The Botanical Gardens are located south of the New Bus Stand.
gate leading to the garden is reminiscent of French architecture
and it stands out from its immediate surroundings because
it is smack in the middle of the old Tamil town. The Botanical
Gardens were laid out in 1826 in the ornate French style,
with pruned trees, beautiful flower beds and gravel lined
paths and fountains. The French introduced many exotic plants
from all over the world, many of which thrived. With over
1500 species of plants, this could actually qualify as one
of the best botanical gardens in South India.
The gardens also have a musical fountain which is active
over the weekends, with two shows in the evening. Check for
timings and the frequency of the shows as they may change
depending on the season.
The Government Park or Bharati Park is in the green centre
of the French Town and its lush trees provide ample relieve
from the scorching sun on a hot summer day. With children
playing in ponds, on their hill or in the traffic park, grown-ups
sitting or lying on granite benches, families on a picnic
and occassional sit-ins of striking citizens, the park is
the most appreciated public area in town. Strolling under
the cool trees is as dynamic as it gets. Unless people rush
to the spot when an occassional movie is being shot.
The Aayi Mandapam has become the unmistakable centre from
which four lanes divide the Park in four almost equal parts.
The area is dotted with ancient sculptures and not so ancient
statues. Around it stand a number of stately buildings:
The Raj Nivas - The residence of the Lt. Governor, formerly
the Palace of the French Governor of puducherry.
The Museum - situated opposite the Raj Nivas on St Louis
Street, houses an interesting collection of excavated artifacts
from Roman Times and heritage from the French Period.
Towards the east, hidden behind a thick wall and huge trees
lies the former French bandstand on which the French Army
Band used to play.
On the southern side are the puducherry Art Gallery, Hotel
Qualithe and the Chamber of Commerce, all built with a street
front in colonial style. The UCO bank is surrounded by its
own garden premises. A mighty stair invites you to the interior
of a traditional bank.
Past the General Hospital on the western side are the Legislative
Assembly and the Cercle de Pondichéry.
Turning back towards the Raj Nivas on the left is beautiful
Villa Aroumé, which houses the Ashram Dining Room.
There is a huge banyan tree near the village here. The canopy
of the 400 year old tree covers a few acres at the very least.
Kizhoor a border village is situated at a distance of nearly
28 kms from puducherry. It is a historic place in the sense
that it is here only in the year 1954. Voting took place for
the merger of puducherry with the Indian Union. As part of
the celebrations of 50th Anniversary of De-facto puducherry,
a permanent Exhibition of paintings relating to the merger
of puducherry was opened at the Kizhoor Monument.
Chunnambar is situated 8 kms from puducherry, along the Cuddalore
Main Road. This tropical paradise is flanked by a quiet-flowing
creek on one side. You can sail downstream to the sands and
pitch up a cozy seaside tent for yourself. Overnighting within
the tree-houses on the backwater banks provides a relishing
experience of the great outdoors.
The beach at Chunnambar also known as Plage Paradiso, is located
near the mouth of the backwater. The sand is pristine and
the water, clean. It's and ideal place for sun bathing and
A short, pleasant cruise into the sea from here could reward
you with the memorable sight of playful dolphins in natural
habitat, horsing around.
Chunnambar Beach and Backwater Resort, a PTTDC enterprise,
has boating, backwater boat tours, trekking and picnics on
Paradise Beach for friends and families.
The resort offers various kinds of rental boats (speed, motor,
sail, rowed paddled and peddalled) in addition to beach volleyball
and other beach sports.
Seagulls the multicuisine restaurant cum bar is a stone's
throw from the backwater. It specialises in Chinese and Tandoori
food. The restaurant too has a view of the backwaters. It
is an ideal setting for a theme party or an offbeat get-together.
It also serves food in the huts just outside the restaurant.
You can also order a picnic lunch to the beach and you shall
be served there in style.
Here accommodation is available on the three tree top houses
that offer you the bliss of ecotourism. You can either read
a novel, paint, listen to music, meditate or even stay overnight,
all on the top of a tree!
'Sunrise Panorama' (a two storey tree top house) gives you
an unrestricted view of the backwater up to its mouth. 'Palm
house' on the other hand overlooks the artificial pond and
the park. 'Nest bird' is the perfect abode for the adventure
loving folks, it has a rope ladder that leads to a small balcony.
All in a tree house!
For more information contact PTDC:
Tourism Information Centre
40 Goubert Avenue,
puducherry 605001, India.
Telephone: 0413 - 2339497,
Fax: 0413 - 2330532
Or Chunnambar Backwater Resort,
Cuddalore Road, Chunnambar, puducherry.
Tel: 0413 - 2356816
is provided by the Department of Tourism, Puducherry
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