Pondicherry Travel tips

5:47 AM

Well, if you are planning for a weekend in Pondicherry and if its your first time visit, then read the blog below for the comprehensive details on the places to visit, eat and sleep. I visited Pondicherry twice in last one year. I will try to pen down the best way you can spend 2 days in Pondicherry.

Pondicherry  or Puducherry is a city, an urban agglomeration and a municipality in Puducherry district in the Indian union territory of Puducherry. It is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry since 2006. Pondicherry is the regional capital and largest city in the territory.
Pondi is connected by bus,rail and air from Bangalore. The best option for the budget travel would be to take the night train on Friday.  It will reach Pondi early in the morning. The station is quite near to the White town or the French colony. I would recommend you staying in the White town as this will be the centre to cover all the places.


Hotels to stay:

I will mention some of the hotels when I had done research for my stay. These are budget hotels and not above 3 stars.



Palais de Mahe:














Address : Bussy street
Tariff: ~4000 INR


Hotel Du Parc:



















Address : Bussy street
Tariff: ~4000 INR


Hotel Du Parc:











Address: Romain Rolland street
Tariff: ~4000 INR

The Richmond:















Address: White Town
Tariff: ~4000 INR

[All images above are taken from google.com]
Now that you are freshened up, it's time to explore Pondi. 
First thing to do would be hire a motorbike. You can hire a motorbike for a day from Mission street which is again should be walkable distance from the hotels above. The rent for the bike would be 250-1000 Rs depending on the bike. You will have to deposit any of your identity card for the rental.
Now that you have the transport mode first thing to visit would be Auroville.

Places to visit:


Day 1:Auroville:


Auroville was founded as a project of the Sri Aurobindo Society on Wednesday 28 February 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, "The Mother". In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, which was conceived by "The Mother" as "a symbol of the Divine's answer to man's aspiration for perfection". Silence is maintained inside the Matrimandir to ensure the tranquility of the space and entire area surrounding the Matrimandir is called Peace area. Inside the Matrimandir, a spiraling ramp leads upwards to an air-conditioned chamber of polished white marble referred to as "a place to find one's consciousness". The population today is 2,345 (1,804 adults and 541 minors), coming from 50 nationalities. The community is divided up into neighborhoods with English, Sanskrit, French and Tamil names like Aspiration, Arati, La Ferme, Auromodel and Isaiambalam. [Source: Wiki]

To visit inside the Matru mandir you need to book one day in advance.  You can hire cycles to roam inside the Auroville campus. There is a cafeteria and some shops if you want to carry some memento.

Matru Mandir at Auroville



From here goto Cafe Xtasi for delicious pizzas. Details are given later in the article.

After lunch you can visit to Paradise beach.


Paradise beach:



Paradise beach is an island beach about 20kms from White town. You need to take a ride in the boat to reach the beach. The beach is well maintained and very scenic. DOn't expect here anything much except a small cafe for refreshments. During low tides you can walk a long way along the beach.

Paradise beach
Paradise beach


The beach gets closed before night, so you need to head back to Pondi in the last boat.
Give back your rented bike and walk to the Promenade beach which should be a walking distance from your hotel.


Promenade beach:

Spend the evening at the Promenade and freshen up in your dinner attire for some French/Italian delicacies.
360 Promenade
Promenade at night
Old Light house


Day 2:

The White town:

If you like cycling then hire cycles from the Mission street for 50Rs a day. You can enjoy riding in the French colony. There are lot of places to cover in the White Town itself.

Pondicherry Museum:

Pondicherry Museum has a gallery with sculptures and has the remains of archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. The museum also has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artifacts excavated from Arikamedu (an ancient port just 7 km from city that hadtrade links with the Roman empires).

Pondi Museum

Arbindo Ashram:

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a well known spiritual ashram in India, with devotees and seekers from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. The Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, an Indian freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi.
Arbindo Ashram


Botanical garden:

The Botanical Garden is located south of the New Bus Stand. The gate leading to the garden is reminiscent of French architecture and it stands out from its immediate surroundings because it is in the middle of the old Tamil town. The Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1826 in the ornate French style, with pruned trees, flower beds and gravel lined paths and fountains. The garden also hosts a toy train.

Church:

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, situated on the south boulevard, is an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ. This church was supposed to have been erected in the 18th century by French Missionaries. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Catholic church and is a white-and-brown structure



Temple:






White Town:










Places to eat:


Cafe Xtasi:

One of the best rated places for pizzas in Pondi. Pizzas here are yummmm.

Making of Pizzas
And its ready

Zuka:


Best place for desserts.






Le Club:

One of the best places to Wine and dine.

[Information source: Wiki]
Happy travelling :)

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