Fondly referred to as Pondy and now officially called Puducherry, this coastal town just 150 kilometers from Chennai is the ideal destination for some soul-searching, long walks on the beach and more. A former French colony, Pondy has restaurants serving steak and wine due to its colonial legacy and you will find many people speaking in the town speaking fluent French! Pondicherry has a fusion of French and Tamil cultures which is well-reflected in its Mediterranean- style architecture and in its very Indian spiritual vibe. Still looking for reasons to add this magnificent town to your travel wish list? Scroll down.
There is a beach known as Serenity beach in Pondicherry and it quite lives up to the name. The more famous ones include Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach and Promenade which are breathtaking with their white sands and azure waters. The beaches here are more peaceful, cleaner and more well-organized than anywhere else in India.
Aurobindo Ashram was built by Swami Aurobindo in 1926 when he decided to retire from politics and continue with his spiritual journey. It houses his and his spiritual partner's Mirra Alfassa's "the Mother" remains in a shrine. The Ashram today attracts many tourists from around the world seeking spiritual transformation.
Auroville was built by Mirra Alfassa "the Mother" as an experiential township with the purpose of celebrating human unity. As stated by her in a public message, the town intended to be a universal haven where men and women from all nationalities could live together in harmony overlooking creeds, politics and differences. It is located in the heart of Pondy and is a must visit for everyone.
Pondicherry is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. There's boating, canoeing, parasailing, snorkeling and the much coveted scuba-diving. Never done scuba diving before in your life? No worries, you can opt for a training program there which is easily accessible to tourists.
The food and cafes of Pondicherry are pretty famous and due to the right reasons. Owing to a blend of dual cultures of Tamil Nadu and France, food in Pondicherry has a unique twist. From French baguettes and croissants to traditional south Indian savories like Idli Sambar with spicy chutney, there's something for everyone. And if you are seafood lover, there is pretty much that is in store for you. (think fresh prawn, fish, lobster, crab, squid...yum!)
People on bicycles everywhere!
Like France, cycling is a part of the local culture in Pondicherry. Moreover, the flat terrain of the place makes it more practical to cycle around the city. There is also this cycle city tour put together by two French women called Wake Up Pondy tour which begins at 7 in the morning. It is a great way to greet the day and explore the wonder that is Pondicherry.
So wait no more as there is a sea of tranquility and beauty that is waiting for you to be experienced in Pondicherry!