Six thousand miles from France, there exists a small French town on the Coromandel coast of India- the little essence of France still lingering in the atmosphere with baked baguettes and croissants, clean and wide roads, well laid gardens, orange and yellow coloured churches and simply beautiful mansions. Pondicherry as it is called begs to “give time a break”. It may be that time takes a break or just slows down in this seaside sleepy town. The town is a curious mélange of contemporary India, classical French, antique Tamil and futuristic influences from the world. Such congregation of cultures has brought in an array of little designs into this balmy town that a traveller could vividly take with on his journey back home.
And with this impeccable natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Pondicherry doesn’t cease to draw in people from different walks of life and different corners of the world. The blend of cultures just become a lot more evident as you make your way through the neat sectors, grids and perpendicular streets. What would you not give to just enjoy a meal, sip a glass of wine, take a stroll down the many lazy streets and probably rent a bike to explore the little known alleys of Pondicherry?
Pocketed away behind the seafront is a series of quiet, clean, shady, cobbled streets, lined with white and mustard-yellow colonial townhouses. The French Quarter or as it is called still holds a slight sense of a Gallic glory and a new age-cum-old world node. With Rues and Boulevards lined up with many mansions with towering windows and distinct shades of yellow and white, bakeries selling out croissants and cakes, I couldn’t ask for a more enhanced out of the world experience.
My stay at Pondicherry was at a surreal place called the Ocean Spray Resort . I was on a work related travel and thus had limited time to explore the place but still could conjure up enough time to explore most of Pondicherry during my brief stop. There is a long list of little places that you can just make your way to like the Goubert Avenue, Old Lighthouse, Place de La Republique, Gandhi Statue, French War Memorial, Notre Dame Church, Alliance Francaise, Dupleix Statue, Joan of Arc statue and many many more. If the world is running a little too fast, you could as well spend most of your time relaxing or doing yoga or meditating by the beach side. You could as well go visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.
The Paradise Beach, the Serenity Beach and the Promenade Beach are few among the remarkable surreal beaches in Pondicherry, but you have to exercise caution while slipping into the waters as the current remains high most times of the day. If the world is running a little too fast, you could as well spend most of your time relaxing or doing yoga or meditating by the beach side. You could as well go visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.
The early morning jog along the Promenade Road and the beach makes for a delightful experience. The Le Café just around the corner makes up for an impressive gastro-orgasmic experience. The food experience just doesn’t stop there. Pondicherry boasts of a superb Creole cuisine thanks to its French heritage. There are many restaurants, cafes and patisseries dotting the town. Enjoy the shopping, the French food, the cheese, the beer, the sea air, the mist and a plethora of seductive vision of the French-subcontinental aesthetics.Fortunately or unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take many images during my visit to Pondicherry and hence what you are able to witness are few glimpses into the beautiful town of Pondicherry collected from the official website of the Department of Tourism, Pondicherry.
This trip was originally published on Inception.