Pondicherry - Cheery!

Do not pretend - be, Do not dream - realise!
This quote explains Pondicherry so well.
Pondicherry, officially Pudducherry is a surreal mix of fact and fantasy.

Paradise Beach, Pondicherry

Existence of this place is recorded in history only after the arrival of Portuguese and French colonialists. Having been under French rule for more than 250 years, got liberated in 1954 from European rule, Pondicherry managed to retain a major part of French culture in the form of White Town - The French Quarters.

This French influence, was exactly on my mind when I planned my trip to Pondicherry, and it did live upto all the expectations.

White Town dots - Delectable eateries from quirky cafes (like Baker Street & Cafe des Arts) to upscale courtyard restaurants (serve French, Indian and Franco-Tamil cuisine), french style villas, small crafts shops marked on colourful lanes, and fudged together perpendicular streets.
A very well planned clean carved out area with trees casting shadow over pale yellow colour dominatingly viewed buildings, and arched pompous gates. A very special spot, that captures the European lineage in India.

The best way of exploring the heritage of French architecture is by slow travelling in Pondicherry and going on many aimless and leisurely walks.

Pondicherry tourism says- "Give Time A Break", this Union Territory certainly allows one to ponder with its not so fast-moving lifestyle, about the sense of being relaxed which we have lost while hurrying in our day to day life.
Unlike daily schedules, sit on a beach glaring the sunrise or sunset, probably rent a bike or a bicycle and explore the little known backroads or simply enjoy a meal.


My visit to Pondicherry was a couple of years back for a Birthday celebration, so I alongside my friends headed for a Roadtrip, from Chennai via ECR- East Coast Road. This road runs parallel with the Bay of Bengal and mentioning it as "scenic" would do, no justice to what we have seen around!
Unlike Goa, Pondicherry has no elaborate set up for tourists, so shake-off the preconceived notions and approach this city with an eye of mind.

The accommodations in Pondicherry vary from French colonial houses turned into hotels on the promenade overlooking the sea to simple home-stays. From beach resorts scattered around the coast to modest ashram guesthouses. Some premium yet not too costly & my kind of options are GratitudeHeritage, Mango Hill and Le Pondy.

There are worth to visit beaches like Aurovile Beach, Promenade Beach and Paradise Beach.

If you have ever been to Marine drive of Mumbai you can clearly imagine Promenade Beach, a long walkway- no vehicular traffic with street lights on both sides, sea-facing eateries, and a wide, rock studded sea. Sitting on the beachfront on a sea wall one can spend hours of their evening with such beauty.

Paradise Beach island, with its vast coastline, deep turquoise-ish sea, the white sand, and always swaying cold sea breezes makes it the poster perfect beach. Only accessible by a boat from Chunnambar Boat House in Pondy which takes around 20 mins and only opens till 6pm. The sand of the paradise beach is extremely soft and grainy - and a walk along the entire beach is amazing.


Apart from beaches, Pondy is fantastic for street shopping too! There are lots of great spots, but I like one in particular Auroshikha - have wide range of wellness products like essential oils, candles, incense sticks, etc, at really affordable prices.

Pondicherry is not an average holiday destination; it is so much more than that, it has famous Churches, peaceful Auroville-Township and Sri Aurobindo Ashram for spiritual awakening, as well.

It is a never-ending tale, however, closure is essential.
Let's outline it with a famous quote:
"Always in search of Better we will lose the Best."