A world away from where you are - Pondicherry #pondicherry #frenchtown

28th Dec 2018
Photo of A world away from where you are - Pondicherry #pondicherry #frenchtown by Baidehi Ghosh

It had been a while since we, a group of friends, were searching for a place to visit in the New Year's Eve. Few Google searches and travel blogs later, we decided to go to Pondicherry. We traveled to Pondicherry from Hyderabad by Orange bus. The journey was of 14 hours and the roads were beautiful.

Day 1

The serenity of the Rock Beach

Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Baidehi Ghosh

Our hotel was close to White Town, where most of the beaches and tourist spots are present. So on the first day, we decided to explore the local places. We walked to White Town and it looked as if someone had opened a portal to France. The place was boasting of painted houses with bougainvillea-laden walls, churches, streets and road signs of French names and most importantly, a pristine beach - Rock Beach. We walked through the Promenade, with colonial-era buildings on one side and the sea on the other. The walk through the Promenade was amazing - there was the French War Memorial, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Le Cafe and many local shops selling items made of seashells. We felt like eating sea-food and hence went to De-BlueFin Hotel which served the best squid and lobster.

Day 2

Matrimandir View-Point

Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Baidehi Ghosh

The next day we decided to go to Auroville and few other beaches. So we rented a scooty. Auroville was about 12 km away from where we stayed. We crossed amazing some boulevards on the way and reached the self-sustaining global village, famous for the golden globe, The Matrimandir. We walked to the Matrimandir viewpoint where people from all over the world visited. We then went to a French Cafe and had cheesecake.

Nothing like too much cheese!

Photo of Auroville Ashram, Golden Globe, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Baidehi Ghosh

Next on our itinerary was the Auroville beach and Serenity beach. Those beaches were different from Rock Beach as people could get down in the water there. The sunset looked absolutely mesmerizing. After playing and splashing in the water for a long time we were hungry and had prawn and crab from the food stalls by the beach. The taste was heavenly.

We returned to White Town for shopping. Before coming to Pondi, we made a list of cafes and restaurants to eat from. So when we saw a small place serving wood-fired pizza we immediately went inside. Italize Pizza served one of the best pizzas I have eaten in my entire life and the staff was so courteous. Satisfied with a great day, we went back to our hotel.

Day 3

The next day we went to see the Ousteri Lake but even after traveling for 10 km by scooty and searching a lot in the Google map, we couldn't find it. We went to the Chunnambar and Paradise Beaches next. A concert practice was scheduled that day for new year's eve at Paradise Beach. So, many celebrities came to the beach that day. It was a very calm and clean beach. We sat there for hours building sand castles and drinking coconut water.

Then we decided to go to the less-visited Arikamedu, which is an archaeological site and formerly a French colonial town. It is located on the bank of the Ariyankuppam River.

The Promenade - Overlooking the sea.

Photo of Arikamedu, Ariyankuppam, Puducherry, India by Baidehi Ghosh

Hungry as we were, we returned to the White Town and had lunch at the Escape Inn, which overlooked the Promenade beach. We had crab cake and grilled fish and chicken stroganoff. It was a sumptuous meal. We decided to visit the Old Lighthouse next. Unfortunately, it was closed but the guard asked us to visit the New Lighthouse which was functional. It was a long walk to the top of the lighthouse but the view was totally worth it. Traveling by scooty on year-end proved to be a difficult task, so we walked to the next stop on our list - The Bubble Bee cafe. They served bubble waffles with ice cream. It is a must-visit place if you come to Pondicherry. We celebrated new years with our friends. While returning to our hotel everyone on the road wished each other Happy New Year. There were pretty Rangolis drawn in front of all the houses. It was a perfect start to a new year.

When we decide to visit Pondi, we thought 3 days would be too much but while leaving we realized that one can live forever in this pretty town.

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