Add the coastal flavor of Puducherry to your Christmas and New year

Puducherry, a union territory of India, has seen Dutch, British, Portuguese and French colonialism. It is a very popular tourist destination in South India because of the beautiful beaches and colonial establishments. Many Christians live in Puducherry and celebrate Christmas in a French fashion. The colonial cuisine is a big attraction too. Enjoy Christmas and New Year in Puducherry.

Puducherry is one of the most beautiful regions in India. It was mentioned as a marketplace named Poduca/Poduke in 1st-century Roman texts. Puducherry was an important sea trading point for its entire history. It was ruled by Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagara empire and by sultans of Bijapur until it was taken over by Dutch in 1693. It was then handed over to French by Dutch owing to the Treaty of Ryswick. It changed hands between British and French due to the Anglo-French wars. It was merged into India in 1954 along with other French colonies. But many French families stayed behind and their beautiful quarters are an attraction to tourists. But Puducherry has much more to offer as tourist spots. The following are some tourist destinations in which you can enjoy your Christmas and New year.

Things to do and places to visit this festive season

  1. Paradise beach of Puducherry is one of the most beautiful beaches of India. It has mangrove trees and is an ideal spot for marine bird watching. Dawn and dusk are the best times to watch the beach and take a stroll. It is located about 10 kilometers away from the Pondicherry bus stand. The beach is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Parties are thrown at Paradise beach on 31st December.

    Pondicherry beach is where all the fun activities like trekking, beach volleyball, boat rides etc takes place. When it comes to accommodation it is far cheaper than Paradise beach's surroundings. It is also 10 kilometers away from the bus stand.

    Serenity beach is another really beautiful and popular beach that is open all hours of a day.

    Rock beach is the most beautiful you could have seen in India. It is open 24 hours a day. It is just three kilometers away from the bus stand. You can catch glimpse of the lighthouse that has been standing there since 19th century.

  2. Pondy bazar in the center of the city is one of the oldest open marketplaces in India. A great place for shopaholics who want to take exotic souvenirs home.
  3. Botanical garden of Puducherry is a fascinating spot for nature-loving tourists. Puducherry museum is another such fascinating spot for tourists trying to connect not only with Nature but the history of Puducherry.
  4. Promenade is an avenue built in French style lined with palm trees. This is the best road to jog on.
  5. Ousteri lake, 10 kilometers away from Puducherry bus stand is one of the best scenic spots. Bird-viewing, boating, and picnic can be done in this spot. But don't be so mesmerized that you forget to keep track of time, because the lake is open only till 5 PM.
  6. And of course no Christmas is complete without attending the mass at church and praising saints. The Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus is a beautiful church from 19th century, has illustrious saints' paintings on its glass panels. It is situated 2 kilometers away from the bus stand. Huge congregations are held on the day of Christmas. The Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges is one of the most beautiful churches. It was built in 19th century in a Greco Roman fashion and houses some of very precious relics. Puducherry has many other churches
  7. Just like continental Goan cuisine, Puducherry cuisine appeals to a wide palette. South Indian spices meet Mediterranean madness here. Regional favorites are prawn and variety of other seafood. You can savor French bakery items on the streets. French onion soup is a very common dish.
  8. Auroville was established by Aurobindo trust as a universal town for everyone. The Mantrimandir right in the middle of the town is a spiritual center. The town has a beautiful beach and many water games can be played there. Aurobindo Ashram offers genuine spiritual experience.
  9. The Gingee fort which is 60 kilometers away from Puducherry is renowned by the emperors of past as "impregnable fort". It was one of the strongest footholds of India. But it was captured by the Dutch and the French in later centuries. The fort was built by Cholas in the 9th century. But later seeing the tactical advantage, stones were laid one after another and the fort grew magnificent. It is open until 6 PM.
  10. Sri Karaneshwara Nataraja temple is a pyramid-shaped temple dedicated to the Nataraja avatar of Lord Shiva. The temple is stunningly awesome and is open for people of all religions and nations.
  11. There is truly amusing Jawahar Toy museum in Puducherry. It is located near the aforementioned lighthouse. There is also a planetarium 4 kilometers away from Puducherry.

Puducherry is called as "Paris of the East" because of its aesthetics. Christmas and New year's eve lights up the whole city. Concerts, parties and various other programs are held in Rock beach, Paradise beach or Pondicherry beach. It is the cheapest way to experience Paris altogether. Wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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