It all began with my birthday being round the corner. A trip is usually one of the best gifts that a girl can ever get!!
With just a few places being in the vicinity of Bangalore, Pondicherry was the closest of a place we could visit having a coastline.So it was decided,Pondicherry it was!
Bus tickets were booked a week prior, bookings were made for a days stay. Being a holiday season ,very few places had vacancies. We decided to try our luck for the second and the third day’s stay.
We reached as early as 6 am,the next day.The place where we were staying was overlooking the promenade beach, also popularly known as the Pondicherry beach.
After dressing up,coating ourselves with enough sunscreen,loading our bottles with water,slipping on our shades & flip flops,we headed out.
We began our day by taking a peaceful stroll by the beach. Promenade beach has a 1.2-kilometre-long stretch in Pondicherry, starting from the War Memorial and ending at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Ave.Hiring two wheelers seemed to be pretty easy out here, we did assuming it would help us navigate our way around the place much better, alongside google maps of course!
We chose to visit the Aurbindo Ashram and the Sacred Heart church during the day.After wandering around the streets a bit, we landed at a place called Promenade,right across the Promenade beach. After having filled our tummies with various delicacious from the buffet lunch,we went visiting the Matri Mandir towards the afternoon,which happens to be at Auroville. Having reached there pretty late,we missed out on visiting the place,all we could manage was a distant view from its grounds.
On getting back we noticed a flea market of sorts right opposite to the beach and it piqued our curiosity,which ultimately dragged us to the place. There was a stage setup, where people were performing,a large crowd had gathered to watch the performances.A few chats, few local dishes and a long beach walk later we got back to our room and retired for the day.
I have always been a simple person. The setting sun, the white sands, the soothing sound of the waves crashing, the sea breeze,that’s what is the definition of happiness for me. Watching the nature at its play,as I walk barefoot on the beach in a pair of shorts and tee, mulling over my thoughts, that’d be my happy place!
A long morning’s hunting for resorts and rooms finally led to us checking into the Aurbindo ashram’s guest house. A simple yet a beautiful place and a total value for money.Shortly after a sumptuous lunch at a restaurant called le chateau,we took our bikes out and reached the Chunnumbar boat house, where a boat ferried us over to the Paradise beach.
Paradise beach said to be the cleanest beaches in Pondicherry, is mainly created on a small island of sorts, which separates the backwater area from the actual sea.After having played on the beach to our hearts content we headed back to get something to eat before heading for bed.
The next day whizzed by, in looking around the place that we were staying at. We discovered many other pretty places to eat, shop and adore.
As we strolled along the streets,we noticed that the French villas seem to have been transformed into heritage hotels,restaurants and some into charming café’s. The city is lined with colorful buildings with large wooden doors, streets named in French and quite a few boutiques for shopping.
The Street by the beach which we made home for three whole days, has got to be one of the liveliest places in whole of Pondicherry! It was a very unique experience.
Nights in this place were an absolute bliss- waves softly hitting the rocks, the happy chatter of the people walking along the beach, streets and restaurants lit up with decorative lights, the aroma of cooked delicacies lingering in the air.
We had a splendid time and this place has been ticked off on our travel list, for now. But may definitely consider re-visiting with proper reservations next time, if we have a limited time to spend and are looking forward to having a relaxing time in a known place. Till then, its the memories that we shall cherish!
1. Pondicherry flaunts luxurious places to stay, right from beautiful resorts,reasonable hotels to budget homestays.
2. One can hire bikes for moving around the city for Rs 300-350 on a per day basis.
3. Paradise beach can be visited either from the Chunnumbar boat house,where one will be ferried on a boat till the island. While the other option being, navigating from the village to the beach. The ride on the boat costs Rs 150-200 per head.The boat rides to the island stop at 3PM. Once on the beach, a person is allowed only an hours time to soak in the sun and the sea water.
4. Long walks can be peaceful & soothing from evening towards late night by the Promenade beach.The whole beachfront is calm and has lesser people at odd hours and weekdays.
5. For visiting the Inner Chambers of the Matri Mandir at Auroville,to meditate,booking needs to made in person at least a day in advance.
6. The Pondicherry Botanical gardens is not worth a visit and can be a waste of time.
7. For a budget stay,one can look at the Aurbindo ashram guesthouses. It overlooks the beach and it very well kept. They also offer breakfast,lunch and snacks at extra cost which is very hygienic. Sight seeing of the city is offered at reasonable prices for people who are interested.
8. The streets adjacent to the promenade beach has numerous cafe’s,restaurants,hotels and boutiques.
9. The Best time to visit Pondicherry would be between November to February when the weather is relatively cooler.