The French Capital of India, Pudducherry formerly known as Pondicherry makes for a perfect refreshing vacationing spot. It is also lovingly referred to as Pondy as well. The union territory has all the elements to make you feel relaxed and feel like you are outside of India while being very much in it. If architecture is your jam you are clearly going to enjoy strolling through the streets of the districts.
Here is our guide to help you make your itinerary for your trip to Pondy.
1. Plunge In to Scuba Diving:-
Being a town tucked away on the Eastern Seaboard of India, Pondy has to offer some of the best and most alluring marine life experiences. The clean waters of Pondicherry are home to some beautiful variety of marine species like Corals, Lion Fish, Kingfish, Grouper, Moray Eelse, Eagle, Manta Rays, Parrot fish, Sea snakes and Triggerfish. And if you be lucky sometime then there rare amount of Sharks, Whales & Dolphins. So Plunge in the deep waters and experience a life changing experience just like Hritik Roshan in Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara.
Dive Sites: Cool Shark Reef, Temple Reef, $ Corners & The Hole.
2. Experience Boating Under Dark Umbrella Of Trees:-
The Pichavaram Mangrove Forest is not on the usual tourist trail, so I might need to hunt a little extra. Though, it is the World’s second largest Mangrove jungle (Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal is the largest). The Mangrove thickets of Pichavaram are just a few gours away from the main city and the forest land is controlled by the government. The rides start from 8 in the morning and continue till 5 in the evening. Its better to choose between early morning hours or late vening hours as the afternoons can be quite harsh with scorching heat.
3. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram:-
The Sri Aurobindo Asharam located on Rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India. There are people flooding in here from all corners of the country and even world to seek Spiritual salvation. During his stay in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo evolved a new method of spiritual realization that not only liberates man’s consciousness but also transforms a man’s nature and personality.
4. Stroll Through The Shores Of Beaches:-
One of the major assets of Pondicherry are it’s beaches, and not just for their cleanliness but along comes a unique whole new and calming vibe in it’s shorelines which feels just like the poets and writers write about. The names of the beaches too thus are name with the feeling they imitate. To name some there are Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach and Promenade Beach.
5. Indulge In Franco-Tamil Meals:-
The City of Puducherry is summation of France and Tamilian Cultural etiquette, which is very clearly visible in it’s cuisine. Being a coastal town there is no doubt in the abundance of Sea food served here; crabs, prawns and fish are cooked and served in innovative styles. And, because it is South, the traditional South Indian fare of Idli Dosa is available too. And of course, thanks to the French influence, good steak and wine are also served in most restaurants.
Here are a few recommended restaurants:
• Cafe Xtasi, Baker Street and Zuka Choco-la on MG road
• Le Dupleix and Satsanga in White Town
• Tanto Pizzeria near Iyyanar Koil Kullapalyam, Auroville
6. Auroville, The City Of Dawn:-
Auroville, ‘the city of dawn’, is an experimental township where people from across the globe, irrespective of creed, colour and nationality, work together to build a universal, cash-free, non-religious township to realise good old human unity. Today, Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with – and practically researching into – sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.
7. Take The Retail Therapy:-
Take away the Fragrance of city to reminiscent back to this memorable trip once back into your regular life. Pondy is known for its incense sticks, aromatic candles, essential oils, handmade paper items, handicrafts, souvenirs, mementos, cotton dresses and artefacts.
Stores to Check out:
• Kalki boutique: Famous for silk and cotton fashions, as well as accessories, incense, essential oils, handmade-paper knick-knacks.
• La Boutique d’Auroville: Famous for trinkets, garments, stoles and scarves.
• Geethanjali: Known for traditional and curio shop sells sculptures, carved doors, wooden chests, paintings and furniture.
8. Rejoice In Bird Watching The Migratory Birds:-
Indulge in birdwatching at the Ousteri Lake, as this site is inhabited by more than 40 migratory birds. Golden Oriole, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Openbill Stork, Tailor Bird and Spotted Owlets are some of the unique bird species that can be seen here. Apart from birdwatching, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has recognised this lake as one of Asia’s important wetlands.
9. Visit The Lighthouse:-
Constructed in the year 1836, it was hailed as a modern addition to the coastal town back then. However, it is not operational today but still remains a very important tourist attraction.
Your Trip won’t be completed and you won’t have the complete taste of the city unless you dedicate part of your trips in strolling through the streets of the city and interacting with the locals. Thus we suggest to walk around more often while your sight seeings.