A sunrise that takes your breath away. A beach that makes your soul sing. A selfie spot that fascinates the Instagrammer in you. Welcome to Promenade Beach.
At Puducherry’s signature Promenade beach, every day holds new delights. The sight of orange-yellow rays that splatter all over the sky as the fresh sea breeze gently kisses your face is much more than just ‘great’. Have you always been fascinated by a lighthouse? If yes, then a visit to the 19th century Old Lighthouse is a must. Built by a French engineer known as L. Guerre, this building was the only beacon of light to guide ships at night. Today, this seafront marvel continues to enthral visitors with its understated dignity and elegance.
Hungry much? Then you should sample a meal at the rooftop cafe at the lighthouse. Or take a cycle tour and appreciate the many sights that make the French Quarter so fascinating. Explore beautiful landmarks like the War Memorial - that pays a tribute to soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War I. Did you know that the Memorial is decorated and illuminated beautifully on July 14th or Bastille Day?
Another attraction near the beach is the life-size statue of Joan of Arc – the heroine of France. Pondicherry, being the French enclave, was chosen by the French Government to house this statue. Made in white marble, it is erected beautifully in the middle of a garden and so strategically placed that the statue is facing the Our Lady of Angels Church.
Apart from these attractions, a tour of Promenade Beach will also take you to the heritage Town Hall and the ubiquitous Mahatma Gandhi statue, built by popular sculptor Roy Choudhary. The main highlight, besides the statue, are the eight beautifully carved pillars that surround it. Brought from Gingee Fort, which is around 68 kms from Puducherry, these monolithic pillars were brought and erected here in 1866. Then there’s the giant Dupleix statue and the old customs house – both of which are notable examples of French architecture.
A day at the Promenade Beach is nothing short of a lesson in French history and you’ll be wealthier at the end of it!
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