Pondicherry is a highly sought-after holiday destination by those that treasure solitude and experience bliss in moments of quiet. There are many reasons to visit this union territory of India. Pondy as it is called, is also home to several temples which are worth visiting in their own right. Like temples elsewhere in India, the temples in this city are associated with the local myths, traditions and cultures. On your visit, you will be pleasantly surprised by the architectural styles characterizing the famous temples in Pondicherry. The Kanniga Parameswari Temple, which combines traditional Tamil and French styles of architecture is amongst the top Hindu temples in Pondicherry. While heavenly creatures adorn its walls, the stained-glass panes bear a strong resemblance to a French-styled church. There is the Manakula Vinayagar Temple; built in the 17th century, it’s interiors depict the 40 forms of Lord Ganesha, while the temple itself is built in a style which was prevalent during the era of Deccan Sultanates. A particularly fascinating experience awaits you here in the form of Lakshmi, the temple elephant who blesses visitors with her trunk.
Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan, is one of the most popular temples of Pondicherry which you should absolutely visit. Constructed in the 12th century, it hosts the festival of Bramotsavam which is held over a period of 12 days and attracts people from all over India. Here too, you find some sprinkling of French influence in its traditions. The Annual Temple Car Festival which is observed by devotees pulling a 15m tall chariot through the streets is the popular festival celebrated here that is truly a spectacle not to be missed during your visit in Pondicherry. There are other popular temples in Pondicherry which will fascinate you as a tourist. Two of these are the Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Vedhapureeswarar Temple. While the latter is famous, among other things, for its 75 ft tall gopuram, the former is almost 800 years old and famous for the tradition of “annaprasanam”, in which an infant is served rice for the first time in front of the deity. With its most temples, Pondicherry let you explore its local traditions and customs offering a closer look at the diversity of this South India destination.