Pondy has several churches built by French missionaries which contribute greatly to the city’s Mediterranean flair. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, completed in 1791, shared its breathtaking medieval architecture with many of the Jesuit constructions of that time. The Sacred Heart Church is an impressive sight with its Gothic architecture, stained glass and striking brown and white colours. The mellow pink-and-cream Notre Dame de Anges built in 1858 looks sublime in the late afternoon light thanks to its smooth limestone interior, made by using eggshells in the plaster.
Although Pondy is not often associated with temples, the Hindu faith is celebrated here with as much vigour as anywhere else. There are said to be more than 150 temples in Pondicherry and you will often stumble across the entrance to an almost hidden temple while wandering the streets. One of the most vibrant temples in the city is Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Renovations have furnished its sanctum with the rarest Rajasthan marble and its Vimanaa tower over the sanctum with a shimmering gold roof. This small bustling temple tucked away on a backstreet just south of Sri Aurobindo ashram, contains more than 40 skilfully painted friezes.