Area : 492 sq km.
Capital : Pondicherry
Altitude : Sea level
Languages : Tamil, English, French, Malayalam and Telugu.
Temperature : Max. 40.8° C and Min. 31.2° C in summer.Max. 31.1° C and Min. 23° C in winter.
Rainfall : 120.6 cms.
Best Season : Throughout the year.
The Union Territory of Pondicherry comprises four enclaves in three South Indian States and includes the seaside town of Pondicherry and Karaikal in Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahi in Kerala. Seaside resort Pondicherry has a special ambience not felt anywhere else in India. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French Colonial Heritage,Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied town. Colonial buildings, some which trace back to the 18th century, line along a grid of strength clean streets and house the French Institution and the sprawling premises of the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Some of the notable monuments are Aayi Mandapam, the statue of Dupleis, the Raj Nivas, 19th century light house, French War Memorial, the statue of Joan of Arc, the Pondicherry Museum, etc. In and around Pondicherry are more than 350 temples, both big and small. The important temples are Veda Puriswarar Temple with stone inscriptions and a Swayambhu Lingam, Shri Tirukameswarar Temple of Villianur, Sri Panchanadeeswarar Temple at Thiruvandarkoil with its 10th century sculptures, the Manakulavilayagar Temple, Thirubhuvanal Temple (23 km), Veerampattinam Temple (7 km), Oussoudu (16 km) lake, picnic resort, Ousteri (13 km) lakes siode picnic spots and Yanam enclave in Andra Pradesh. The beach-comber and the sun-worshipper have miles of nirvana in Pondicherry. The waters are cool and soothing. The sands clear and sparkling. Quite often, only company is a lone seagull or a sandpiper. Many resorts, cottages, cafes and bars command an excellent view of the sea.
Air: Nearest airport is Chennai 135 km.
Rail: Pondicherry is the main railhead, which is connected to Villupuram 36 km away.
Road: Regular road services connecting National Highway 45 through Villupuram. Chennai, Bangalore, Trichy, Coimbatore, Tirupati, Madurai, Cochin, Trivandrum, etc. are also connected with Pondicherry.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Aurobindo, a saint from Bengal envisioned that next in the evolutionary cycle would be an era dominated by mind’s mind. To make the process of adaptation to that age of the super-mind easier, Aurobindo elaborated a system of ‘integral yoga’. Aurobindo founded the Ashram in Pondicherry, which gives shape to his ideals. In the main building of the Ashram, on Rue-de-la Marine are the marble samadhi, where Auribindo and the Mother have been laid to rest, and the houses they lived in. across the road from the Ashram is the Aurobindo International Centre, a school for children and scattered about the town are some shops and cottage industries run the by the Ashram and where it International membership keeps itself occupied.
Auroville: This town of tomorrow that’s now is the making is just across the Pondicherry border in Tamil Nadu. This town is called ‘The City of Dawn’ is still in its initial stages of development. Several countries have offered to setup permanent pavilion reflecting the culture and ethos of their countries at Auroville.
Pondicherry Museum: The museum brings back to memory the glorious past of Pondicherry, from days of Pre-Christian era down to the present day providing glimpse of the Indo-Roman trade relation through the Arikamedu finds, the effulgence of the art and culture during the Pallava, Chola and Vijaynagar days.