years ago. It had trade links with and Greece as early as 2nd century B.C. and Roman settlements are said to have existed here. Textiles, precious stones and shell jewellery were the main items for export, while wine is thought to be imported. Ruins of an 18th century French Jesuit Mission House can also be seen here.
 Paradise Beach, Chaunnambar (8 kms.) The Picturesque beach lies near the mouth of the backwaters, along the Cuddalore Main Road. It is a perfect place for a leisurely holiday and beach sports. The Pondicherry Tourism (PTTDC) runs Chunnambar Beach and Backwater Resort and provides facilities for boating, backwaters boat tours, trekking, beach sports and picnics etc. the famous multicuisine restaurant – Seagulls is located near the Backwaters.
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#123, Needarajappaiyar Street,(Near Amudha Surabi) Pondicherry - 605 001.

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