I was out in Chennai for some work and had the weekend free so I decided to take a 3 hour drive to Pondicherry and stay there over the weekend.
At the beginning I was a bit upset about the fact that it has major spaces which resemble those of most of indian towns, but eventually I realised Visiting the right places, indeed made Pondicherry a wonderful tourist destination!!
- CHUNNAMBAR BOAT HOUSE AND PARADISE BEACH :
Carry your swimming gear as It’s one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry, we hired a ferry upto Paradise Beach it’s a beautiful island beach, there’s a choice between hiring a Motor Boat and a speed boat, but my word, no matter how much speed thrills you, you’ll enjoy watching silver fish jump in and out of water and the sight of migratory birds circling in the sky and a speed boat will only shorten the duration of this experience…..on reaching Paradise beach after a 20 minute motor boat ride we indulged in activities such as Rain Dance which they’ve arranged for visitors, swimming , one may use their little post-swim shower facility, there are places to sit under the shade and enjoy the view of the Horizon. One little down side is that the dining facility out here is very modest and one can’t carry their own food, though water, basic soft drinks and similar chilled refreshments were available, we spent around 2 hours out here despite shortage of time , I’m sure you’d be motivated to do better before you line up in a short queue to be ferried back to chunnambar boat house
- AUROVILLE MATRIMANDIR (SIGHT SEEING + MEDITATION)
We started our 2 kilometer walk from the parking lot to Matri Mandir…it was one of the hottest days in Pondicherry as it was summer and we were asking every person on their way back just one question “how long is it from here?” wishing some miracle would alter the distance for us but we had some Positive Distractions that completely took our minds off the heat and sweat…and the distraction for a foodie ,out here, are 2 wonderful Cafés….they offered a variety of stuff right from cakes, pastries, to puffs, samosas and sandwiches, if you’re lucky enough to make it at lunch time or 7pm onwards you can choose from a variety of dishes like pizza’s and many north Indian items, salads and the list goes on.
Further along the road we had few more pleasant distractions such as PLACES TO SHOP, There is a Departmental store selling items produced at Auroville right from Eatables like jams and drink concentrate, chocolates to Capsules containing essential herbs of nature and amongst other categories they sell Garments, Lampshades, Cosmetics, Purses and so on…we bought most of what I mentioned!There’s also a garment boutique opposite the store…There’s a Video Room explaining the significance of this beautiful place..From here we resume our wonderful Nature Walk upto Matri Mandir, which is a huge sphere surrounded by 12 petals, it’s essentially a dome covered by golden discs reflecting sunlight, the INNER CHAMBER consists of a meditation hall and an optically perfect glass globe that’s supposed to be the largest of its kind in the world, open to public by appointment. Surrounding it is a peaceful open ground which is a perfect selfie spot to click pics with the dome and you’re damn right it’s one of the reasons I need a new memory card!…we spent in all 3 hours at this peaceful and blissful location.
- SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM
Another place of spiritual significance is Sri Aurobindo Ashram we were ushered in by few disciples everyone was requested to maintain silence at all times within the ashram,It was a Wonderful and Peaceful space with flowering plants and shade-giving trees all around the courtyard, there was no commotion, no chit chat, All cellphones were switched off and every single soul was elated by Rarest of Rare experience of Peace….we placed our foreheads on the Marble Samadhi under which lie the physical remains of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, one could feel a divine vibe at that very moment when one’s forehead touched the marble shrine. It is a wonderful Experience in itself and a must visit spot for people of all generations.
- PROMENADE BEACH
It’s a wonderful walk along the raised artificial banks of the beach…Promenade is a French word for ‘walk’….and when in Pondicherry do as the French do, hence take a Walk along this beach and Dine at any of the many Restaurants out here….We dined at ‘Sicily’s’ it was good… in fact their CHOCOLATE FLAN was the best I’ve had yet!!ahatma Mahatma Gandhi Statue and Statue of dupleix..The statue of the father of our nation and that of French governer Dupleix are a stone’s throw away from each other it’s one of the treats to your eyes when you stroll along the promenade beach!
- SERENITY BEACH
A fantastic beach with numerous colorful boats on shore, offering hence the best opportunity for a photoshoot, these boats belong to fishermen who live close to the beach, We enjoyed the water and the Mesmerizing view, we loved watching the sunset out here, the orange life sustaining ball looked its best as it sank in the refreshingly blue water body marking the end of another wonderful day in Pondicherry.
We saw 2 light houses in Pondicherry one is the Old lighthouse that can be seen whilst we jogged along the promenade beach, the other is the new lighthouse which is much higher I suppose, we chose to see both but from a the ground level itself, given more time I would’ve chosen to check them both out!! We got great pics anyway!!
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
This is a beautiful temple, I fell in love with how colorful this place was, it’s architecture is representative of most of those found in South Indian especially Tamil Nadu, hailing from north I was captivated by every single painting and wall sculptures of this magnificent temple which Is 5 steps away from Aurobindo Ashram.
- The Basilica of Sacred Heart Of Jesus
We could make it to the Sunday mass at this beautiful Church with a gothic architecture, as everyone sat silently in prayer I couldn’t help but keep spinning my head in admiration of the numerous colorful glass pictures of saints and some of those depicting the life of Jesus…the church is very close to promenade beach.
- Café Xtasi
This place may look like a medium sized ordinary restaurant but the pizza’s served here are beyond ordinary! A huge variety of Veg and Non veg pizza’s are available in all sizes !!Sizes range from ones that may be shared by 3 or by 8-10 members, the flavours are highly unique and The taste is out of the world, the pastas are delicious and it’s a must visit in Pondicherry!!!!
- Ousteri Lake
We Surprisingly had some extra time on hand at the end our trip that’s when we decided to drive to Ousteri Lake which is on the outskirts of Pondicherry and like a picnic spot for many families, we enjoyed the view out here. The areas in and around the lake, house many migratory birds including the painted stork, one could use a boat ride to appreciate the beauty of this water body and the birds that fly around you.