The origin of Pondicherry is buried in legends. According to one view, the town was once called Vedapuri and was a seat of Vedic culture, and the abode of Sage Agastya. Prof. Jonvean Dubrouil, the French archeologist believes that the Ashram of Agastya was on the very spot where the main building of Sri Aurobindo Ashram stands today.
It is an archaeological site at a distance of 20 kms from the Pondicherry town. Recent excavations here have revealed some Roman coins, wine jars and other remains, which prove that Arikamedhu was the earliest Indo - Roman trading centre.
The city of Dawn as it is also called was established in 1968. People from many parts of the world have settled down here making it a microcosmic replica of the world - a number of different communities living in harmony. There are about 40 settlements in Auroville.
The house of the famous poet Subramaniya Bharati at Easwaran Dharmaja Koil Street has been made into a museum.
Another poet Kanaksubburatnam wrote under the name of Bharatidasan, he scaled the same heights in poetry as Bharati had done. His house at Perumal Koil Street has also been made into a museum.
The boathouse is on the bank of river Chunnambar at a distance of 8 Kms from Pondicherry.
The garden was laid out in the year 1826. Many plants were brought here from the different parts of the country and also places like Ceylon and Reumian.
Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus
A church dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus with beautiful stained glass windows depicting scenes from life of Jesus Christ.
The Governor's Square encloses a beautiful garden which has a monument Aayi Mandapam at its centre. There are some carved monolithic pillars, which were brought to Pondicherry from Gingee in 1751.
Here are many artifacts that belong to the bygone era of Pondicherry. The relics of the Chola, Pallava and the Vijaynagar periods trace the history of this place.
An ideal place for a stroll, the Promenade is a 1.5Km long walk built along the beach. On the beachfront, there are statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Jeanne d'Arc and Dupleix, a war memorial, the Heritage building and an old lighthouse that is 27 metres tall.
This palatial building is completely French in style and was the residence of Joseph Francois Dupleix. It is now the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry.
Shri Aurobindo Ashram
Shri Aurobindo, a famous poet established the Ashram in 1920. The Samadhi in the Ashram premises is the final resting place of Sri Aurobindo and the mother. The Ashram has become a centre for the practice of Yoga and a place of learning. The ashram activities include agriculture, industries, art and culture.
Thiruvakkarai or Tiruvakkarai is at a distance of 30 kms from the Pondicherry town. The first Wood-Fossil Park of the country is situated here. The Chandramouliswara Temple is another tourist destination in this place.
Pondicherry has a beautiful unpolluted beach that is 1.5km long.