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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What places can one explore around Pondicherry?

Aloke Bajpai DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Pondicherry is surrounded by a host of places, equally rich in heritage, variety and color, awaiting your exploration. Some of the more popular ones are:

  • Auroville

Your visit to Pondicherry will be incomplete without a trip to Auroville, located at a distance of 14.1 km. Not only is it a self-sustaining microcosm, but it is the closest humanity has come to realizing the ideal of Utopia. Based on Mother's vision to have a place on Earth that no nation could claim as its sole property, it was established in 1966 by the mutual backing of Govt of India and UNESCO, who considered it as a project of importance to the future of humanity. The fact that it has not only survived but flourished and grown in the past 46 years is proof enough that Mother's idea that sustainable and harmonious society is possible. You will find citizens to be from all over the globe, 45 countries to be precise. Amazing, isn't it? They come from all walks of life, different cultures, religion, professions and age groups. Currently, the population stands at 2,200. Its design and architecture is a sight in itself. Your exploration will take you through the Peace Area, Industrial zone, Residential zone, International, cultural zone and green belt. Be sure to visit the cultural and the International zone, as at any given time, they play host to performing arts and you can get to see performances of artists from across the world. At the cultural center do purchase some of the beautifully handcrafted creations, pottery, sculptures, paintings, etc, of the Aurovillians. It will forever be a reminder of how far idealism can take you and the rest of humanity.

  • Pichavaram

Located at a distance of 57 km from Pondicherry, Pichavaram is home to second largest mangrove in the world. Not only can you indulge in backwater cruises out here, but also the rare sight of seeing mangrove forests permanently rooted in a few feet of water. For bird lovers and naturalists, this place is a must visit; not only will you come across rare species of fauna and fishes, but also rare species of local and migrant birds.

  • Gingee

With a history as rich as Pondicherry's, some of the sculptures that you may have come across in Pondicherry were actually shifted from Gingee by the French, when it was occupied by them. A visit to Pondicherry, ideally, should involve a visit to the Gingee fort. After all, how many times is it that you get to stand in a fort once described by Shivaji as the most impregnable fortress in India and was labelled by the British as the "Troy of East". Built by the Cholas in the 13th century on the foundations laid down by the Kons in the 12th century, when you walk the passages of the Gingee fort you can hear the walls telling their own tale of its antiquity and the generations that have passed it by.

No wonder, this serene town is host to some world famous attractions but with so much to see even around Pondicherry, you're sure going to want to extend your holiday.

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