The Union Territory of Pondicherry (recently renamed as Puducherry)
comprises of 4 coastal regions viz. - Pondicherry, Karaikal,
Mahe and Yanam. The area of Pondicherry is scattered over
three different states in the country – Pondicherry, the capital
of the UT is in Tamil Nadu, Karaikal region is embedded in
the Nagappattinam and Tiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu, Mahe
in the west coast of Kerala and Yanam is in Andhra Pradesh.
The origin of Pondicherry is buried in legends. According
to one view, the town was once called Vedapuri and was a seat
of Vedic culture, and the abode of Sage Agastya. Prof. Jonvean
Dubrouil, the French archeologist believes that the Ashram
of Agastya was on the very spot where the main building of
Sri Aurobindo Ashram stands today. The geographic area of
Pondicherry is 49,300 ha. The Union Territory, is scattered
over four locations, each having the status of a district
; Pondicherry (Tamil Nadu), Karaikal (Tamil Nadu), Yanam (Andhra
Pradesh) and Mahe (Kerala). The main territory of Pondicherry
lies on the east coast, about 180 km south of Chennai. Karaikal
is about 150 km south of Pondicherry on the east coast, Yanam
on the east coast adjoining Godavari district and Mahe on
the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats. Physiography is almost
plain and climate is tropical. Pondicherry and its surrounding
enclaves lie on the drainage basin of the Gingee river.
There are many sightseeing places like :-
Bharati Museum, Bharatidasan Museum, Arikamedhu, Auroville,
Boat House, Botanical Garden, Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus,
Government Square, Pondicherry Museum, Promenade, Raj Niwas,
Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Thiruvakkarai, Pondicherry Beach.
Fairs & Festivals :
Fire Walking Festival
Three of four times in a year, local temples conclude their
annual festivals with hundreds of men, women and children
walking on fire for fulfilment of their vows.
Veerampattinam Car Festival
It is about 6 km South of Pondicherry. The Chengazhunir Amman
Temple in the coastal village of Veerampattinam, is the venue
for the annual Car Festival which takes place on the fifth
Friday of the Tamil month of Adi or in the following month
of Avani (July-August).
This annual festival takes place on the full moon day of the
Tamil month of Masi (February-March). Deities from as many
as 38 temples in and around Pondicherry are brought in ceremonial
processions to the seashore fro a symbolic immersion ceremony.
Thousands of people go to the seashore to have a dip in the
sea which is said to wash away one's sins..
Villianur Car Festival
It is about 10 km from Pondicherry (Pondy-Villupuram route).
The Car Festival is celebrated at Lord Thirukameeswarar Temple