Puducherry is a place of diverse faiths where followers of different religions find peace and solace in the many places of worship - temples, churches and mosques
In and around Puducherry there are a as many as 350 temples – big and small. Neighbouring Karaikal has another 99. Some were built by the Chola kings between the 10th and 12th centuries. You can locate the architecturally fine sight of the Sri Gokilambar Thirukameswara Temple, 10 km from Puducherry.
The world famous Thirunallar Temple (Shani Temple) is situated in Karaikal. Thirunallar is 5 km west of Karaikal. The sanctum sanctorum of Lord Dharbaraneswarar Temple holds Siva as the main deity. However, its shrine dedicated to Saneeswaran (Saturn) which figures in the story of Nala-Damayanthi; makes this the most famous Saturn Temple in India. The blessings of Saturn are said to be overwhelming, while its wrath causes great misery. The temple hosts a mammoth festival (Shani Peyarchi), each time Saturn moves from one sign of the zodiac to another. This town is also an ideal base for pilgrims wanting to visit the other eight Navagraha temples situated in Tamil Nadu. The temple experiences at least 30,000 pilgrims/tourists on every Saturday and at the Sani peyarchi, a festival held every two and a half years, at least five lakh people gather.
The Varadaraja Temple (12th century) in Puducherry is the most important Vishnu temple in town. Vedapureeswarar Temple built in 18th century houses a Siva shrine, stone inscriptions and a swayambhulinga. Manakkula Vinayakar Temple located right behind the Raj Nivas in Puducherry town, is an important land mark in the town. Puducherry has grown considerably since its colonial past, and its present day glory lies with the saint philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh, who founded his ashram here. Sri Aurobindo was a freedom fighter and in 1907 was considered the ‘most dangerous man’ by the British. The only result of the wrath of the British Government was, as he wrote later, “I found God.” The British tried to stop Sri Aurobindo from settling in Puducherry, but he was determined and started the ashram with a mere fifty paise. Situated in the heart of the White Town the Ashram has its own appeal. This was where Shri Aurobindo, the Mother and their immediate followers actually lived surrounded in time by a dedicated community of people from different parts of India. It is now dominated by