Puducherry, which was till recently kwon as Pondicherry, is a famous tourist destination located on the west coast of southern India. It was a French colony till 1962, and still reflects French influence in almost all aspects of the city. The French have left many legacies and relics behind. These have become some of the major tourist attractions of the place. In addition, the memories of Sri Aurobindo, a greatly admired freedom fighter and a spiritual leader linger in the city, which makes it a favored destination among his admirers. Besides the tourist attractions within the town, there are many interesting places that can be experienced by organizing excursions from Puducherry.
The Excursions from Puducherry will take you to some wonderful tourist spots. The following are the major tourist destinations near Puducherry covered by these excursions.
Located about 58 kilometers from the town of Puducherry, Chidambaram is a famous temple town greatly revered by the local folk and pilgrims. The chief deity and attraction of Chidambaram is Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. The temple complex is dedicated to the art of dancing, as the details of natya shastra, an ancient text on dancing in India, are engraved on one of the gates. Magnificent sculptures depicting the different poses of Bharatnatyam, a form of classical Indian dance adorn the interiors of this temple. The ancient temple is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots that can be visited by embarking on excursions from Puducherry. During Shivaratri, a famous occasion in India marked by offering prayers to lord Shiva, this temple becomes the venue of a renowned dance festival.
This is a beautiful spot located about 40 kilometers from Chidambaram. This used to be one of the largest ports in ancient times. Poompuhar is also known as the place where two famous works of ancient Tamil literature, namely, Silapathikaram and Manimekalai were composed. A splendid art gallery located here strives to present the ancient ambience of the region by resorting to 2nd century d�cor. For those with an interest in history and literature of South India, Poompuhar is an attractive destination that can be visited during tours of Puducherry.
This is yet another temple town that can be visited as part of excursions from Puducherry. It is situated about 107 kilometers from Puducherry and is famous for the Arunachaleshwara Temple, which holds special importance as one of the most prominent Shaivite temples in South India. The ashrama of Sri Ramanna Maharshi, a famous and respected saint, is also among the places to visit here.
Auroville is also called the city of dawn. This city is still being built. Work on it started in 1968 under the guidance of Sri Ma, the companion of Sri Aurobindo, the great spiritual leader and freedom fighter. The city is a unique venture. It strives to be a model city where people from all communities from around the world will forget their differences and live in harmony as part of the same community. At present the city spreads over 50 square kilometers and is inhabited by about 1700 people, though the capacity is of 50000 people. A circular cover of green surrounds Auroville. The center of the township is marked by the Matri Mandir (temple of the Mother). It serves as the spiritual center of the town. The chief feature of the structure is a 30 meter high globe. The town of Auroville is divided into industrial, residential, cultural, and international zones. Two areas are marked as Green area and Peace area. Auroville is one of the highlights of tourism in Puducherry.
There are some other interesting tourist destinations which are located close to Puducherry. Arikamedu is a famous spot where ancient sites have been excavated and many interesting artifacts have been found. The Chunnambar beach is also a favored destination among tourists and offers excellent recreational opportunities.
Touristplacesinindia.com provides online information about the excursions from Puducherry, and information about the other tourist places in India.