Pondicherry, officially called Puducherry, is reminiscent of the French colonial era. The street signs in French & Tamil, both are the official language. Strolling across the French Quarters or feeling the sea breeze at Promenade Beach is just few of the perks of visiting Pondy.
It’s easy to reach Pondy from Bangalore or Chennai for a weekend getaway. You can drive down or take a bus ride for few hours. It took us approx. 7 hours from Bangalore by bus. Best way to travel in Pondy is to rent a two-wheeler. Make sure to get your ride early in the morning!
You can plan up ahead & mark all the places you want to cover. Sharing my travel plans for visiting Pondicherry.
Day 1 –
Our travel for the day started late so we could not get an Activa. Rented a cab for the day. Visited Auroville City, it’s an experimental global township established by Mirra Alfassa (known as The Mother).
In the center of this city lies Matrimandir & passes are required to visit it. The cafe in the premises serves yummy food & fresh flower juices.
Then we visited the nearby Auro Beach. Also, covered Sri Aurobindo Ashram on the same day. Few steps ahead lay the French Consulate. The old buildings in these French Quarters carry you to an all together different time. I could spend hours just walking down those lanes.
Took blessings from the temple elephant Laxmi at Manakula Vinayagar Temple.
Highlight of my day was the evening on the Promenade beach. Just to give you a small picture, it felt like sitting on the Marine Drive in Mumbai. Facing the sea & watching the sun go down.
Day 2 –
It’s Beach Time…The must visit place in Pondicherry is the Paradise Beach. You can reach there by a 15 minutes boat ride from Chunnambar Boat House.
Mind you, it’s not easy to get that 15 minutes ride. On the busy weekend, it took us 1.5 hrs just to get onto the boat after waiting in the long queue for tickets. But, all despair is lost after landing on the Paradise beach. It’s definitely the cleanest beach in Pondy. Spend hours in the sea. Sit back, relax, sun bath….
Our evening search for good food took us to “The Promenade” at Goubert Avenue. It’s location near the sea is a plus point. Make sure that you get to have dinner on their rooftop restaurant which is towered by an old abandoned Lighthouse.
Walked on the Beach Road, crossing the French War Memorial & Gandhi Statue.
Day 3 –
It was our last day of Pondy visit & we were lucky enough to get two-wheeler for the day. Went to Le Cafe for the early morning breakfast. It’s a sea-side cafe & best part is that it stays open 24 hours!
We visited the Auroville again. Went to the nearby Serenity Beach. I had heard it was a good clean beach to go, alas it’s not so now…
If time permits, one should definitely visit the Botanical Gardens & the churches – The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This marks the end of my happy weekend.
I had also wanted to visit- Pichavaram Mangrove Forest. Its located 80 km. ahead of Pondicherry, near Chidambaram. One can enjoy boat rides in between the tree caves. It would be breathtaking sight. There is always a next time for everything…