8) Puducherry: A 22 K.M drive From Cuddalore station takes you to the union territory of Puducherry or Pondy as fondly nicknamed by the visitors. Life moves at its own pace in Pondicherry. With beautiful little cafes scattered around white town, Pondy is the place where you can afford to go off-routine and let go a little. Tree lined streets, quiet beaches, backwaters, and a French connection that is visible in the architecture are some of the things that add charm to Pondicherry. Pondy is also known for its Doll-making, textiles and silk. Shopping here is easy on the pockets as there is low to no tax. Pondy is home to many boutique and designer brands. Travel and leisure wise, Pondicherry is a complete experience in itself. Do plan your journey in a way that you don’t end up here on a weekend. There are a LOT of people and if you do visit on a weekend, get your stay booked well in advance.
What to see: Promenade beach, Aurovile, Lighthouse, Serenity beach, Paradise beach, Pichavaram mangroves.
Where to stay: Sarvamangalam inn, Ramana Residency, Executive Inn, Bay View Hotel, Pondicherry guest house, Velvett Villa, Coramandal Residence, Raj residency, Auroville.
Where to eat: Seagulls, Tantos, Rendezvous café, Surguru Restaurant (Classic lip-smacking local food) Sarvana Bhavan, La Villa, Umami Kitchen.
Recommended number of days: 3n/4d
Pondicherry to Chennai train – 140/- (4 hours)
Chennai to Hospet bus – 1200/- (12 hours)
Stay: Rooms start at 1000/- per night.
Food: 1200/- per day or less, depends where you choose to eat. (Breakfast-lunch-dinner; without alcohol)
Total Cost: 7940/-