News @ Puducherry » The Puducherry administration is keen to starting the operations in Puducherry Airport at the earliest possible in the interest of tourism promotion. Puducherry Welfare and Tourism Minister P.Rajavelu urged Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram to earmark sufficient funds for Pondy for development and introduction of new tourism related projects in the Union Territory.
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Puthucherry has a special ambience, not felt anywhere else in India. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied town.

The inherent ambience of Pondy, as it is fondly called, becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town which flanks the seashore boulevard. Colonial buildings, some which trace back to the 18th century, line along a grid of straight clean streets and house the French institutions, private homes and businesses, and the sprawling premises of the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The visitor is greeted by mellow colors of cream, yellow, pink and grey with flamboyant bougainvillea bursting over gates and compound walls of cool courtyards.

Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the town's bustling, yet easy going life.

But Pondy hasn't only its own special attractions to offer. It is a perfect base to explore the rich destinations around it, even in daily trips: Auroville, the international City of Unity; the imposing Gingee Fort, the holy temple towns of Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Chidambaram, the heritage sculptures and magnificent rock temples of Mamallapuram, and the cool and lush hill stations of Yercaud and Kodaikanal.


The Union Territory (UT) of Puthucherry is irrefutably striving to carve its name as a tourism destination with prodigious potential. Through its 'Frenchness', its spirituality and heritage sites, Puthucherry has been able to intrigue visitors but it has a long way to go. However, eco-tourism is on the verge of making its debut, but the expanse is restrictive.

Eco-tourism as the term suggest involves conserving nature in its entirety and taking a cue Puthucherry is undertaking a number of initiatives like focusing on aspects like spirituality and yoga. The challenges and hurdles faced by the UT are nothing peculiar to any Public Sector Undertaking - a lack of professionalism and discipline - and a commercial orientation to work. The challenge is to stay relevant in a field where the public sector is increasingly seen as an anachronism. The UT has realised that it is time to reinvent a new way of doing business with private sector participation, and to be profitable and creative.

Plans are being initiated to lay out a sustainable tourism formula ensuring involvement of local people and without degrading bio-diversity. Spirituality will also be exploited in this pursuit. If the agenda is streamlined and realised, Puthucherry could carve a niche of its own by isolating itself away from wilderness to the serenity of eco-friendliness through spirituality. This is necessary as a concept like eco-tourism is fast catching up on the world scenario and Indian states need to gear themselves for the future.

Eco-tourism was never exploited until recently when the UT seemed to be looking for other sources by which they could attract more tourists into the land. With spirituality and yoga having established itself the world over, the UT has now initiated plans to use the trend in the form of sustainable tourism.


  • The Puthucherry government will formulate eco-tourism policy to encourage eco-friendly practices that focus on harmony with nature and spirituality and to develop the conscious process at all levels. Puthucherry has already made its name in spirituality and yoga. For several years, Puthucherry has been hosting the International Yoga Festival in the first week of January.

  • The government plans opening of yoga centres and spirituality centres so that sustainable tourism could be addressed and involve local persons without degrading bio-diversity.

  • The government also aims to encourage low volume but high value tourism in Puthucherry, which could be directed to eco-friendly tourism.

  • In Puthucherry, Ousteri Lake has been identified to be developed as an eco-friendly tourist spot and local communities will be involved in the whole process.

  • In places like the Botanical Garden, a fee will be collected to restrict human activity, which damages bio-diversity. The fee could be utilized for garden maintenance.

  • The Arikamedu site near Puthucherry, which projected the ancient trade links that Puthucherry had with Romans, will be focussed in a comprehensive development plan.

  • The Yanam region, situated on the East Coast, in the District of East Godavary, Andhra Pradesh is rich with mangrove vegetation. It is built on a place where the river Coringa and the Godavary meet and is bounded on the East and the South by these rivers. Plans are being designed to develop this region.

  • Puthucherry government also has plans to divert the revenue generated at the tourist places for bio-diversity conservation.

  • The government is stressing on the need for restoration of lost species of trees. The only existing forest patch in Puthucherry is the vegetation on the Swadeshi cotton mills campus. A sizable patch of the mill's forest was cleared off its vegetation and given for construction of a court building. Plans have been suggested for an evaluation to enumerate the lost species. The area could also be declared as a protected area and all human activities might be stopped.

  • In areas like Thengaithittu, Veerampattinam, Ariankuppam, Moorthikuppam, Yanam and Karaikal, mangrove vegetation has been depleting owing to population growth and overexploitation. There are plans for establishment of a vegetation profile, study of mangroves, interaction with village groups and holding of seminars and workshops in villages to create awareness of protecting resources.

  • There are suggestions for inclusion of bio-diversity in primary high school and higher secondary school curricula in a graded and non-formal manner. Bio-diversity-related topics would be introduced in the teacher training and BEd courses.

  • Establishment of a general framework for the state policy on conservation and sustainable use of biological resources is also on the cards.

  • Establishment of a state bio-diversity Board as per the provisions of the bio-diversity Bill is also being considered. The Board would advise the administration on matters relating to conservation of bio-diversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of the benefits.

  • Setting up of a state bio-diversity fund is also being considered.



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