Written by Nikita Chandola.
Have you ever been to any of such place(s) where you feel like to stay forever or if not forever then for a little while (more than you planned) because it’s such a peaceful place? Pondicherry is one such place, where you would like to stay, around beautiful beaches and enjoy the sunrise or take a bicycle tour to explore the city or click photographs with a lively colour scheme in the background.
The territorial town in southeastern of Tamil Nadu is the most charming and peaceful city of South India. Life of people here is very calm and composed. Along with that, the residents of the city are down to earth and very admirable. It still has that old French charm (it was a French colonial settlement, until 1954) away from France giving you an authentic feel of French culture and allure. Despite the French colony, some part of the city also gives you the Indian authentic feel. So, to make your trip a good one here’s an ultimate guide to Pondicherry.
How to get there
If you’re travelling to Pondicherry, your best way is to take a flight till Chennai. Then, from the airport grab a taxi or the best is to book an Ola cab, it will be reasonable. It will take almost 3hours to reach Pondicherry! If you’re heading from Bangalore then take flight as they run daily flights to Puducherry. According to my opinion, the best way is the road option. It’s well connected by bus from Chennai and Bangalore.
Few things to do out of many in Puducherry:
1. Manakulavinayagar temple
It is a must-visit, an ancient Hindu temple in the Puducherry devoted to Lord Ganesha. It’s located in White town, 400mts away from the Bay of Bengal. The walls of this temple are painted with astounding paintings from Hindu mythology. You will find the main deity of this holy place rested on the golden chariot. Which makes this place a magnificent glory, devotees are also entertained by temple elephant Lakshmi who showers blessings and gathers coins from tourist.
2. Monumental walk
Pondicherry has a number of great monuments to get to know more about the town. This walking tour is a great way to explore the heritage and architectural beauty of this city. On this tour, you will be visiting Asia’s tallest Gandhi statue, French town hall building, Dupleix statue, old lighthouse, park monument and many more. One must take this monumental tour for a different perspective!
3. Aurobindo Ashram
It’s the spiritual place founded by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa who was called ‘the mother’. Today, many devotees come in search of peace; the focus is to surrender to the divine principle and being open to divine forces. It’s a meek place, unlike typical temples but the atmosphere is sacred. You must visit this place for a peaceful retreat.
4. Rock beach
Rock beach is amongst the most recommended place of Pondicherry. It’s calm and chaos together and making beautiful turmoil of waves. One can have their most lovely and peaceful time (especially in evenings) while sitting on rocks watching the formation of waves!
5. Surfing at Serenity beach
This beautiful beach greets visitors with a panoramic view. If you love water sports than surfing in serenity beach you can’t miss. Along with that, you can also relax around with a book and a beautiful view.
6. Visit Churches
The city has many churches to visit, and it attracts a number of tourists. The most famous churches you will find here and should visit are Eglise De Notre Des Anges, The Basilica of the sacred heart of Jesus, and Church of our Lady of Lourdes. They vividly represent the French culture and showcase intriguing architecture.
7. Shopping in Pondy Bazaar
The trip can’t end without buying anything which resembles the taste of a local place. Pondy is heaven for those who love handmade art pieces or souvenirs. The guide accompanies you to tell stories related to the area and it’s a unique way of exploring the market so that the visitors will come to love. Other than that, you will get to taste the local cuisines at famous café.
8. Visit Auroville
Have you ever visited any town or city developed with an aim to create harmony amongst different nationalities and cultures? If No, then take-out some time from Pondicherry and visit this town which is known as “The City of Dawn”, 14km away from Pondy. Auroville is a township developed to ensure that people find the meaning of peaceful living with one another… And it’s truly is, as you will find different nationalities people live in harmony! Matrimandir is a middle point of this township which glows in the sunlight and is considered the sign of peace, serenity and tranquillity as it takes you to another level of solitude.
Just visit the French connection of India once!