The union territory of Puducherry (fondly as ‘Pondy’) was under French rule until 1954. Thus its vibe is: less faded colonial-era ville, more bohemian-chic, New Age–meets–Old World hang-out on the international travel trail.
One can discover a mix of various traditions calmly living in Puducherry. It is home to numerous religious spots that draw visitors from everywhere throughout the world.
We have listed down a few for you but visiting these is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more about culture and religion to be discovered here with over 30 different churches and temples.
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Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
A magnificent example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Sacred Heart Basilica is a renowned pilgrimage centre. The rare stained glass panels of the church depict the life of Christ. It is the only and first dedicated basilica to the sacred heart of Jesus.
Notre Dame des Anges Church
Looking out to sea, past a statue of Joan of Arc, Notre Dame des Anges was completed in 1855, and is arguably Puducherry’s most attractive church. Two unembellished towers complete the orange-pink domed exterior, within which is a smooth limestone interior.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Begun in 1779 but not completed until 1791, this splendid Jesuit church (in whites, blues and yellows) is reminiscent of Goa’s Portuguese-style churches and has pairs of columns on its facade.
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
You can just hop over to this 500-year-old temple to see the rare three-legged Lord Ganesha perched on a golden tower. When here, remember to get blessed by the live Temple elephant.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
No matter how restless you are, the atmosphere of this place, with its meditation and yoga practices, is bound to make you feel at ease. Don’t forget to tour its small green campus to see the relics from the life of its founder – Sri Aurobindo.
The one-of-its-kind universal village, Auroville, beckons people from different walks of life, religions and cultures to stay together with peace and harmony. Exploring this small town of Auroville is bound to give you a different insight into life.