It has been such a jam packed week. All of you will soon know why. As I was wondering what I should write on next, I realized that I hadn’t written anything about our one day in Pondicherry yet. I completely missed that out.We had been to Pondicherry for a colleague’s wedding in February and we spent less than a day there. I have heard lots of people compare Goa and Pondicherry. Except for being beach towns, both of them have very less in common. Each place is unique and a comparison between the two will never do justice.
Since we did not have enough time, we could not visit many places there. We reached around 12 PM on a Friday afternoon. We were staying at Le Chateau. It is a nice place to stay and the Pondicherry Promenade is walking distance from the place. You can check the latest prices and reviews here.
After checking in at Le Chateau , we checked with the reception about finding a good firewood pizza place nearby.
They suggested Café Xtasi and told us that it was around 1km away. So we decided to walk. White town is really beautiful and it was a delight walking around. With architecture from the colonial times of the French, it was lovely to stroll around the place. Soon we were at Café Xtasi and we ordered few firewood pizzas and pasta dishes. The pizzas are huge and don’t order more than you can eat, like us. However, they are delicious and everyone should definitely visit this small café if they are in town. But keep away from the pasta.
Pondicherry White Town
Shopping in Pondicherry
Since we were already in MG road, the other girls decided they wanted to shop. After all, Pondicherry is the birthplace of Hidesign bags. But if you ask me, this was a total waste of time. I know I am biased. I usually finish my shopping in 15 minutes and I definitely cannot understand the need of spending 2-3 hours in any shop. Once shopping was over, we decided to head back to the hotel to freshen up. We were too tired to walk anymore and all of us decided to cram into one auto. There were 5 adults and 1 kid. It was definitely entertaining and we had a blast trying not to fall out of the auto.
Serenity Beach in Pondicherry
We took the car which was parked outside the hotel we were staying in and we were soon on our way to Serenity beach. This Pondicherry beach is around 30-45 minutes from Pondicherry. By the time we got there, the sun was just starting to set. This beach is just like its name. It is serene and peaceful. There were not many people around and we sat there on the rocks silently watching a glorious sunset. At that moment, everything was right in the world. You just realize the mammoth-ness of nature and you realize how you are just a tiny speck in the whole universe. It is these kinds of moments I strive for. Isn’t that what life is worth living for? You should always watch kids in such moments. They are the ones who really know. The kid in our group loved the feel of the water and it was hard convincing her to get out. She wanted to stay for some more time to collect sea shells from the shore.
Serenity Beach Pondicherry
We got stuck in traffic on our way back. Since we were too tired to go exploring, we decided to have dinner nearby. We first went to Villa Shanti but they asked us to wait for 45 minutes. So we went to Spice route. Reminiscing with friends over a good dinner about how the trip has been. That was a perfect end of the day. How else can it get better?
Promenade Beach, Pondicherry
We made plans for an early walk and were soon in our beds after a tiring day. I was the first one to get up. When I am on vacation, I am always one of the first one to wake up. My colleagues found this amusing since I never rise early on a workday and I am always one of the last ones to reach office. But isn’t that what vacations are about. Trying to get out more to get a local feel of the place rather than spending your entire day in a hotel room. The early morning walk was so refreshing. Promenade beach was just 5 minutes away and we walked all around the place alongside the lighthouse, numerous churches and Mahatma Gandhi statue among many other attractions. Even though it was around 6:30 on a Saturday morning, many locals, and few tourists had the same plan. In spite of this, we witnessed yet another magnificent sunrise. Isn’t that the beauty of nature? Sunrises and sunsets are best enjoyed from a sea shore. My only crib was that the beach was extremely dirty and I wish my fellow countrymen had the decency to keep the place tidy. It is such a beautiful white sidewalk/beachfront alongside a rocky beach. Why can’t we keep it clean for the next generation?
After breakfast, we stopped at Baker’s street on our way to Auroville. Baker’s street is a famous brunch/ French pastry café in Pondicherry. Even though we had already had our breakfast, we couldn’t resist and we ended up having few pastries. They were definitely lip-smacking and delicious. However, the assorted cookies I got home were just decent and the staff was pretty rude to us. Auroville is a peaceful township on the outskirts of Pondicherry. I guess it is a nice place to go stay. But walking for long in the hot sun to go see a golden globe (Matrimandir) from a distance did not make any sense to me. There was a farmer’s market going on there that day and it was good to buy some organic stuff from there.
Auroville Pondicherry. Photo Credit: Roshan Adka
These are few of the places to see in Pondicherry. Soon we were back on our way to Mahabalipuram. Even though our time in Pondicherry was short, it was still a good trip despite the few hiccups. Hopefully, I will go back again one day to explore the parts I missed. The same group is also planning a trip to Andaman Islands soon.