Pondicherry was a dreamlike place. A lovely dream with pristine beaches, unhurried colourful streets, and European style buildings. I kept thinking, “Am I in France or India?”
They even had a little Notre-Dame, but it was framed by palm trees and was a gorgeous shade of salmon pink.
It appeared to have a rhythm and its own atmosphere. It’s hard to avoid the laid-back vibe as you stroll around.
The attention of the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French was drawn to Pondicherry because of its distinctive location. Since 1673, when Pondicherry came under French authority, it has been the scene of clashes between the British and the French. Before gaining independence in 1954, Pondicherry served as the seat of French India for almost 300 years. The name Pondicherry was changed to Puducherry, which in Tamil means “New Village,” in 2006.
The French Quarter in Pondicherry, which was once owned and colonised by the French East India Company to establish a commerce hub, is still a part of France in India. Pondicherry had been transferred to several colonial powers, primarily French but also Dutch, Portuguese, and English. The former French colony of Pondicherry, which is now a union territory of India, continues to be heavily influenced by France. The inhabitants of Pondicherry had the choice to keep their French passports when it was turned over to India. Pondicherry’s population, both native Indians and non-Indians, are French citizens; the city’s streets still go by their French names; the locals speak French; there are eateries serving French cuisine with menus in French; and the villas all have French names.
One of those well-liked Indian vacation spots that is both attractive and flexible is Pondicherry. The abundance of amazing attractions in Pondicherry will ensure that your trip to this charming French colonial settlement in India is one you won’t soon forget. The extremely beautiful and serene Beaches of Pondicherry steal the show, despite the historical settings and delectable cuisine of this Union Territory being equally well-known. Pondicherry Beaches are unlike any other beach resort in India due to the dazzling azure water and flawless golden sands along its long coastline.
Perpendicular streets and a French grid system were used in the planning of Pondicherry. On one side of the canal that divides the city from the Indian Quarter is where you’ll find the French Quarter. The main four streets in Pondicherry’s French Quarter—RUE DUMAS, RUE ROMAIN ROLLAND, RUE SUFFREN, and RUE LA BOURDONNAIS—make up the Heritage Walk. Wandering these neighbourhoods on foot is the best way to experience French culture.
How to reach Pondicherry in India
We’re heading here from Bangalore via rail services in Puducherry Express, Bangalore and it runs three times a week. Friday night 8.30PM started journey and reached morning 7.30AM. NIght journey was good and you never know when you have reached there. Morning time was amazing while arrived on Puducherry station. We felt like we came out of India and surrounded environemnt never let us to know we are in india. The climate is to look at average temperature and precipitation over time.
Where to stay in Pondicherry
Pondicherry has a wealth of suitable hotels to stay in, whatever your budget! I decided to stay in White Town which is a heritage area. Being a history buff this suited me perfectly. It was right next to the Rock beach by the sea and all major attractions were within walking distance.
I booked a hotel called Pleasant Inn. It was a nice hotel having 3 floors and we have taken 3rd floor(Room NO 4103). The hotel deals with friendly staff and they had 38+ rooms.It is very clean and thanks to get 24hr hot and cold water with room services.
But they don’t have restaurant which i felt bad. No worries, we got some nearby restaurants for local tiffin centers.
Things to do in Pondicherry
Explore White Town
White Town seems like the ideal setting for a photographer. Vintage bicycles placed against vivid yellow homes with oil lamps were typical Pondicherry settings. Palm palms will sway on almost every road, and every electric blue street sign will start with the letter “RUE.” If you’re used to seeing Indian architecture, it’s a true feast for the eyes.
I simply enjoyed just walking around the streets here morning time. The main reason to get a bike for rent. unforrtunately i didn’t get any bike for booking as all booked before me. Seeing all the effortless beauty of the buildings and the life which was going on around them.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
A spiritual centre called the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is situated in the Indian region of Puducherry’s capital city of Pondicherry. A small group of followers who had formed around Sri Aurobindo when he gave up politics and settled in Pondicherry in 1910 eventually expanded into the ashram. You can dress whichever you like. For the ponderous weather, most people find shorts and shirts with short sleeves to be comfortable.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pondicherry, is a kind of location where you can seek spirituality in a relaxed atmosphere and achieve inner peace by meditating in its calm ambience.
As soon as you enter the ashram’s enchanting atmosphere, you can forget about your troubles, and the stunning surroundings will astound you, making the entire scene appear even more spectacular.
In contrast to other ashrams, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is bustling with great energy and has a contemporary environment that draws thousands of visitors from all over the world. It is regarded as the best historical building in the city and is deserving of your visit.
Auroville & the Matrimandir
Before we start our 1st day journey, got to know Auroville & the Matrimandir will be closed for next 2 days. SO suddenly planned to visit there and booked Auto as we don’t have rental bike. My son likes to sit on Auto, so we don’t have choice to book any other vehicles.
An experimental township in India is called Auroville & the Matrimandir. “The Mother,” also known as Mirra Alfassa, purchased the land in 1968, and today it is a community that welcomes people of all creeds and socioeconomic classes.
The well-known Matrimandir, the “soul of the city,” is located here.
For individuals who practise integral yoga, a concept that was followed by Shri Aurobindo and “The Mother” here, the gold orb has spiritual significance. Construction took 37 years.
You can get a free pass from the visitor centre to stroll to the viewing point if you’re only there for a few hours. The only time on Sundays when it is open to tourists is in the morning.
All reservations must be made in person and on an individual basis if you are a first-time visitor and wish to enter the temple for concentration (no group bookings). A pass will be given to you one day in advance.
It is advised to spend some time meditating here since, according to the locals, you can feel the energy in your blood if you do.
Once you’re done, be sure to stop by their restaurant. Using largely organic products from the Auroville farms in the vicinity, they serve the best mix of South Indian and European cuisine. Additionally, I’ve had only Lmeon Jiuce and my wife had some Mango slices from them.
Being so far into the forest, getting here can be a little mysterious.
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple is among the area’s well-known temples. Lots of Vinayak images with his activities drawn on the walls, roofs and each corner of the temple. It’s mesmorising experience which i couldn’t write up here. Many local vending zones are there where Ganesh images you can found made of coconut threads. Street footpath covers readymade dress zone outside the temple too.
Take a stroll to Rock beach
Peaceful environs and beautiful sunrise will made your day here. I love being by the sea and when I reached the water’s edge in Pondicherry, it brought it home just how much I missed the ocean air. Although this beach isn’t as sandy as others in the area, it’s still a really nice place to visit and stroll along the promenade. I had water melon slices on the rocks while enjoying the view. This is White Town’s best place to feel the view , so make sure you pay it a visit.
Visit the Pondicherry Promenade
The Promenade is lined with famous attractions and statues.The most notable being GandhiJi and on the opposite side you get the statue of Nehruji. You’ll see locals taking selfies and in the evening there was a brass band playing which draws in a huge crowd! Long walkway for walks, sea-facing restaurants and fresh seafood will attract the visitors towards this view.
The Bharathi Park of Pondicherry is home to the Pondicherry Museum, often known as the Pondy Museum. The museum tells the tale of the city’s rich cultural heritage while displaying a wide variety of items. Those interested in history and those who want to learn more about Pondicherry are familiar with the museum.
The museum features artefacts such as rocks, jewellery, coins, and statues that were unearthed on the Arikamedu cultural site. They show the significance of Pondicherry as a trading port between the first and second centuries AD. At that time, it was a well-known marine hub that catered to French, Chola, and Roman traders. The Archaeological Survey of India has excavated the artefacts from that era in Arikamedu.
Also, the museum features stone and bronze sculptures that portray the colourful Pallava and Chola empires’ culture. In the city, you may still see evidence of French colonial control. It is well recognised for its collection of church relics, including furniture and other objects. The Pondicherry Museum offers you the chance to be in awe of the diversity of Pondicherry’s history and comprehend its impact on the local culture.
The ever i have seen the cleanest Beach in my tour. The sands are so clean and no garbage you get here. A lot of gaming activities also you get here to spend more time. For family, it’s like a heaven type feeling. Seashore also very safe and no need to worry about the roar of the sea.
End of the evening We went one Sunday Market where you can get all items in cheap rate. People loves to purchase many house needed things and dress materials. This way We had a memorable trip to Pondicherry and I am sure you won’t be come in empty hand if yoy plan for a trip.