The French Riviera of the East, Pondicherry, is one of the most popular holiday destinations among people within the country and tourists from outside. ‘Pondy’ is certainly a short escape spot for all those craving the salty sea breeze along with the humidity and seafront, a quiet long stroll in the French part of town, lazy laid-back times in cafes, or the buzz and craze of parties or even a quiet environment to relax, meditate and introspect.
It comes under the budget of 10,000 INR per person!
Located in Tamil Nadu, this Union Territory is flanked by the Bay of Bengal and is a blend of the local culture and the remnant of the French colonial lifestyle. This is much evident with the brightly coloured Gallic styled buildings, houses and villas lining the clean, cobbled streets in the French Quarter with shady trees and benches along with the South Indian part of town, otherwise known as ‘Black Town’, with temples, bustling markets and shops, traditional houses and a lot of hub bub.
The aesthetics, the lifestyle, the people, the surroundings of the town itself breathes new zest into anyone who visits this place!
How to Reach?
Chennai, Bangalore is the nearest major cities and are very well connected to Pondicherry through several means of transport.
The nearest airport is the Pondicherry airport which is around 3 km from the city centre. But the airport only receives small aircraft which are limited in number. Chennai being the next closest airport is the second option and has several flights connecting to all major towns and cities.
Villupuram is the nearest railway station to Pondicherry which is at a distance of 35 km. There are several trains that connect the major towns and cities to Pondicherry.
There are several bus services, both government and private, that operate from Chennai, Bangalore and other nearby cities. This is a cost-effective option to take if available. Another way to reach Pondicherry is by driving down to the place. A journey of about 3 hours from Chennai and around 6 to 7 hours from Bangalore.
Where to Stay?
Hotels and Resorts
There are several hotels and resorts that are available in Pondicherry for those who prefer a comfortable stay.
Pondicherry offers tourist the option of staying in villas which include the colonial era, French-styled villas and houses which is an experience of its own.
Guest Houses and Homestays
Guesthouses and homestays are good options to consider for a budget stay with decent facilities and amenities for stay.
Places to explore in Pondicherry
1. Rock beach
One of the most popular spots in Pondicherry would be the Rock beach. As the name suggests, unlike a typical beach with sand and the sea, this is a beach with huge rocks lining the seafront with the waves hitting the rocks.
2. The Promenade
A continuing stretch from the Rock beach the Promenade beach is along the same lines which offer tourist the place to sit along the rocks and enjoy a morning sunrise or a relaxing evening sunset. There are several cafes and shops around the beach which complete an evening on the beach.
3. Paradise Beach
A rather unique beach accessed via a boat ride from the Chunnambar boat house, Paradise beach lives up to its name. An isolated and quiet beach which is located on an island of sorts is one of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches to visit.
There are several shacks and shops on the beach where one can relax and eat. There are also water sports available on the beach.