Prominent as the “French capital of India”, Pondicherry/Puducherry is a spectacular holiday destination to explore in South. Delimited by tranquil seashores, French named roads and ancient Colonial architectural existence leaves one completely amazed in the city. Besides sightseeing, Pondicherry is laid out with lot many attractions that can turn one’s time-off to a fun-filled trip.
The city portrays an offbeat accord between Indian customs and French colonialism. Probably this is why some people call Pondicherry as the “French colony of the south”. If you are planning a trip to Pondicherry anytime soon, here’s what you need to do after getting there:
#The mesmerising sunup
The coastal city of Pondicherry houses some picturesque beaches that are least explored in contrast to many other popular South Indian beaches. One of the most happening things to do in Pondicherry is to witness the arresting sunrise from the enormous stretch of the Bay of Bengal. So set your early morning alarm to experience the finest sunrise vista near the beach. For nature buffs and photographers, the sunup in Pondicherry is something that can’t be missed.
#Audacious boat riding
The lively interlace in the seawater offers you an awesome boating exposure in Pondicherry. To get involved into some rousing water activities, Chunnambar Boat House at the Paradise Beach Island is quite popular amongst the tourists. One can enjoy here a ride of different types of boats including motor boat, speed boat, Jet Ski etc. Besides boating, the site is evenly popular for picnicking, hiking, camping, sunset view and relaxing sunbath. In addition, tourists can also enjoy here a delightful cruise ride to the sea.
#Birding at Osudu Lake
Strolling around a manmade lake in Pondicherry is something awe-inspiring. Osudu Lake is one of the popular wetlands in Pondicherry region, which is famous for birding. The lake is also known as Ousteri Lake offering wonderful vista of some endangered and migratory bird species in the midst of wetland. Osudu Lake has also been designated as one of the significant wetlands in Asia by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources). The region is an absolute paradise for birdwatchers and nature buffs.
#Enthralled Scuba diving
Going for a date with underwater corals is something peerless in Pondicherry region. There is a popular Scuba Diving organizer that offers you excellent training and certification Scuba Diving courses in Pondicherry. The course contains various exciting water activities like Dive Master, Open Water, Nitrox, Advanced and Deep. The professional guides also help the non-swimmers to take absolute pleasure from the electrifying Scuba Diving. Some of the popular Scuba Diving spots in Pondicherry are 4 Corners, Ravines, Cool Shark Reef, Temple Reef and Aravind’s Wall. So when in Pondicherry, make sure you don’t miss your underwater date with different vibrant marine life including moray eels, sea snakes, crustaceans, lionfish, eagle, triggerfish, grouper and much more.
#An adventurous ride across the city on two wheels
Despite offering you a scenic splendour, Pondicherry is a wonderful destination to rove on two wheels. There are several guided bicycle tours organized here around the French colonies and traditional Tamil settlements. A two hour ride on the wheels can glimpse you a close panorama of Pondicherry. A tour around the traditional French architectural buildings, cultural centres and church can plunge you to the prehistoric epoch of French.
Besides getting into the cited outdoor activities, visitors can also enjoy a delightful excursion around the places like Goubert Avenue, Serenity Beach, Aurobindo Ashram and Sita Cultural Centre. In addition, tourists can also pamper their taste buds with no dearth of lip-smacking platters in the eateries of coastal region. Some of the must try platters in Pondicherry include pasta, Salad Niçoise, Beef Steak, French chicken casserole, ole Fish Meunière, Bouillabaisse fish stew, French Pastries etc.
The best time to visit:
Pondicherry can best be revealed and rejoiced during winter (October to February) season. This is the time when the coastal region sees a large influx of tourist footfalls from various parts of the sphere and the weather is also quite soothing here that time.
With its inimitable colonial manifestation, Pondicherry pulls plenty of weekenders, honeymooners, nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts from all round the globe. Therefore, getting there is not a matter of concern for globetrotters. Following are the important modes of commutations to get there in Pondicherry:
By Air: For small aircrafts landing, the nearest airport is located in Lawspet district of Pondicherry, which has good air connectivity from Bangalore. In addition, one more nearby airport is in Chennai, which is located nearly 135kms from Pondicherry. From both the airport, traveller can hire private taxi or cab to reach Pondicherry.
By Train: For railway commuters, the nearest railhead is Villupuram, which is located nearly 36Kms away from Pondicherry. There are several trains that ply to Villupuram from various locations like Chennai, Trivandrum, Delhi and Mumbai. Two major trains to reach Villupuram are Nagarcoli Express and New Delhi Pondicherry Express. From Villupuram railway station, one can easily hire a cab/taxi to travel further. It will take nearly an hour to reach Pondicherry from Villupuram railway station.
By Road: Anyone planning self-rides or road trip to Pondicherry, the most convenient route to get there is via NH45. Additionally, regular bus service is also there for Pondicherry from the neighbouring destinations like Thanjavur, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Madurai. On the other hand, a ride to Pondicherry from Chennai can offer you a spellbound vista of the Bay of Bengal.
Hotels in Pondicherry:
Pondicherry is an absolute paradise for travellers. Therefore, to cater them all kind of generosity, numbers of budget and luxury hotels and resorts are set up in and around Pondicherry. However, depending on the type of accommodation and amenities one avails, the charges will differ from time-to-time.
For your convenience, some of the comfy staying options in Pondicherry are listed as follows:
No. 1, Tilagar Nagar, Opp Vasan Dental Care Hospital,
Ellaipillaichavady, Puducherry, 605009
#Lotus Bay View Hotel
No. 01-B, Rue Bazar Saint Laurent Street,
Beach Road, Puducherry, 605001
154, S.V. Patel Road, Puducherry, 605001
#Le Royal Park
168, Kamaraj Salai, East Brindavan, Brindavan Colony,
#Lotus Comfort- A Pondy Hotel
Address: 72-A, S.V. Patel Salai,
So this winter mark your calendar and plan for an adventurous time-off in Pondicherry.
Image courtesy: Google