Offbeat things to do in Pondicherry
A former French territory in India, Pondicherry is a cosmopolitan city. With beautiful beaches, the french connection and universal city of Auroville, this place is on the tourist 'must -visit' list.
February is a good month to visit Pondicherry, though the weather throughout the year is pleasant. The weather is hot and humid during the day but becomes pleasant in the evening courtesy the cool sea breeze.
From the beaches to the spiritual Aurobindo Ashram, to the churches, this small town has something for everyone. Even more interesting are places like the Auroville and Arkimedu, a few kilometers away.
Located in the heart of the city, this little peaceful oasis is dedicated to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Mirra Alfassa, Sri Aurobindo most important disciple). Their samadhi, in the center, is always beautifully decorated with flowers and has people meditating around it. The quiet and the peace that one witnesses in the house is meditative.
sri aurobindo ashram (Source: r deangelo)
The 1.5 km long stretch of the beach has statues of some of the eminent personalities of the country including Mahatma Gandhi. There is also a lighthouse and a war memorial located here. Some of the restaurants overlook the blue waters and sitting there sipping lemonade in the evening as the sun goes down is the very relaxing. People come here during the evening but the stretch is long enough for you to find a peaceful place amidst all the crowd.
pondicherry beach (Source: Kalyan Kanuri)
Located 10km from Pondicherry is probably the place Pondicherry is best associated with. In continuation with the dreams and teachings of Sri Aurobindo, Auroville is a universal city. Started by the Mother, Auroville today has a number of residents from across the globe who have given up their identity as belonging to a specific country and are now 'Aurovillians'. This is yet another must visit place. The most famous landmark, 'the Matri Mandir' is located here. The idea of this place is to encourage meditation and be one with oneself. Not a word is spoken by anyone who stands in the long queue for entering the temple. Crafts like leather work, candle making, pottery and more are practiced here by the masters and there are shops which sell their products. Also notable are the number of bakeries in the campus.
Matri Mandir (Source: Matri Mandir)
6km from Pondicherry at the estuary of River Ariyankuppam, Arikamedu is an archaeological site. It is believed that this fishing village was once a major port which facilitated trade with the Romans. Presently it has an Archaeological Museum which exhibits a sculptures and archaeological findings dating back to the Roman settlement here.
Pondicherry receives a number of tourists from across the globe. This has resulted in a number of restaurants that serve international cuisine. Since it was a French territory, not so long ago, its still boasts of some authentic French food which you must definitely try out.
Address: 13 Bussy Street, near Law College
Don't go by outer appearances. This restaurant, though located in a colonial house, serves delicious French and Italian food. Soak in the relaxed atmosphere by spending time on the low slung chairs placed in the balcony. Be there for the breakfast and you will get to choose from freshly baked bread, crepes, fruit and yogurt.
Address: 30 Dumas Street
Care for some Chinese? Blue Dragon is the place to be. The restaurant offers a large variety of chinese food at a very reasonable price. Thought he decor is not very classy, the restaurant is worth a visit. 'Sapphire' is a bar in the restaurant for those looking for a drink or two.
This restaurants is known in Pondicherry for serving the best food in town. Looking for bouillabaisse, quiches and coq au vin? Then this is the right place. The spacious and bright place with a french name serves international cuisine along with Indian and fast food. You can choose between the rooftop or the AC comfort of the room. Wine and beer is also available here
I have been to Pondicherry twice and it is on my list of places to visit again. The best way to explore the quaint French part of the city is on foot. There are lots of 'Auro' shops as well as workshops here where you can see products being crafted as well as sold.
Hope you have a great trip. In case you need help with accommodation or moving around, do get back to us. All the best for the 1/2 marathon!
Explore related trips
mygola allows you to have an expert do all the online research for you. You can ask for flights, hotels, restaurants, things to do or anything else.Ask us now