Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry is one of the seven union territory of India. Commonly known as “Pondy” this former French colony is perfect combination of French and Indian culture. The old French Quarter is lined with seductive bougainvillea-draped mustard yellow colonial townhouses, clean and quite streets. People here still speak French and French influenced English. The French Quarter is also embedded with cafes, bakeries and French restaurants serving steak and wine. The New Pondy, have typical South-Indian influence with hectic streets and gives a deep insight of Indian culture.
Every bit of this Union Territory is filled with culture and scenic beauty. It is a perfect weekend getaway from Chennai for leisurely strolls or a bicycle ride.
How to reach
By Air: Pondicherry Airport is located at Lawspet in Pondicherry and have flights from Hyderabad and Bengaluru offered by Spicejet.
By Train: It is connected to Chennai by electric broad gauge train through Villupuram. There are also Trains from Bengaluru to reach Pondicherry.
By Road: It is 160km from Chennai and easily accessible by buses, Ola cabs via East Coast Road known as ECR) and it offer scenic beauty while you travel.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Sea Side Promenade
Stretched around 1.5 km along the sea side, Seaside Promenade is a reminder of French roots in Pondicherry. Without any pollution this place has a lot of natural and man-made architectural view to offer. It’s a perfect place to visit in sunny days and enjoy authentic seafood in restaurants along the Seaside.
2. Paradise Beach
As the name suggest, it is a piece of paradise with soft white sand beach tucked away from the main land in Bay of Bengal. To get to the beach you have to take a ferry of about 30 minutes from backwaters, what makes it more exciting. During monsoon, the backwater is fresh and green and you can find lots of birds. You can get involves in a variety of activity on the beach like fishing, waters sports, photography or just take a walk on the soft grainy sand.
3. Auroville Ashram
Auroville Ashram is an experimental township created in 1926 by Sir Aurabindo and his spiritual collaborator The Mother, earlier known as Mirra Alfassa. The architectural city is planned in a radius of 1.25km and the centre of the city is famous Matrimadir. The idea of the experimental township is that people from across the world of various culture and tradition can come and live together in peace and calm their inner self.
4. French War Memorial
French War memorial is situated in Goubert Avenue and is dedicated to all the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Every year on 14th Jul annual commemoration ceremony is held here which is one of the major tourist attractions.