Bearing the cultural legacy of the French, this little coastal town in India tops the list of the destinations to visit in South India. walking around the streets you’ll get a European feel and from the shops the exquisite French cuisine that will make you feel a lil ‘Frenchy’.Its a popular weekend getaway for the people of Chennai thanks to the close proximity. From the spiritual abode of Aurobindo Ashram to the adventurous places for scuba diving, kayaking, surfing etc , this infinite variety has much in offer for the avid travel enthusiasts. So here is a list of a few things that you shall not miss while in Puducherry.
1.Bicycle tour of French Quarter
There are two segments in the Puducherry town- French Quarter and Tamil Quarter. Avoid cars and bikes, hire a bicycle and roam the old streets of the French Quarter. There are gorgeous churches to see and a marvel of the bright walls and a revelling sight of old-style colonial architecture.
2. Go to Auroville
Aurobindo Ashram as well as Auroville was founded by Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator Mirra Alfassa also known as the Mother. Its a place to find inner peace through the practice of mind. You may attend the various workshops in Auroville or take a tour of the place. From the Solitude Farm in Auroville, try out the healthy organic thali.
3.A boat ride to Paradise Beach
Popularly called Chunnambar, Paradise beach is special for its beauty and the privacy that you get there. Sitting there with your loved ones, caressed by the cool evening breeze, enjoying the romantic moments will be a once in a lifetime experience.No wonder why this beach is called Paradise! The beach is located along the Cuddalore Main Road, 7 KMS past Pondicherry. Watch the sunset, play in water, Welcome to the Paradise.
4.A place to stay near Promenade Beach
The beach starts from the war memorial and ends at the Duplex park on the Goubert Avenue. Besides being a picnic location, this beach is a favourite jogging place for the locals in the morning and the evening. If you come to this beach, its better to find a stay near it. From this beach, you can watch a beautiful sunrise, a mesmerizing sunset and at night a heavenly sight of moon shimmering on the sea waters. Renowned places to stay here are The Promenade, Palais De Mahe-CGH Earth, Le Dupleix and Villa Shanti. An Auroville Ashram is also here, to stay you have to book early.
5.Cafe and bar hopping
Puducherry is not only a paradise for lovers but also a paradise for food lovers.No dearth of quirky cafes, bakeries and bars in this old town. The variety includes scrumptious continental food to innovative cocktails. Some popular places are Cafe Carte Blanche, Rendezvous Cafe, Le Club, La Maison Rose, Kasha KI Aasha, Cafe Des Arts and Baker Street.
6.Surfing at Serenity Beach
A famous surfing destination, this beach is 20 minutes drive to the north of Puducherry town. The waves in this beach are bigger than in the adjoining Auro beach.
7.PADI Scuba course
Professional Association of Diving Instructors(PADI) offers certification course and training in scuba diving for beginners as well as advanced divers. The marine scape in Puducherry is replete with coral reefs, marine life like lionfish, manta rays, sea snakes, Moray eels etc. Its the only spot for diving on the eastern coast of India.
8. Visit the boutiques
Many boutiques are there in Puducherry that offers handmade leather products, gorgeous ceramic ware and handmade paper. Have some local cheese and chocolates too.