Pondicherry, for a long time, was a place on my to-do list, with a few days off from everyday work life. Finally, decided to visit and explore the area. With just a day in hand, we had to cover the whole of Pondicherry.
First, Pondicherry is a little French colony considered too small for an Indian town. It is located on the East Coast of India and very close to Chennai, the main center of economics in South India. There are many different ways to travel from Chennai to Pondicherry; you could take the convenient one. Being a place captured by different origins and the French being the last, you could spot many French people and architecture influenced by the French(French Baroque).
Back then, the city was divided into two parts by a canal, the French Colony and the Indian Colony. Over time, the lines seem to be blurred, but eventually, the French colony is now called the White Town, and another part of town is Heritage Town.
Tourists visiting Pondicherry prefer staying in the White Town, Auroville, or some cozy place. Still, as we had minimal time, convenience mattered a lot, so we decided to make Hotel Abirami Residency our home for the stay. Hotel Abirami Residency is an excellent 3-star hotel in the center of the town and is located near the marketplace. The hotel offered value-for-money rooms with affordable pricing and food.
As we reached Pondicherry late evening, we could not plan anything around. Still, we decided to save time and visit the most famous cafe on Rock Beach -The Le Cafe. The Le Cafe has been standing tall for over a decade now and is open all day and during night hours with good food at highly affordable prices.
The next day started for us at around 9 am. We rented an Activa, which cost us Rs. 250 per day (without fuel ), which allowed us quick access around the town without depending on any public transport or cab service. The places give you a feel of Goa to some extent, with everything being quiet and a pleasant morning with slow-paced life, but this remains the same as the day progresses. I recommend moving out early to explore, have fun, and taste this beautiful place.
The are many churches all around the town with distinct design and color elements inspired by the European style of architecture. At the same time, there are churches representing the architectural style of South India.
The first thing we did was head towards Auroville, and the scenic beauty of this place and its clean roads helped us soak in all the good things about the place. A visit to Matri Mandir is a must, an iconic golden structure that symbolizes universal brotherhood and peace. The location is home to people from over a dozen nationalities. Matri Mandir has everything which gets you back to the roots of all human beings-the nature. As this is a place full of tourists, you might find many cafes on the way operated by foreign nationalists and serve delicious French and Indian meals.
On our way back from Auroville, we visited the beautiful; Serenity Beach, a scenic long stretch of sand with many cafes, hotels, and shacks to chill out. We had a plate of freshly made fish made with local spices, fried to perfection, and garnished with onions and coriander.
Other places of interest include the Aurobindo Ashram, the Governor’s Palace, Manakula Temple, and the Statue of Dupleix. This could be the main eternity to follow in the city of Pondicherry. Also, make sure to visit churches all around the town.
Suppose you want an authentic South Indian meal after having a variety of fish and chicken. In that case, Surguru is a must-visit pure vegetarian restaurant in the city’s heart. The place was filled with tourists and locals. Despite having a long queue, we were fortunate enough to find seats.
After a good meal, we were all charged with energy and headed toward Paradise Beach. One of the best things about this beach is that you must take boats or kayaks from the Chunnambar boathouse. The beach has a gorgeous view and offers many exciting water sports. It is one of the cleanest and best beaches in Pondicherry and, as the name suggests, truly gives you a feeling of Paradise. The beach also has restaurants, shower rooms, and changing rooms. Operation hours are between 9 am to 5 pm and could cost around 200+/per person.
We took the very last boat back to the mainland. It was about 6 pm till we reached back to the White town. Our next stop was Promenade, one of the famous beaches in Pondicherry. As the name Promenade means a walk by the beach, it has a 1.2km long stretch.
Many tourists and locals spent their time under the open sky alongside the blue ocean, enjoying a peaceful evening and having a good time. Vehicle entry was banned during the evening, so we had to walk down the street. Strolling down the road, you can see many prominent hotels, cafes, and places that offer food.
Overall the beautiful town of Pondicherry left us amazed and in awe of its allure. We were on a very restricted time frame, leaving us only a day in Pondicherry. We had to leave the town the same night as we wandered around Chennai and Mahabalipuram just to experience the streets and the city and about.
If you planning to visit Pondicherry, make sure you take out at least a good three days of the holiday by which you can cover exploration of the whole town.
This Pondicherry post will help you properly schedule and plan your travel to this town.
All rights reserved.