Temples

9 Famous Temples In Pondicherry With Details

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One of the most popular tourist spots in India, Puducherry or Pondy, as called by many adoringly, is definitely a holiday destination so very unique in so many ways. Imagine quaint, vibrantly coloured cottages, breezy boulevards, historical churches and stunning beaches. It is often called the French Riveria of the East and rightly so. The most interesting aspect of this Union territory is that it was ruled by the French for almost 300 years and until 1954. As a result, the French influences are still quite apparent making the place ever so enchanting. It’s nothing but exciting to see such a stunning amalgamation of the French and Indian cultures in the beautiful setting of Pondicherry. However, did you know that there is something yet more special about this place? Yes, that is the spiritual side it sings out loud! Puducherry has some of the best temples of India and is the perfect territory to awaken your religious aspirations and beliefs. Not only because of the historical and famous temple in Pondicherry  but also because of the tranquil atmosphere the place imbibes.

Pondicherry temple list – 9 most famous temples in Pondicherry that you need to visit now!

1. Arulmigu Manakalu Vinayagar Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Arulmigu Manakalu Vinayagar temple is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist spot in Pondicherry and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It probably tops the Pondicherry famous temples list. The temple exists from before 1666. Manakalu Vinayagar in Tamil means God near the pond of sand. The temple has a 7.5 kg golden chariot which was made purely on the basis of collection and donation from devotees. The temple itself is stunningly vibrant and has stone walls that show great carving craftsmanship of the past. History goes that the temple was based in a village shared by the whites and the French and that they would try to get rid of the deity on an ongoing basis by throwing it in the sea. It is said that each time this happened, the deity would be found back in the same place where this temple is established now.

  • Address: Manakula Vinayagar Koil St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001
  • Timings: 6.30 am – 11.00 am and 4.30 pm – 9.00 pm
  • Dress Code: comfortable and decent attire would work. No dress code as such.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: If taking the train to Pondicherry, nearest rail station Villupuram (35 kilometres away) connected to all major cities of India. By Air, the nearest airport is Chennai International airport (135 km away). By road, you can take a private or state operated bus from many cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Madurai to Pondicherry. The temple itself is 73 Km from Chidambaram and 114 from Kanchipuram. People rent bikes to travel around the city or autos and taxis can also be hired.
  • Temple Website: http://www.manakulavinayagartemple.com/
  • Best Time To Visit: annual 24 days main festival during August and September. Sankatahara Chathurthi Day
  • Other Attractions: Sri Aurobindo Ashram is 0.1 km away and Seaside Promenade is 0.4 km away.

2. Sri Varadharaja Perumala Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Sri Varadharaja Perumala temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Vishnu. It is said that the temple has been visited by the 12 poet saints (Alwars). This temple is considered to be one of the most sacred by Vaishnavites and was originally built by the Cholas in 1053. Thus with its historic roots, it attracts not only the religious but also historians and curious tourists in general. The temple has a shrine of Varadharaja or Vishnu and is on a small hillock. The major festivals celebrated here is Bhramotsavam when pilgrims flock to the temple. Newborn babies are brought to the temple and given their first spec of rice in front of Lord Vishnu so as to ensure that the baby will be taken care of by the god himself.

  • Address: Nethaji Nagar,Kanchipuram, Tamil Nad 631501
  • Timings: 6:00AM-11:00AM And 4:00PM-8: 00 PM
  • Dress Code: comfortable traditional clothing would be ideal
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • How To Reach: 1 hour 3o minute drive from the Chennai airport (nearest airport). You can take a bus from Chennai to Pondicherry and this temple is walkable from the Pondicherry bus stop. By train, all major cities are connected to the Pondicherry junction. People rent bikes to travel around the city or autos and taxis can also be hired.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Bhramotsavam time and Ramar festival
  • Other Attractions: Manimuthar Falls, Vettuvan Koil, silk saree shops outside the temple.

3. Vedpureeswarar Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Vedapureeswarar temple is dedicated to Lord Vedpureeswara and is located in the northern banks of the Cheyyar River. This is another example of a great temple near Pondicherry. The temple also has a Nandi bull which interestingly faces the opposite direction of the Shiva Lingam. It is believed that Lord Shiva here is self-manifested. The temple is made of two corridors and a 5 tiered Rajagopuram. The stone inscriptions in the temple hint of the Chola rule period. The place is also historically called as Santhanaranyam because it said that there was an abundance of Sandalwood trees in this area (Santhanam” meaning sandalwood and “Aranyam”, forest ). The natives of the place celebrate the 10 days festival of Brahmotsavam which is a grand occasion.

  • Address: Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple, Thiruverkadu Post, Thiruvallur District, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600 077
  • Timings: 6 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 9 pm
  • Dress Code: comfortable traditional clothing would be ideal
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • How To Reach: It is only 10 Km from the Koyambedu Bus stand (Chennai). You can take buses from Chennai and Kanchipuram to Pondicherry. They shall drop you at walkable distances from the temple. The nearest airport is at Chennai. By train, all major cities are connected to the Pondicherry junction. People rent bikes to travel around the city or autos and taxis can also be hired.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Attrural festival on full moon day of Chitirai (April-May). Maha Shivratri
  • Other Attractions: This temple is revered for removing hindrances from marriage prospects since Lord Shiva here is found in is wedding form. Sri Devi Karumariamman temple is 1 Km away.

4. Sithananda Swamy Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Sitanandha Swamy temple is a famous shrine where a saint Guru Sithanandar was buried alive. On his burial place, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has been built and is a famous place for peace lovers. Guru Sithananda’s Jeevan Samadhi was attained on 28th May 1837. The pilgrims visit the temple and perform special pujas on every Thursday to his statue. A popular place of worship for students as well, they come here to pray to God Dakshinamurthy for good grades and doing well in exams. This temple is 200 years old and continues to be an epitome of serenity. A meditation hall is also present on the premises for those looking to spend some soulful time on their own.

  • Address: Lawspet Main Road, Puducherry, India, 605003
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
  • Dress Code: comfortable traditional clothing would be ideal
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • How To Reach: It is only 5 Km from the Puducherry main bus stand and 4 Km from Puducherry Railway station. Chennai airport is 146 Km away. By bus get down at the Gorimedu bus stop or the Shivaji Statue Bus stop (if coming from Chennai). The temple is located right at or opposite these stops respectively. By train, all major cities are connected to the Pondicherry junction. People rent bikes to travel around the city or autos and taxis can also be hired.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Guru Puja, Maha Shivratri and every Thursday in general.
  • Other Attractions: Kuil Thoppu right adjacent the temple. This is where the Mahakavi Bharathiyar would visit and write poetry. A water tank with fishes inside the premises is an appeasing add-on.

5. Kamakshi Amman Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Kamakshi Amman temple is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Maa Durga or Parvati who is also the presiding deity here. One of the key temples around Pondicherry, It is said to be built by the Pallava kings in the 6th century. The temple performs four worship services every day. Apart from that, it celebrates its annual festival in Spring, which is the chariot festival called Ther and float festival called Theppam are held. Navaratri, Aadi and Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi and Vasanta Utsavam are also celebrated.

  • Address: New No. 6, Old No. 144/A, Kamakshi Amman Sannathi Street, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631502, India
  • Timings: 5:30 AM – 12:15 PM, 4:00 PM – 8:15 PM
  • Dress Code: comfortable traditional clothing would be ideal
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: By road, drive via the Kamakshi Amman Sannidhi Street. By train, all major cities are connected to the Kanchipuram junction. Kanchipuram is 64 Kms from Chennai International airport. You can also take a taxi from the airport to the city.
  • Temple Website: http://www.kanchikamakshi.com/
  • Best Time To Visit: Ther and Theppam festivals in Spring
  • Other Attractions: Kailasanatha Temple is a must visit only 1.5 km away.

6. Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarer Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswara temple located in Villanur is one of the major religious places in Pondicherry. Its 15-metre tall temple chariot is taken out on a procession during the month of May to June with the appearance of the full moon. It’s a beautiful festival and many people visit the place to witness its grandeur. The presiding deity of the temple is Thirukameswarer Gokilambal who is taken out in the nicely decorated chariot during the festival and offered prasadam. It is believed that the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled if they pull the chariot. The legend goes that a Chola King of the time was suffering from Leprosy because of his undoing in his previous life. However, when he prayed to God Shiva in this very temple, he was granted cure and healing.

  • Address: E-Car St, Villianur, Puducherry 605110
  • Timings: 5 AM – 1200 noon and 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: comfortable temple apt attire is ideal.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Temple is very close to the Villianur railway station and the bus stand. If you’re hiring a bike or car, the round trip will be only 18 Km. It is only 10-11 Km from Pondicherry main town. villianur railway station is the nearest station and Pondicherry Airport, Lawspet, Puducherry, is the nearest airport.
  • Temple Website: http://villianurtemple.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: Bramachavam, Car festival, Purattasi – Navarathri festival and Laksha Deepa Festival (1 lakh deeps being lit, a sight not to miss)
  • Other Attractions: Pondicherry which is just around 22 minutes away is a travellers paradise and must explore the town.

7. Irumbai Shiva Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Irumbai Shiva temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 275 Thevara Pedal Petra Sthalangals. The way to the temple has beautiful pathways with coconut trees and Banyan trees on the sides. The temple has a holy tank. The presiding deity of the temple is Maakaaleswarar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam which is broken and tied together with copper strings. Its also quite revered by those who want to excel in the field of art and music. It is said that the goddess Kuyil Mozhi Nayaki of this temple shall bless them for the same if they offer her prayers to her and do pooja here. Locals adorn the temple with beautiful handmade rangolis during festivals and celebrations.

  • Address: Auroville, Irumbai, Tamil Nadu 605111
  • Timings: 6 am – 12 PM and 5 pm – 9 pm
  • Dress Code: respectful attire would work best
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: It is located around 10 km from Puducherry. By road, You can take the Puducherry to Tindivanam route on which the location is only 2 km away from Morattandi. Puducherry railway station is the nearest station (12 Kms) and Pondicherry Airport, Lawspet, Puducherry, (8 Km) is the nearest airport. Chennai is connected by all major cities of India by air and rail. The temple is 138 Kms from Chennai.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Maasi Magam and Shivrathri in February-March. Karthigai, and Thaipusam time.
  • Other Attractions: There is a shrine for Subramaniya swami adjacent to that of God Shiva’s. Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram is nearby.

8. Panchavati Panchmukha Anjaneya Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Panchavati Panchmukha Anjaneya temple has a gigantic 32 feet idol of Anjaneya, another form of Lord Hanuman, which attracts many tourists to the temple. There are two beautiful sannidhis, one each of Jayamangala Valampuri Maha Ganapathy and Sri Ramachandra Prabhu. It is in fact extremely famous and glorified due to it hosting the world’s second largest Anjaneya idol. Devotees throng the temple offering their prayers on Saturdays, considered a most auspicious day for a visit to this temple. Something quite unique here is that devotees in their offerings to the deity, prepare garlands made of vada for the god. These vada garlands are later distributed amongst the poor also quenching many’s hungers in the area.

  • Address: Thiru Vi Ka Street, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu 605602
  • Timings: 8:30 AM – 12 noon and 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent, temple apt attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 ½ hour
  • How To Reach: It is located around 8 kms/15 minutes from Puducherry. By road, You can hire a private vehicle for the round trip from Pondicherry. By train Puducherry railway station is the nearest station and Lawspet, Puducherry is the nearest airport. Chennai is connected by all major cities of India by air and rail. The temple is 138 Kms from Chennai.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Krishna Jayanthi, and Vaikunta times.
  • Other Attractions: The temple has Anna Dhan facilities towards which you can contribute. It is known for its free prasadham given to all visitors. A 15-16 Kg stone can be seen floating on the water and is a key attraction for visitors. It is said that it is one of the stones used to build a bridge to Lanka.

9. Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple:

temples in pondicherry

Thirunallar is a small town in the Pondicherry territory and, in fact, most known for this particular temple. The Thirunallar Saneeswaran temple has a shrine of Lord Shani or Saneeswaran as said by the Tamils and another temple within the complex is dedicated to Lord Darbharanyeswaran, a form of Lord Shiva. It is probably the only temple dedicated to Lord Shani (Saturn). The temple also has idols of the Navagrahas. According to the legend, King Nala would pray in this temple and was actually freed of the negative impacts of Shani or Saturn that were inflicting his life at the time. Devotees who believe in the power of planets ruling and determining your life revere this temple. Once in every 2 and a half years, Saturn is said to move from one Zodiac sign to the other and that’s when you shall find millions of loyal devotees queuing up in this place to offer their prayers to the Shani god.

  • Address: 73/1, 4th Main Road | Thirunallar, Karaikal 560010, India
  • Timings: 6 AM – 12:30 noon and 6 PM – 8 PM. Saturdays the evening darshan is from 5 PM – 9 PM.
    Dress Code: Decent, temple apt attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: It doesn’t have a station or airport of its own. However, you can take a train to Karaikal station ( well connected with major cities) and only 7 Kms from the temple. The nearest airport is Pondicherry Airport (3-4 hours drive away). There are regular from all other cities to Thirunallar.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Aadi Pooram festival is celebrated here. Most auspicious time is, of course, the period when Shani transits amongst the planets (once every 2 and a half years). People mainly come here from different parts of the country when facing a Maha Shani Dasha etc.
  • Other Attractions: Bhadrakali temple is nearby. You can also find locals shops and eateries around.

Frequently Asked Question And Answers

1. Is There any Temple in Pondicherry That also Brings to Life The French Influences and Touch and is an Amalgamation of Both The Hindu and French Cultures?

Yes the KANNIGA PARAMESWARI TEMPLE can be explored for an insight into how both the Deccan and French architectural styles combine to create a stunning specimen. Its dedicated to Lord Shakti. The sanctum ceilings depict a typical Deccan architectural craftsmanship with Tamil type motifs on the pillars whereas the walls with heavenly creatures adorning them and stained glass panes paint the French culture contribution.

2. Are there any Jain temples in Pondicherry?

Yes, of course, Puducherry district too has apt places of worship for those followers of Jainism. A popular one is the Digambar Jain temple. Another one is the Shree Parshwanath Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Mandir.

3. Is There any Place of Focus and Worship in Pondicherry for Those Who Follow a Universal World Religion or Not Belong to any One Particular Faith?

Yes, the Matrimandir is one of its kind place sure to set you free from your stress and inhibitions, It doesn’t belong to any particular religion and is a beautifully constructed open space (termed as peace) for those who want to pray, meditate or do yoga in a lovely positive environment. It took 37 years to build this stunner of a place and attracts tourist for its architectural excellence and its significance with Shri Aurobindo. Known as the soul of the city, this is a must visit for spiritual escape.

So whether it is a pilgrimage trip or just finding inner peace and yourself, plan your Pondicherry trip, keeping the spiritual agenda in mind. You’re sure to meet like-minded visitors who are drawn to Pondy and mainly Auroville for spiritual awakenings and breaks. The charming little townships of this union territory shall leave you mesmerized and these beautiful places of worship and meditation, rejuvenated and re-energized. French cuisines and trinkets to shop for, colonial-era feel that is so very distinct from any other place in India and an old world charm meeting modern sophistication kind of a vibe makes Pondy your next must visit on the bucket list. Do share with us whether this article helped your Pondicherry vacationing even more rewarding and easy. Happy travels and lots of beautiful memories coming your way.