When In Pondicherry

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We were smitten by the perfect combination between the color and flurry of the Tamil part of the town and the picturesque streets and heritage Franco-Indian buildings. You may recognise it as The French Riviera of the East , Pondy, Puducherry or as some movie buffs will recognise it as the setting for Life of Pi. This quaint town with its colorful houses, placid beaches, toothsome food must be included in your bucket list.


We visited Pondy in the month of August (Monsoon). It was a rather unplanned trip (these are the best kinds) because our planned trip to Kerala got cancelled due to a natural calamity. The rain clouds were kind on us, but the sun was not. Nevertheless, we had an incredible time. November to February is the best time to visit Pondy as these are the comparatively colder months.


We were to fly from Kolkata to Kochi. We got the same changed to Bangalore when the Kochi Airport bailed on us the last moment. While in Bangalore, we picked Pondicherry from the map and embarked on an eventful road trip.

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by ZoomingPlaces

Such a delight sketching What we Saw ????

You can fly or take a train to Bangalore or Chennai and then drive or take a bus to Pondicherry.


Owing to the long weekend and the unplanned trip, most of the accommodations were already taken. We managed booking our rooms with Hotel Raj Residency at the last minute. The Hotel was decent with clean rooms and courteous staff.

We would recommend looking at the multiple options available on sites like Booking.com or Airbnb. Some good options are Villa Shanti, Le Dupleix.


We spent almost 4 days in Pondy. Here's a list of 6 of our favorite things to do and see.

1. Rock Beach, Promenade Beach

Also known as the Pondicherry Beach, the Rock Beach is a popular hangout place, especially in the evenings. Irrespective of the crowd, you will always find your quiet place to listen to the waves. Brownie points for the promenade being a no vehicle zone from 5 in the evening till early morning. The beach is bordered by a number of restaurants/cafes for all the hungry ones like us.

Highlight: Don't miss the sunrise !

2. Serenity Beach

We visited the shimmering waters of the Bay of Bengal on one of the evenings. It is a 10 minutes drive from the northern quarters of the town. The palm trees provide a beautiful natural frame to this beach. There is a surf school on the other side of the road and surfing is said to be one of the popular activities. Take a surfing lesson if you have time else dig your feet in the sand and fill your hands with the shells.

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Relax, Repose, Reboot!

3. Auroville

You must keep a day for Auroville in your Pondicherry itinerary. Auroville is a 20-25 minutes drive from the main town of Pondicherry. This tranquil township is like a bridge between the past and the future of humanity.

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The Matrimandir in Auroville

To go inside the Matrimandir, you will need to purchase a token 2-3 days in advance. The visitor counter is opened till 3 pm and there is generally a long queue to get the token. We missed our chance to get the same. Nevertheless, we saw this beautiful golden dome from outside after a 1 km hike. They also provide a bus service till near the temple for older and disabled people.

We spent some time enjoying Gelato and lime water at the cafe at Auroville Visitor Center. Do visit the amazing handicraft outlets, some of which are initiated to foster empowerment and well being.

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Anjali at Auroville Visitor Center

4. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Complimenting the serenity of Pondicherry, the Ashram is a spiritual community located in the White Town. Visiting time is from 8 am to 12 noon and then 2 pm to 4 pm. It has a courtyard in the middle where the Samadhi is adorned with flowers and kept for the followers to visit and meditate around. It also has a library with the teachings and history of the place.

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Even 10 minutes inside is calming

5. New Lighthouse

Visiting the lighthouse was like a cherry on the trip. This place is not so touristy so far. You must visit for the view from the top. It is open for visitors from 3pm to 5 pm. Go burn some calories while you climb up the stairs to the 10th floor because it is worth it.

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View from top of the Lighthouse

6. Drive/ Cycle/ Walk around the White Town

The cutest white and yellow buildings, European- style alluring streets, huge wooden doors lined with flowering trees and some of the best cafes and restaurants. It is clean, it is green, it is straight out of a picture perfect story. So you must take a stroll or pedal around the French Quarters.

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And it was all Yellow!


Pondicherry food is comfort, it is delicious, it is heaven. So here's our Top 6 from all that we could indulge in.

1. Farm Fresh Pizzeria

Their wood fire pizzas are some of the best in Pondicherry. They also serve sandwich, salad, pastas & burgers. Very affordable & delicious.

2. Villa Shanti

We had dinner here on the last night of our trip. The restaurant offers both indoor (like an enclosed room) and outdoor (The Courtyard) seating. We preferred dining outside in the white courtyard, enjoying the peaceful ambience. The restaurant is a little pricey but is definitely worth visiting, a gastronomic delight!

3. Zuka-Choco-la-te cafe

Our travel stories are incomplete without desserts. This dessert boutique is a chocolate heaven. The brownies and the chocolates are to die for. Pick an emergency chocolate while you are there.

4. KBS Kofi Barr

This was our go to place for early morning coffee (or tea if thats your therapy). Witness the gorgeous sunrise at the Rock Beach and then sip with the squirrels.

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Tiny shop in a corner serving Kulhad Chai & Coffee!

5. Dreamer's Cafe, Auroville

Don't forget to try gelato in various flavors in Pondicherry. We tried the Mint and Chocolate ice cream at this cafe in Auroville Visitors Centre and it was delicious.

6. Hotel Surguru

Great place for vegetarian food, especially South Indian food. Except for the waiting time of 15-20 minutes, quick service, good dosas, thumbs up!

Have coconut water (which is easily available everywhere) to keep yourself hydrated.

We hope you enjoyed reading this. DELICIOUS and SAFE TRAVELS!


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