Hey copines and copains!!! If you don’t know these words then let me tell you what it means. It means ‘hey fellas’ . Well that’s how I start my blog and this time I used a French word. Now, in case if you are wondering why have I used these French words then let me align you with my thoughts. I have used these words because this blog is all about my trip to a beautiful place in Southern part of India known as Pondicherry (Puducherry) – a hub of French colonies. Now, you know why I used those French words.
Pondicherry is a union territory in Tamil Nadu. It is popular for its beaches and food. This place is a blend of French and Indian culture. One might find lot of French-style houses, churches, shops, restaurants and cafes.
The French capital of India has a lot of beaches to explore. Moreover, you’ll find plethora of cafes and restaurants offering some impeccable French cuisine. As a popular beach-town, Pondicherry also offers you with the amazing nightlife through numerous clubs and beach-parties offering great music and delicious cocktails. So I would be listing down each and every detail about the best season to visit, how we reached, things we did, where we stayed, food we tried and of course my overall cost. So let’s get started……
BEST SEASON TO VISIT:
Although Pondicherry has a warm climate, but I would suggest you to visit from October to March as it can be considered as an ideal time to visit. July to September months constitute the monsoon season in Pondicherry. The town receives heavy to light rainfall every year.
HOW TO REACH PONDICHERRY:
Since I stay in Mumbai, the best way for me to reach Pondicherry was through flight. This flight was from Mumbai to Chennai. It takes around 2 hrs to reach Chennai. It was a late night flight. We landed at Chennai International Airport around 4 am. Then we boarded an Uber to a bus station where we had a bus to catch for Pondicherry. It was a 3-4 hours journey. We slept like a log inside the bus as we had booked a sleeper bus. We finally reached hotel around 10 am.
HOTEL WE STAYED:
Pondicherry has a lot of budget friendly hotels. You can stay in white town as everything is closely accessible from this place. But we wanted to stay in a place which had a beach view and slightly away from the city.
So we had booked a hotel called Lamel Cove Beach Resort. We made our bookings on goibibo.com. Our room had a beautiful Auroville beach view. The sound of the waves was heavy but soothing at the same time. We had breakfast included in our package so even their food was delicious. I would highly recommend you this hotel in case if you want a beach view room.
THINGS TO DO IN PONDICHERRY:
Well, first figure out a way of travel. As in we rented a bike and explored this territory. You can even use the auto rickshaws or rent a car for the same. Moving ahead, let’s see what things I had done in Pondicherry
It is a beautiful serene place to sit and look at the expanse of sea while enjoying the cool winds. This rocky beach is unique because normally we see water dispersing sands but here the waves embraces black rocks and makes swirling sound. Also, it’s a great place to view a sunrise and a sunset. Orange spread in the sky looks magical. But it’s always crowded as people love to sit there for hours and hours.
On our last day of the trip, we woke up around 5 am just to see the sunrise. We visited this place almost every day because it was a great place to take a walk
As the name says, this beach is calm and tranquil. If you want to run away from the maddening crowd and spend some peaceful time, then I would suggest you to visit this beach. This beach has golden sand where on one side, there is an elevated area made with boulders. When we reached the top, we got to see this lovely view of the total coast line and the beach. But yes!! The negative side of the beach is that it is slightly filthy and ruined by human carelessness. So I would suggest you to visit this beach only if you have time.
Paradise beach is one of the coolest and cleanest beaches I’ve ever been to. I loved this beach because of its environment and cleanliness. As the time progresses in the day, one can see the changing colour of sky and the ultimate water.
Also, there is a small restaurant near the beach which serves sea food, fast food, cold drinks etc., even coconut water is also available at stalls. Also they have washrooms for changing and refreshing. One can have an excellent experience of beach. There is a boat house to reach to the beach but since we had a bike, we travelled through roadways. I would totally suggest this Paradise Beach for having a good time.
Auroville is a community which allows people from all ethnicities and communities to live together. Most of the community is closed for visitors and the only accessible parts are the walkway to Matrimandir viewpoint from the Parking lot. I will still recommend people to visit the site, to understand the principles on which this place is based. Throughout the path, they have put inscriptions of Aurobindo and Mother’s teachings.
Matrimandir in itself is a site to behold. If you want entrance inside the Matrimadir, then prebook upto one week in advance, else just view it from the viewpoint (still worth it). Also there was an ancient banyan tree (more than 100 years old) on our way towards Matrimandir. This was the highlight of our walk.
The walk from Parking lot to Matri-mandir is approx. 10 to 15 minutes (depending on your walking speed). They issue a free pass to enter the premises and the last pass on Sundays is issued at 1 pm and other days by 4 pm. Ensure that you are not late.
White Town is the French Colony of Pondicherry. The look of this town is derived from French Town.
It’s a huge colony where one may find lot of markets, hotels to stay, cafes and restaurants, boutiques etc.The colony has lot of beautifully painted graffiti walls, a blend of yellow and white colour walls.
There is a Gandhi Statue as well locally known as Gandhi Mandapam. Also, there is one old lighthouse which is just diagonally opposite to the Gandhi statue, this lighthouse was non-functional. Even though it was non-functional, still it’s a government property and entry inside the premises is restricted
Cafes and restaurants to visit.
I think more than exploring different places, we visited a lot more cafes and restaurants and tried amazing food.
This bakery is delicious. The food and drinks are creative and exquisite with inspiring savours. One of the quality oriented places in Kuyilappalayam/Auroville. We went for breakfast where we had Croissant, Iced Cold Coffee, Saigon Sandwich
Tanto is an Italian restaurant which serves amazing Pizzas and Pastas. We had Italian Pizza, Lasagne, Alfredo Penne Pasta and yes!! the delicious in the list was Mediterranean Pizza.
It’s quite a pleasant place and at the right location. After a walk around rock beach, you can settle here for tea and snacks. The view was gorgeous and appealing to one’s eyes. Breeze and good food makes a perfect evening.
We had been to this café more than once and tried one slice Pizza with Fries, Egg Sandwich, Cafe Cortado, Brownie with ice cream and lot more.
This is an iconic cafe located in the heart of Puducherry and offers great garden sitting. It gives that European feel. It was a good classy cafe near the seafront, serving a fusion of Indian and European food. We ordered Crepes, Tomato Tartines, Croissant and Cafe Gourmand. Also, the best part of this café was the lovely wall art outside the cafe. The decor inside was wonderful too. This café is a must visit while in Pondicherry.
This hotel was actually a stay hotel but since I was famished and wanted to badly eat North Indian food as I was missing one, I stepped inside this hotel’s restaurant. I ordered biryani for myself and to be honest, it was appetizing. The management staff was very polite. Firstly, when I saw the manager, I thought he was a foreign tourist but later when he asked me about the food, I realized he was the manager. He was very nice to us and his behaviour was courteous.
The last dish which we tried on the last day was of course Idli, Dosa and Medu vada. Being in South and not trying the typical South Indian food is like going to Agra and not seeing Taj Mahal.
We woke up early in the morning just to try these eatables for breakfast. We enjoyed the early morning sunrise at Rock Beach and then went to Surguru Spot around 7 am. The food was delicious and it had that authentic South Indian flavour, service was extremely prompt, staff was cooperative and cordial. Overall, it was value for money. What else can one ask for? This place is worth visiting over and over again.
Total cost will be in the range of Rs.15000-20000 but you can control your expenditure on food, less expensive hotels, travel expenses. So take a look below on my expenditure so that you can plan accordingly.
Flight cost (Mumbai to Chennai – Round trip): Around Rs.9000
Bus cost (Chennai to Pondicherry – Round trip): Around Rs.500- 600
Hotel cost: Around Rs.4000
Food cost: Around Rs.3000
Rented bike cost: Rs.250-350 per day depending on the type of bike
Entry ticket cost and timings wherever applicable:
Paradise Beach: Around Rs.150
- Auroville: No entry fee. Timings: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Pondicherry Museum: Rs.15. Timings: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
On our way back to Mumbai, we visited Marina Beach in Chennai before boarding the flight since we had some time. The time we went was of the evening. Walk at the beach was very peaceful and beach was very clean. It is a must visit beach for all travelers coming here. This beach has lot of options for food lovers and there are small activities as well.
So this was all about my journey to this beautiful place Pondicherry. If you enjoyed reading this post, you could check out more of my travel posts. If you want to get more details about Pondicherry tourism, you can visit http://www.pondytourism.in/