Pondicherry/Puducherry or as we all call it Pondy

Pondicherry is 320 kms away from Bangalore. So it took barely 5 hours to reach Pondy. Of course I travelled by bus as it was a reasonable way of transport. Pondy is a small city within a radius of 5 kms, hence taking a bike ride or car drive are the best ways to commute through the city. Auto rides are usually expensive. The city will cast the charm on you as you put your foot on it. It has tinge of both modern and cultural vibe. Even though Pondicherry was home to the French for a very long time it still has the south Indian culture and lifestyle. You will see a combination of French Architecture and Filter coffee and Rangoli at the same time.

 

Best time to travel:

Pondy has hot and humid climate through out the year. It is shared by both  Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. So the best time to visit is during fall and winter which is between October and March.

Things to carry:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Cotton Clothes
  3. Driving License
  4. Comfortable flip flops or footwear for walking.
  5. Stole or hats.


Places to visit:

Day1
Promenade, Le Cafe, The Indian Kaffe Express, Aurovile and Serenity Beach

 

As soon as I got down from the bus I went straight to the Promenade Beach to view the sunrise. From new bus stand the beach is around 2 kms. Auto drivers asked for 100 bucks but we bargained for 80 bucks. As per them the city is within 5 kms radius hence the charge is sky rocketing. Promenade is also known as Rocky beach. I tell you the sunrise was the gorgeous thing to experience in Promenade.

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Sunrise at Promenade

On the same beach road there is a cute little cafe called Le Cafe. It is right on the Promenade beach. You can sip on your coffee and enjoy the view.

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Le Cafe

 

After spending sometime in Le Cafe we took a stroll around the French Colony and stopped by The Indian Kaffe Express for breakfast. It turned out to be a scrumptious breakfast.

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Breakfast at The Indian Kaffe Express

Then we took a walk and went to our homestay Ikigai booked on Airbnb . Our host Mr Pattanaik was extremely friendly and warm. The house is at the centre of the city and close to everything. To save us time and money we decided to cook lunch and dinner. Hence after lunch we headed to Auroville. We rented out scooters for 24 hours and commuted inside the city. Auroville is a township within the city. It is peaceful and has its own cafes and shops. The main attraction of Auroville is the Matri Mandir. We didn’t get the pass to the Mandir for the same day. The passes were available for next to next days. So we didn’t get the chance to visit inside the temple. However we took a walk through the Auroville and had an opportunity to see the Mandir to our hearts content from outside.

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Matri Mandir

On our way back we stopped by the Serenity Beach. The name suggests, beach is actually serene. We went to the beach during sunset. The best thing to do in this beach is to view the sunset. Like Promenade is for sunrise Serenity is for sunset.

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Serenity Beach

Finally we ended our day with the visit to the Promenade Beach again late at night. The beach is equally lit at night as it is in the day. 

Day 2

Aurobindo Ashram, Ganesh Temple, Paradise Beach and Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Aurobindo Ashram is at the heart of the city and one of the calmest and peaceful Ashrams in India. Everybody maintains silence while offering their prayers and you are requested to keep your phones turned off. The Ashram closes at 12:00 in the noon till 2:00 PM and the visit commences at 2:00 PM and continues till 6:00 PM.

Close to the Ashram is the famous Ganesh temple of Pondy. The temple’s main attraction is the elephant Lakhshmi.

After lunch we headed to the famous French Colony, obviously for clicking pictures.

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After lunch we headed to the Paradise Beach. There are two ways to go to the Paradise Beach. One, there’s a direct route to hit the beach and the other to go via ferry from the backwater lake. Obviously the one via the lake is the most preferred way and that’s what we did as well. The beach is the paradise for the photographers.

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The Backwater Lake

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Paradise Beach

Then I headed to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral alone. It has the most beautiful architecture built in the early 1970. Right opposite to the cathedral is a small book shop that caught my eyes. The books are available at second hand rates.

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Immaculate Conception Cathedral

We ended our day in the sea facing hotel Ajanta. It is right on the Promenade beach and the view at night is to die for.

Quick Tips:

1. Best way to commute within the city is by 2 wheelers. They are available easily at any place.

2. Auroville has no dress code however to Aurobindo Ashram you can wear loose knee length clothes.

3. There are two ways visit to Matri Mandir one, to take a pass on the same day and view it from outside or book 2 days prior in person to enter inside the Mandir.

4. Auto drivers usually charge a lot so bargain good.

5. As the weather is really humid don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated.

Budget:

1. Scooter per day – Rs 250
2. Deposit money for the scooter – Rs 500 per vehicle
3. Ferry ride to Paradise Beach – Rs 300 per person
4. Fuel per day – Rs 125

 

 

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