Pondicherry was renamed as Puducherry in 2006. It is an erstwhile French colony located on the east coast of India adjoining the Bay of Bengal. Mahe, a small district located on the west coast of India near Kerala, is also a part of Puducherry. The city of Puducherry is the main city as well as the capital of the Union territory of Puducherry. It is also the center of tourism in Puducherry, and has many famous tourist attractions. Besides the famous spots of the city, the tourist sites near Puducherry are also excellent places to visit during tours to this enchanting little city.
Famous Tourist sites near Puducherry
This is a historic site which has revealed ancient Roman artifacts that are evidence of the thriving trade that existed between this region and ancient Europe. The site is located about 4 kilometers from Puducherry along the right bank of the Ariyankuppam River. Among the artifacts found here are Roman pottery and grey painted ware. The area seems to have been a busy commercial hub, dealing predominantly in stone beads, glass beads and ceramics. The research and further excavations are going on. Some of the artifacts found here can be seen at the Puducherry museum.
This is an experimental township located in the Viluppuram district in Tamilnadu, about 12 kilometers from Puducherry. It is one of the tourist spots that can be visited on excursions from Puducherry. The town was founded by Mirra Alfassa, popularly known as ‘mother’. She was the chief collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, a famous freedom fighter and spiritual leader of India whose ashrama is one of the famous tourist spots of Puducherry. Auroville is meant to be an ideal city where people from all communities will live together in harmony and look forward to spiritual enlightenment, setting aside their differences. The beautiful township is still to be completed as more land is being acquired by the Auroville foundation, which governs the city and is controlled by the ministry of Human Resource Development. The city has been built in the shape of concentric circles, and is surrounded by greenery. Presently many countries of the world are collaborating on the project, and many foreign residents have already started living here.
Chidambaram is famous for the Nataraj temple which is dedicated to dancing, which is one of the prominent classical arts of South India. The chief deity here is Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, one of trinity according to Hindu mythology. Details of the Natya Shastra, an ancient text dedicated to dancing, can be found engraved on the walls and gate of the temple. The interior of the temple is adorned by magnificent sculptures depicting graceful dance poses. The temple is greatly revered by the people of south India, and a dance festival is held here every year on the eve of Shivaratri, a major festival observed all over the country.
This is another temple town located close to Puducherry. Situated about 107 kilometers from Puducherry this small place is famous for the Arunachaleshwara Temple. It holds special importance as one of the most prominent Shaivite temples in South India. Thiruvannamalai is also famous for the ashrama of Sri Ramanna Maharshi, a respected saint of South India.
The other tourist sites near Puducherry include Poompuhar, and the Aurobindo ashrama. The other two districts located on the east coast, namely Karaikal and Yanam are also interesting tourist sites near Puducherry. Tourists should plan their tours to Puducherry in such a way that they have ample time to visit these nearby destinations at least once.
Touristplacesinindia.com provides information on the tourist sites near Puducherry and information about the other tourist places in India.