Temples in Pondicherry

Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Manakula Vinayagar Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 5:45am - 12:30pm and 4:00pm - 9:00pm (10:00pm on Fridays)
Timings are subject to change during holidays and festival days.

Location: Francois Martin St, White Town, Puducherry.
Approximate visiting time: 1:30 hour plus traveling time

Manakula Vinayagar Temple places of worship - it is situated just behind Raj Nivas and shares a close distance with Arabindo Ashram. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple in puducherry exist before 1666. According to sasthra, Lord ganesh is named in 16 types based on his various forms out which this god facing the east cost near bay of bengal it has been named as bhuvaneshar ganapathy, now called as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR. "Manal" means sand and "Kulam" means pond near the sea, earlier which was full of sand around pond. So the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar which translates as 'God near the pond of sand'. Later it is named as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR. During 1700 french prohibited performing poojas and festivals particularly on fridays in the temple. The ancient temple was constructed three centuries ago and still stands in all its magnificent glory. The temple is dedicated to the worship of LORD GANESHA.


Kanniga Parameswari Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 6:00am - 12:00pm and 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Kamatchi Amman Koil Street, Puducherry.

The temple is unique in its architecture as it blends the style of the French with the traditional Deccan architecture of India. The temple of Kanniga Parameswari is dedicated to the Goddess Shakti who is the representative deity of power in Hindu mythology. Shakti is another form of the powerful Goddess Kali who is one of the popular deities worshiped in Pondicherry and also in the whole country. The monumental structure of the temple is a blend of French and Tamil architectural styles. The interior ceiling of the sanctum is designed in the traditional style of the Tamil architecture and contains motifs on the granite pillars. The construction stands on monolithic pillars that represent the architecture of Europe. The walls of the temple are arched and are ornamented and beautified with angels and heavenly creatures designed on them. These along with the stained glass panes are archetypes of French places of worship. Other than the main sanctum sanctorum, most of the temple structure is designed in French architectural style. Devotees and pilgrims from all over the country gather to offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the presiding deity of the temple. Hindu marriages are also conducted in the temple premises. The Kanniga Parameswari Temple still retains the magnificence and uniqueness that was present when the temple was initially constructed ages ago.


Kamatchiamman Koil Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 6:00am - 12:00pm and 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Bharathi street, Puducherry.

The Kamatchiamman Temple is an important Pondicherry pilgrimage spot. The singularity of the temple lies in the unembellished form of the temple structure. The place of worship is frequently visited by the tourists and the local people who arrive in the temple to offer their prayers to the temple deity. The temple is devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga who is representative deity of war. The temple is decorated in the interiors on occasions when special prayers are offered to the Goddess. However, the exterior walls of the temple are dark and rust in colour. The architecture of the temple is deprived of the furnishings that are present in the other temples of the region. The temple withstood the atrocities of time and still stands in its magnificence in the region of Pondicherry. With time, the ancient temple has been further deprived of its initial lustre and sheen. Although bereft of any ornamentation, the temple never lacks the devotees and pilgrims who gather in large number every year to offer their prayers to the goddess. The austere Kamatchiamman Temple is one of the chief tourist’s attractions of the territory of Pondicherry although the temple is different from most of the other temples of SouthIndia. On the festive days, the temple is flocked by pilgrims who arrive from the different parts of the region and from all corners of the country to participate in the celebrations and to seek the blessings of the Goddess Durga.


Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 6:30am - 12:00pm and 4:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: MG Road, Puducherry.

The Varadaraja Temple in Pondicherry is a well-known Vaishnavite temple. In the temple Lord Narasimha - an incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu - is placed behind Venkatachalapathy, the principal deity. The architecture of Varadaraja Temple is quite similar to the Vedhapureeshwarar Temple. Lord Vishnu as Varadaraja Perumal and Goddess Lakshmi as Thayar are worshiped in this temple.It is believed that the idol currently placed in the temple was found buried in earth. The 5ft tall idol depicts Lord Vishnu standing tall. It is extremely beautiful and his smile ever so enchanting. Legend has it that the temple was originally built for Lord Ram - another avatar of Lord Vishnu - and his wife Sita, his brother Lakshman and Lord Hanuman whose statues were being brought via sea. This is corroborated by the findings of these idols in neighbouring Vaithikuppam - a fishing hamlet - back in 1902.When the Vedhapureeswarar temple was destroyed by the French troops on 8-9-1748, a devotee Anandaranga Pillai took pains to gather all the idols from the debris and hid them in the Varadaraja Perumal and Kalatheeswarar temples, according to a note in his diary. During the Muslim invasion, many idols were again kept in this temple for safekeeping. The antiquity of the temple can be ascertained by these reports.The temple is situated beside Vedhapureeshwarar Temple and is managed and administered by the same trust. It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the town and is 800 years old.A large number of devotees of Lord Vishnu visit the temple to receive the blessings of God. The architecture reflects the influence of the Dravidian style. It has a 'gopuram' that is decorated with bright colours and has a number of beautifully carved pillars.One of the specialities of this temple is that infants are given their first morsel of rice known as 'annaprasanam' in front of the deity so that the child may grow with the blessings of the diety.Saturdays are considered auspicious. The temple wears a festive look during Deepavali, Pongal and Tamil New year days apart from other festivals.Timings6:30am - 12:00pm and 4:30pm - 9:30pmFestivals Jan - Feb (Thai): Thaipoosam FestivalFeb - Mar (Masi): Kodandaramar FestivalMar - Apr (Panguni): Thayar (Festival of the mother)Apr - May (Chithirai): Ramar Festival (25 days)May - Jun (Vaikasi): Brahmotsavam (10 days)Jul - Aug (Aadi): Aadipooram & Gajendra Moksha Festival (10 days)Aug - Sep (Avani): Pavithra Festival (5 days)Sep - Oct (Puratassi): Navarathiri (9 days)Nov - Dec (Karthigai): Karthigai Deepam FestivalDec - Jan (Margazhi): Vaikunda Ekadasi

Sri Thenkali Srinivasa Perumal Koil

Sri Thenkali Srinivasa Perumal Koil opening and closing time
Timings: 6:30am - 12:00pm and 4:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Muthialpet, Puducherry.

Sri Thenkali Srinivasa Perumal Koil is one of the oldest and prestigious temple in Pondicherry situated in (Mahatma Gandhi Road) Muthialpet, about 2 km from the Serenity Beach Kottakuppam. This temple was constructed in early 1800 A.D.


Vedhapureeswarar Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 6:30am - 12:00pm and 4:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: MG Road, Puducherry.

This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva - also known as the Eashwaran Dharmaraj Koil - is located on M.G. Road, adjacent to the Varadaraja Perumal Temple. Its 75 feet tall colourful 'gopuram' is adorned by statues of gods and goddesses like most temples in South India.In 1748, during Governor Dupleix's rule, the original temple - Vedapuri Iswaran Koil - was demolished and razed to the ground. Its reconstruction - in the current location - was completed around 1788 and was funded by Dubash Kandappa Mudaliar with public support.The presiding deity is a 'swayambu Linga' - meaning the idol manifested on its own and was found in its current form. It is said that the presiding deity was shifted to this temple from the Mission Street Samba Easwaran Temple 100 years ago. There is a special temple for Lord Dakshinamurthy within this temple on the southern side. Lord Muruga in this temple is praised by Sri Ramalinga Swamigal in his hymns.Devotees perform 'abhishekam' - an ancient sacred Hindu custom of bathing a deity in water, milk, honey, ghee, fruit juice and other liquids. This resulting mixture is intended to be served as 'prasadam' to the devotees who offer their prayers. The pouring of these liquids symbolizes the pouring of a devotee's purest love for God. Performing this ceremony, with a pure mind, faith and conviction, results in washing away of sins, and purification of the devotee's own heart and mind.On auspicious days like - Kruthika, Sankatahara Chaturthi, Adi Kruthikai, Thai Kruthikai, Chitra Poornima, Adipooram and Pradosham days - the temple is thronged by hundreds of devotees. Deepavali, Pongal and Tamil New Year are a few more of the important days. Timings6:30am - 12:00pm and 4:30pm - 9:30pmFestivals Feb - Mar (Masi): Sivarathiri May - Jun (Vaikasi): Brahmotsava (18 days)Sep - Oct (Purattasi): Navarathiri (10 days)Oct - Nov (Aipasi): Annabhishekam


Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple opening and closing time
Timings: 5:45am - 12:30pm and 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Villianur, Puducherry.

Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple, also referred to as Villianur Temple, is a famous place of worship of Hindus. The most popular festival being the Brahmotsavam, which is observed for ten days continuously and devotees from all over India come here to receive the blessings of the Lord.The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in the form of a 'Shivlinga'. There are other temples, which are devoted to the Devi and Murugan and they were constructed during the 12th century Chola period.This temple has a little bit of French heritage attached to it, though not in its architecture, but in some of its traditions. The annual Temple Car Festival which is held between the months of May and June involves the pulling of a 15 metre tall chariot through the streets by a large crowd of devotees.Devotees believe that pulling this holy chariot will fulfil their wishes. Other devotees offer curds, buttermilk and 'sundal' to the multitude that follows the chariot. This in itself is considered a very pious act and demonstrates the devotion of the one making the offering.During French colonial rule, the Governor of Puducherry used to join this very procession and actively participate in the drawing of the chariot through the streets. The temple is very close to the Villianur railway station and the bus stand. Alternatively one could hire a car or bike for the 18km round trip.FestivalsBrahmotsava (Temple Car Festival) (May-June)