It was few years back, during my engineering days. Friday evening, we were done with our classes and sitting in hostel, surfing internet. Suddenly while going through Instagram, one of my friends saw a post on Pondicherry, and the next thing I remember we did is started checking for train tickets. Fortunately, the tickets were available even though it was a long weekend, then we checked the timings and surprisingly the train was in our favor and we started booking tickets that night. We packed our bags immediately and headed towards the railway station.
How to reach Pondicherry from Bengaluru?
Pondicherry is around 320 kms from Bengaluru and we can go by train, bus (approximately 9hrs), flight (1hr) or by our own vehicle.
We boarded the train to Pondi at 9pm from Yeshwanthpur railway station. When I opened my eyes in the morning, we were there in Villupuram junction around 7am. The train stopped there for about half an hour. Finally, we reached Pondicherry railway station at 8.00am. When we reached the station one of my friend from Pondicherry was waiting to receive us. Bus station is a bit far from Railway station, and we wanted to go to Pondicherry university. We took a bus and I was surprised by the price of the bus tickets, trust me they charged only 6 rupees for 16kms, totally worth it right? Around 9.00am we reached university, and ya I forget to tell Why did we go to university. Of course, not to get an admission there. We planned to roam Pondi by hiring bikes and our bikes where waiting there. Since we had some friends over there who had bikes, we didn’t had to spend on renting it. With our local guide our planning for the day started.
Must visit places in Pondicherry
- Paradise Beach
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram
- Auroville and Auroville Beach
- Rock beach
- Serenity beach
- Chunnambar boat house
- Goubert Market (For shopping)
- Bakers street
After having the Pondi special breakfast Pudi Dosa, we left to reach our first destination ‘Aurovilla’ – Golden globe at 10am. We managed to reach Matrimandir (Entrance to Aurovilla) at around 10.30am. From entrance we should walk 1.5kms(No private vehicles are allowed), if there are no buses. We started walking on the way to golden globe (Matrimandir) bearing 40-degree Celsius temperature. Apart from being a tourist place Matrimandir is a place for Meditation. And one more thing to note before going here is, we should book passes two days in prior to get inside that golden globe and the passes are free.
After taking some photos we waited for few minutes for bus as we were almost exhausted and none of us were having patience to walk back. Finally, we got the bus (transportation was free of cost) and came back to entrance where we parked our vehicles. We can find lots of foreigners working for charity there and all the hand-crafted things which we purchase in the shops were made by them and the amount they get will go to charity.
Then we moved to our next destination - Chunnambar lake. Around 12pm we reached Chunnambar lake, and we were shocked seeing the crowd over there as it was a weekend. It was elongated, and the sun was almost draining us. We stood in that queue for almost one hour and finally managed to get tickets. They will cost 200 rupees for a boat trip to Paradise beach from Chunnambar lake. After getting tickets we entered inside and we got to know that we have to stand in queue once again since it was the lunch time and none of the sailors were available. After so much of waiting, standing in queue, bearing that temperature and people around us we were into boat at 2.40pm.
We forgot everything on seeing the beach. As the name says it was a kinda paradise to us. We jumped into the sea. We saw a place where they arranged rain dance, and people were dancing for the music played over there. Who is gonna miss this, and yes obviously we went there, danced, and created some mesmerising memories. As per our plan we left beach around 5pm.Then we headed towards French colony.
We reached French colony around 5.30pm. We can find lots of ancient French buildings there and a famous ashram named “Arabindo ashram”. Nothing much is inside the Ashram but we can find various kinds of plants. People go there to meditate, to pray and everyone are supposed to maintain a pin drop of silence. After coming out of that ashram we went to the famous Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple where we can find the idols of 101 Ganapathi. One more speciality of this temple is walls and ceilings are painted by different artists rather than the normal plane one. We can also shop here, as its famous as “Pondi Bazar”. We didn’t spend much of our time there as we were so hungry. We left that place and went in search of a nice restaurant. We found a food street just like VV puram in Bengaluru and tasted some authentic food. Then we headed towards Bharthi park and Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam) around 7pm. Opposite to that we can go to the “Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus” church.
At last we came to Rock beach at 7.30 pm. It is such a wonderful place, especially at night. Just imagine sitting near the sea shore with a cool breeze, listening to the sound of waves – Awesome right?
There will be some cultural activities during weekend. We can also find a Mahatma Gandhi statue here. If you have enough time, then you can spend the whole night there peacefully. But this will close by 9pm.
We booked our return tickets at 9pm so we left there at 8.30pm and were on the way to railway station. We reached railway station at 8.50pm and somehow managed to search our seats and headed towards Namma Bengaluru.
Next day morning we reached Bengaluru around 7am. This is how we spent our weekend joyfully. And now coming to the budget, can you believe we finished our trip within 1k? To be precise, it was around 500 for tickets, and 100 petrol charges, 200 Passes for Chunnamber lake and 150 for food. No stay, no shopping nothing. I didn’t purchase anything but I can see beautiful memories whenever I remember this journey.
After seeing how good this place is, I visited again - ofcourse with a proper plan. This place never disappoints me thou. We stayed in a villa which was very good and worth every penny( named "Luxe villa" which is near Krishna nagar. You can enquire with a cafe called "Choice of Cheers" for more info).
I highly recommend to go to Bakers street. Man! each item they do is soo yum, specially cookies. If you are interested in shopping, you can visit Pondi bazar near Rock beach. You can also get attractive lamps and hand crafts near aurovilla ashram as well as near french colony. If u dont need anything, beaches are always there for you. Just go and chill :D
Enjoy your journey!!