Pondicherry had been calling me for a long time…and I was most eager to visit this cute town on my South India tour…..so my excitement was palpable , when I boarded the overnight sleeper bus from my last destination to reach Pondicherry in the early hours of the morning…
…and my enthusiasm and excitement was greeted by this lovely sunrise….which was to be one of the many wonderful experiences of Pondicherry!!
Pondicherry is located in the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal and is a former french colony. It also happens to be the spiritual home of Sri Aurobindo and Mother. This distinct mix of geography, history and spiritualism makes pondicherry one of the most delightful destinations in South India.
Pondicherry feeds the soul, the stomach and the shopping mania with equal ease. Many people come here for many reasons…..I went there to relax…and found much much more….
A simple walk one the promeande beach and the beach road calms one’s mind and refreshes the soul..I took many walks both in the morning and evening of the two days I spent here(good thing that we took a hotel facing the beach in the french quarters!!)
A remarkable degree of French influence in Pondicherry exists to this date. Pondicherry was designed based on the French (originally Dutch) grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter and the Indian quarter . Many streets still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight.
Pondicherry has got a laidback feel to it, the people here are in no hurry and everyone is in a relaxed mood. In no time, one also gets into the calm mood and begins to enjoy this charming town and its various delights.
One of my most spiritually enriching experiences was when I visited Auroville. I could actually feel the presence of ‘Mother’ here. The calm surroundings, the gentle breeze and the whole vibe of this township made me want to stay there and not come back…and I have made a resolution to come here and stay for a much longer duration….lets see…!!
Pondicherry is also a foodie’s heaven with a wonderful range of creole, French and continental cuisines available here. Though we samples many things here at the various eateries…what remains in my taste buds lingering still is the sinfully yumm hot chocolate served with dark chocolate spoon and chocolate shavings at Choco La(a stand alone patisserie) , the dark chocolate spoon and shavings melt into the hot chocolate while one stirs ….it makes for heavenly experience to drink this concoction!!
And for a shopaholic, this place is pure nirvana…with so many eclectic options and out of the box stuff!!!…..I shopped quite a lot here but taking no names of the places….its a lot of wonderful discoveries here so if you guys do go there, make your own.(but yeah if anyone is super interested to know, can drop me an email..ill sure to tell you some!!)
The 2 days I spent here went too fast and I wanted to stay some more…..but whatever time I spent here was utterly totally relaxing and enriching for my body and soul!!!
P.S. I have also written an article series on my south india tour for a travel blog, if you are interested in tour details, you can read here.