Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry aka Puducherry located on the south-eastern coast of India in Tamil Nadu. Pondi a former French Colony charms you with authentic French cuisine, bright colored houses, gothic churches, beaches, heritage gardens and serene backwaters.
It is situated 380kms from Bengaluru. I started looking around for places to stay, eat and how to reach Pondi on a Saturday morning. So, I opened up my notes and planned in 30-40 mins on what-to-do and where-to-go in Pondi. Also I need a place to crash for a night and then travel in the day time. After searching I decided instead of our hotel websites its better to choose a stay in Google Maps.
So I call 5-6 Cottage and guest houses and book at the Samarpan Guest House near Auroville Beach. The cottage I booked was facing the beach as i needed. Although the charges were a little more than the others but the pictures and location was good.
I boarded the bus to Pondi on Friday Night and slept early so I can explore in morning. It was a 5-6hours journey from Bengaluru and I reach the beautiful place for the weekend. As public transport in some places is a pain they would charge you more seeing you as a tourist. Took an auto to Guest House with a little extra charge as no cabs appeared in the OLA app. Yes, Pondicherry has OLA and you can get a Mini/Sedan to take you to places.
Samarpan Guest House
In 30mins I reached the place with trees all over and the beach view. As most hotels don’t check you in before their general checkin times. But the manager there was happy to see me early and hand me the keys asap. I wanted to rent a bike in Pondi and the manager there helped me get one in 15mins. So I Quickly move out and start my day to visit every place I can in these 2 days.
1st day Getaway to Pondicherry
I skip ordering any food which was available at the guesthouse so I can have it at some French Cafe.
Cafe des Arts
Cafe des Arts is a bohemian, vintage-style cafe which is common if you were in Europe but it was Pondi. You can enjoy salads, baguettes, crepes, croissant, coffee and combos swell. I look at the Menu and order for me the Salted Ham, Cheese and Egg and some Icetea. Cafe des Arts was beautiful inside a huge book shelf and old vintage style clothes and jewelries. A pathway with an old rickshaw and the green grass with the yellow painted building had a great feel.
After Breakfast Aurobindo Ashram was my next stop which opens at 2PM So i had some spare time. Then I went to the Bharati Park which had monuments like the Aayi Mandapam in the entrance. I had a great time in the park sitting in the grass, watching kids play around taking there pictures. Only park i visited on my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church built in 1907 by French missionaries which is located at the heart of Pondi near the railway station. When you step into the 100 years old Gothic Church you can see stained glass panels depicting the life of christ, walls with Terracotta motifs. The interiors and exterior both are fabulous you will have a spiritual time walking in the church looking at the statues and people residing their prayers to their Holy Father.
Then I return back to Rock Beach to have some lunch at the famous 24/7 Service Le Cafe. Its a scenic cafe situated facing The Bay of Bengal. They serve you with coffee and fast-food in the ground floor. The Dosa center is located on the 1st floor which also serves coffee. As I was there in July with the sun over my head I ordered a Chicken Burger and their Afagato Cold Coffee which was really awesome and that too at a reasonable rate. As It was hot out there so after taking some clicks of the cafe I decide not to see the beach and move directly to Aurobindo Ashram and return in the evening to enjoy the sea and spend time on the beach.
Aurobindo Ashram is a calm and serene place to visit which you immediately feel after entering you are strictly not allowed to take photographs and people guide your path with silence. You can see people sitting beside the samadhi of Aurobindo and Mother. When Aurobindo passed away a separate compartment in the samadhi was made and Mother was laid next. Moving ahead you will enter the Ashram building where you can look at all the books written about Aurobindo and pictures taken of both Aurobindo and Mother. You can also buy some of the books in different languages and the pictures for memories of the place. You should spend some time in the calmness of the place.
Back to Guest House
After getting totally exhausted on my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry’s first day from the burning sun I go back to the Guesthouse for some rest which I didn’t and started clicking pictures of the whole area they were covered in.
Evening at Rock Beach
In some hours the sun was about to set so I took my ride and reached the Rock Beach in White Town. I spent time enjoying the breeze and watching people play in the waters. At the Promenade we have Gandhi Memorial which is surrounded by eight Granite Rocks and marble floor. With this there is another memorial for the French War and Pondicherry is spread with statues and memorials not only on the beach but everywhere. It was evening and the place look beautiful with yellow lights lighting the areas and the Le Cafe.
Thanks to a suggestion from my friend to visit Cafe Xtasi at Mission Street for there authentic wood fried pizzas. So I order myself a regular Chickenet Pizza with a diet coke. The rates are reasonable and the service was fast and the Pizza larger than Regular so I had half of it at the Cafe enjoying the music and got it packed to finish it back at my cottage at Auroville. I reach there and climb the swing in between the trees and just relax eating my Pizza in the calm darkness I can only listen to the waves of the sea hitting the shore. And end the day there and go back to sleep to get up early for the Sunrise as I am not a morning guy so it was a task for me.
2nd day Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry
I woke up and was ready to have my breakfast at the refreshment section of the Guesthouse. They served Dosa, Toast and Fruit Salad and coffee which was awesome. Today I was covering Paradise and Auroville Beach and Pondicherry Museum.
As Its far from Auroville Beach so I had to travel the long distance on my ride to Chunnambar boat-house from where you get rides to the beach they charge you fare for parking your vehicles and you have to take tickets from the counter to travel on a boat which costs you 200/person. Thats it and I board the boat to Paradise Beach with the others and in 15-20mins you reach the beach. Paradise Beach is an awesome clean beach where you can eat, chill and activities like boating, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, backwater sailing, and overnight camping. It was the best overall on my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry.
You won’t get any card machines so you must have cash in hand while you are here. There are 2 shacks where you can get seafood beer and other snacks. After spending time at the beach you can goto the boat pickup point and sit on any boat which takes you back to Chunnambar.
Pondicherry Museum is one of the places you must visit It has sculptures and remains of archaeological findings of Arikamedu Roman settlement. It also has rare bronze and stone sculptures from Pallava and Chola dynasties and artifacts from Arikamedu. You will see old coins, artifacts, guns and vehicles of ancient times. They have also preserved the furniture belonging to the French period which you look. Photography is sctrictly prohibited there. The Museum opens from 10AM – 5PM everyday except government holidays. Its very near to the Bharati Park I visited last day.
After visiting the 2 places and walking all over I was hungry again so took my ride and started looking around I almost reached the Auroville beach but stopped at this place called Tanto Pizzeria an Italian restaurant where you get kickass Pizzas, Spaghetti, Pasta, Icecreams much more. So I try there Tuna Spaghetti with Ice Tea. Its a beautiful place you sit outside and enjoy your food and drinks. The service was late but as they say “SABAR KA PHAL MITHA HOTA HAI” (Having patience will get you good results) and yeah the food is real good. Try this place although there are not much reviews of it.
Last spot to My Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry was the Auroville Beach so without wasting time I went directly to the beach to reach there you have to cross the littered narrow pathway which was not very inviting. But nothing was stopping me to go there so I crossed that and I am on the beach it was fine, long stretched beach will good sand but with the trash all around so no maintenance on this beach It had no place to eat so stay there and walked around and quickly left the place as I had to come back handover my Bike and leave the hotel to travel back to Bengaluru.
Ending My Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry
My Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry was great. It was fun missing the right turns and returning back to the same, traveling all alone the beaches, cafes and other areas like the beautiful french colonies, the museum, park, library and the Samarpan Guest House was a great place to stay and chill so you should try that place as well. So I take an auto rickshaw to the New Bus Stand and wait for my bus to Bengaluru.
Its my first single trip and an article on the same so write your comments and share how you liked Pondicherry from my eye as it will help me to put my other trips to you more clearly.
Places I Visited on my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry
- Rock Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Auroville Beach
- Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
- Aurobindo Ashram
- Pondicherry Museum
- Bharati Park
Places I Ate on my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry
- Cafe Des Arts
- Le Cafe
- Xtasi/Ecstasy Cafe
- Tanto Pizzeria
Feel my Weekend Getaway to Pondicherry visit the album