Popping Pondicherry

Tripoto
9th Sep 2016
Photo of Popping Pondicherry by sana khan

Until recently, Pondicherry ( or Puducherry) has become one of the popular destinations in India.

We all need that once in a while break, Puducherry proved to be a good choice.

Day 1

We took the 6:20 am Indigo flight from Mumbai and landed Chennai at 8:15 am.

After a bit of running around and language problems, a nice officer guided us how to reach Puducherry. We took a local train which was 5 mins away from the airport and got down at Perungalalattur Station. The train journey was about 15 mins and the ticket cost was about Rs 10.

To reach the bus station, you need to cross the main highway and walk for another 5 mins.

There are local buses for Puducherry every 10 mins with the ticket priced at Rs 83, but be prepared for the scorching heat and not so comfortable seats. The journey was around 3 hours and dropped us at the main bus station (final stop) of Puducherry.

We were lucky that the guest house which we booked warned us about the high rickshaw prices.

We bargained and found a rickshaw guy to take us the Aadhaar Guesthouse, only to realise he took us to the wrong place. Conveniently blaming us for not being clear as to where we want to go. Thank God for Maps, we guided him to Aadhaar and reached in 15 mins but paid 150 which was more than necessary.

Aadhaar Guesthouse is a very cute place located in Netaji Nagar 1. The place is hidden in a quiet area and is perfect for a peaceful stay. The only problem we faced was not having food or drinks available. The guesthouse doesn't have a restaurant, while it does have a basic kitchen where you can cook for yourself.

But the best part and our favorite spot was the Terrace. A cute place with 4 tables, a hammock and an amazing view.

After an entire morning of travelling, we rested for sometime and then headed to find a nice place for dinner.

Just to give you a heads up, places in Pondy shut by 10:30-11 so always stock up on the necessities and food.

We landed at the very famous Le Dupleix Restaurant where we enjoyed some amazing basa and grilled chicken. The host Adam was kind enough to give us helpful tips about Pondy.

Fortunately, being a Friday night we got to enjoy the rare nightlife of Pondy. We found our way to a lounge called Umami (Adam's recommendation). A decent place with good music and friendly people.

Aadhaar Guesthouse: Terrace

Photo of Puducherry, India by sana khan

Aadhaar Guesthouse

Photo of Puducherry, India by sana khan

Aadhaar Guesthouse: Reception

Photo of Puducherry, India by sana khan

Murgan: Rickshaw Ride for the trip

Photo of Puducherry, India by sana khan
Day 2

Auroville is a 45 minute journey by road from Puducherry and is one of the cleanest places.

We picked up some yummy rolls from a local bakery for our ride.

We reached Matrimandir which is a spiritual structure for meditators and yoga practitioners. Free passes can be picked up from the visitors center for the viewing point. However if you wish to enter the Matrimandir , you will need to buy passes at least 2 days in advance. The walk from the visitors centre to the Matrimandir is about 10 minutes. You can also choose to cycle to the viewing point.

The Matrimandir is a beautiful structure and the view gives you a calm feeling.

After spending an hour, we went to the famous Tanto Pizzeria to enjoy some pizzas. It was a fairly okay experience and the food was decent.

A 5 minutes walk from Tanto is the famous Bread & Chocolate. I suggest you go there early to get a wider range of options. We tried a mix of 5-6 chocolates, each with a unique flavor and were pretty good.

By late afternoon, we headed back to Pondy and reached The Promenade. The Promenade is a 1.5km beach stretch with restaurants on the opposite side. This stretch is vehicle free after 7:30 pm and is a beautiful place to enjoy early mornings and late evenings.

After spending some time at The Promenade, we headed back to the guest house to rest and refresh ourselves.

Matrimandir

Photo of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India by sana khan
Day 3

This was the highlight of our trip. Puducherry has one of the best surf schools, Kallialay Surf School.

We headed out for quick breakfast to Bakers Street (and no sadly you won't find Benedict Cumberbatch). This a self service place and has some great sandwiches, pastries, juices etc.

The surf school is located at Serenity Beach which was about 30 mins away. The private class is Rs 1500 per person. You also have the option of taking a group class is which is slightly cheaper.

The experience was amazing and I would definitely recommend it to everyone visiting Puducherry. The guys at Kallialay do an amazing job and are truly one of the best to learn from.

While the highlight lasted for 2 hours, it was an experience I definitely won't forget for a long time.

Serenity Beach is also a nice beach to spend some time at. It has a few restaurants where you can enjoy continental food.

We ended up enjoying amazing south Indian food at Surguru. Their lunch thalis are a must try unfortunately we were late to enjoy one. But their dosas and parathas were delicious.

Later at night, we convinced a nice cycle rickshaw driver to allow us to ride his rickshaw. Definitely a fun thing to do!

Serenity Beach: Kallialay Surf School.

Photo of Thandryankuppam, Kottakuppam, Villupuram, Puducherry 605101, India by sana khan

Serenity Beach: Artwork

Photo of Thandryankuppam, Kottakuppam, Villupuram, Puducherry 605101, India by sana khan
Day 4

This was our last day in the French quarters of India. We had decided to visit Paradise Beach which was an island, accessible via ferry.

However after we reach the ferry port, we were told that it was shut because of a government strike. This was obviously disappointing because had we known before we wouldnt have wasted time. A little advice, always do some before hand calling because the locals aren't aware of the city's happenings.

On the recommendation of our rickshaw driver, we headed to Veerampattinam Beach. A very quiet and empty beach which was perfect for our last day.

We had lunch at a local restaurant which served amazing lunch thali for just Rs 100.

After reaching the Guesthouse, we spend sometime at our favorite spot, the terrace.

We then head to Satsanga. Would definitely recommend this place for steak lovers. Their steaks are exceptionally good and do try the mashed potatoes.

Looking for dessert, Gelato is a good choice!

Veerampattinam Beach

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by sana khan
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