‘Give Time a break’, says the Pondicherry Tourism tagline.
Indeed a fitting tag to define the place far south, that once used to be a french colony and yet maintains some of that flavor from its past. A two-day vacation, all alone on my first-of-many travels, began on 15th August. Pondicherry happened to be my first solo trip and marked a start to my travels across the country. Being the first makes it even special. This travelogue on Pondicherry tries to capture the details of my 2-day stay in this beach town.
On the one side of the town is the Rock beach. Also referred to as ‘Promenade’ or ‘Gandhi beach’. It’s clean, scenic and is rocky, as the name clearly suggests. Evenings are a place to relax by just sitting along the shores on one of these rocks. The sound of the waves bringing in a sense of calm along with their sound. I spent my first day cycling around this beach and exploring the food options available.
After waking up the next morning, it was time to start off towards Auroville and luckily I got my hands on a rented Vespa. Being a long-weekend it was difficult to get a bike. Hence, I was cycling around town in a bicycle on my first day.
Roughly around 10-km towards Auroville, with good roads and less traffic, it was an amazing ride. I was literally in love with the roads.
Auroville is quite the favorite of foreigners and tourists alike. Once you reach the place, there’s a long walk inside, amid trees and is sort of a respite from the hot-humid weather that is prevalent across the Pondicherry town. I tried one of the soda-based drinks and quite liked it.
Located on the road leading to Auroville, this public beach is one which had quite a crowd. I drove further to get across to another section separated from the main beach which was like the secluded version of the main beach.
Boat ride, beautiful and Paradise Beach
This one takes the cake in terms of beaches in Pondicherry. Properly maintained and a boat ride takes you to the beach and is definitely worth going to.
Best enjoyed with a group and comparatively cheaper water sports options are quite good. This was that time in my trip where I missed people. Only time, actually.
Ensure that you visit it during the early part of the day to avoid long queue at the ferry boat which will bring you to the island.
The road to this paradise is a long sweaty hell, and I was the unlucky one, to have arrived late in the day.
Food in Pondicherry
Understanding a place is incomplete without letting your taste buds take a dive into the flavour of the place. Pondicherry is quite tourist-friendly and is packed with eating options.
The first place I ate was the famous, La Cafe. The Sandwich and Burger were decent, but the coffee was terrible. So much for the range of ‘reviews’ that this place boasted of.
My search for a good coffee took me to quite a few coffee shops and these two cappuccinos proved to be just right. I am not able to recall the name of the place as of now, unfortunately. But it goes to show that good coffee isn’t hard to find in Pondicherry.
On a friend’s recommendation, I tried this restaurant called Xtasy and their chicken Pizza proved to be my dish of the trip. Do not miss the pizza from this outlet.
Streets, Roads and the Pondy rides
The town’s architecture has a distinct French taste to it. Churches, Mosques, Temples can be seen everywhere. Some of the captured ones are here. But, the whole aura of the place is in experiencing it yourself. I even ended up visiting a mosque which claims to be one of the oldest in the country.
Pondicherry, apart from beaches, made me realize what effect travel can have on you. Apart from the tan, as a result of no-sunscreen, the town gave me quite a few lessons. Pondicherry, it was lovely being with you for two days.
I went there to get immerse in the town and I did. The experience of exploring a place for the first time on your own is very distinctive. Sometimes, you’re scared too. But this place has such an influence that I didn’t find my fear getting the better of me. Instead it proved to be a wonderful experience.
Pondicherry is truly a place where you can give time, a break.