If you are in search for a travel spot not just to tour around but to relish yourself, then Pondicherry alias Pondi is the right choice. It is a union territory located at a distance of 139km from Chennai. Bus or car transport from Chennai through East Coast Road(ECR) is one of the best routes as ECR is a scenic highway running along with Bay of Bengal. Trees and sea view along the curvy stretch, will give a beautiful experience. You can also fly to Pondi from Bangalore.
Pondi offers a wide range of hotels from 5-star to budget hotels including plush resorts and beach houses border Pondicherry. Since Pondi was once a French colony, you will notice the French influence in buildings of some areas. Colossal wooden doors, splashy walls, glass windows furnish Pondi as a French burghal in India. Ofcourse, they serve well for our DP photoshoot too. Pondicherry attracts lots of excursionists from European countries. So, you can get to experience rich cosmopolitan aspect of Pondi. French is spoken even now along with English, Tamil and other regional languages.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the iconic places of Pondicherry. Anyone can visit the Ashram and have a peaceful meditation. Squirrels playing in the tress, flowers scent filling the air energize your soul with positive vibrations. There are 2-3 popular beaches in Pondicherry.
Promenade Beach, inside the city, is perfect for an evening stroll. You can get a touch of sea breeze gently stroking your face.The admirable Gandhi statue is situated here emanating history. The road is lined with coffee shops and bakeries for folks who have a sweet tooth.
Along that stretch, memorial for Dr.B.R Ambedkar can be paid a visit. If you go in your vehicle, be careful not to park your vehicle in that road after 6 PM or else your vehicle will be towed away by Pondicherry police. Since this beach has sea walls to prevent erosion of coastal line, you cannot walk in the sand or go for a swim. Still, the sea walls covered with clamps give us a rare visual treat. Auro beach situated in Auroville township will fullfil those wishes generously. But it situated at a distance of 12 km from Pondi. Auroville is a township owned by Aurobindo Ashram consisting of citizens from almost all countries. But you need to allot a day for Auroville visit.
Foodies can get to relish Indo-French blend of foods in Pondi. There are many classy restaurants in White Town area. Anything, just name it- all varieties of cuisines are at one’s disposal.
Although there are many churches to visit in Pondi, “Eglise de notre dame des anges” is a must-visit church for its historic French architecture. Shopaholics are also equally satisfied in local markets in MG road.
Hand-woven dolls, handicrafts, candles, Buddha statues and many ethnic items are available at subsidized prices. There are also many shops which sell handicrafts exclusively.
Apart from these, there are many places in-and-around Pondicherry to explore like Chunnambar Boat House, Paradise Beach and so on.