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Pondicherry Tour

Situated on the Coromandel coast, about 160 kms south of Chennai, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. It is bound on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the other three sides by the South Arcot District of Tamil Nadu. About 150 kilometres south of Pondicherry, on the east coast, lies Karaikal, while Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast. Yanam is situated in the adjoining East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Tourism Attractions:

Worship places
Besides Pondicherry's scenic splendor, Pondicherry region also boosts its pilgrimage significance-that is the reason why thousands of devotees flock to Pondicherry. Pondicherry region treasures about 350 temples-big and small built by the Chola kings between the 10th and 12th centuries.

Villianur
In Villianur (10 km from the town) is the wonderful Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple. In May-June the annual Temple Car Festival is celebrated whereby a 15 m. tall chariot is taken out on a procession by a huge crowd. The Lt. Governor joins the procession, based on a tradition, when the French Governors used to participate in drawing the temple car out onto the streets.

Mosques
The main mosque in Pondicherry is the beautiful Jamia Mosque with its lovely architecture and swaying palmtrees.The Masthan Saheb Darga in Karaikal is dedicated to Masthan Saheb Syed Dawood Buhari, a Sufi saint who came to Karaikal from Buhara two centuries ago. He died aged 120, in 1829. Various miracles are attributed to him. The over 170 year old Kandhuri Festival (November) is celebrated in his commemoration. It starts with the hoisting of a huge flag on a large pole - reminiscent of a ship and a sea-faring tradition. It culminates 10 days later with a spectacle of illumined floats.

Churches
The Church of the Capuchins was the first built in Pondicherry and the only building that survived the destruction of the town in 1761. Today it is a shell, however it has an interesting gabel.The Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Cathedral, was built in 1791 on the place of a former church. It was built based on a design of an existing church in France and has varied ornamental decorations.

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