Away from the hustle and bustle of big city, Pondicherry is a quiet little town with unmistakable French connection, tree lined streets, endless stretches of beaches it’s a perfect place for holiday. About 135kms from Chennai, Pondicherry is well connected. It is best accessible by road and the best route to take would be the scenic East Coast Road.
On arrival at Pondicherry bus station we took an auto to our hotel. The autowallas try taking advantage of tourists specially ones who don’t speak Tamil. Hotel Corbelli was a great hotel with helpful staff. They helped us hire a 2-wheeler to go around the city and also helped us with directions.
The 1.5 km long Promenade along the beach is a great place to go for a stroll. One end of the Promenade has a seaside park with a statue of la Dupleix or otherwise know as Marquis Joseph Francois Dupleix who was a governor of Pondicherry. Le Café, the Gandhi statue, the French war memorial, the light house should be on your list of places to see. The tourist information centre on the Promenade is a great help to first time visitors.
Auroville Beach is about 10 kms away from Pondicherry town, is a great place and is not usually crowded.
Manakula Vinayagar Koil is a very old temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh. It’s very close to the French Colony. The temple Elephant ‘Lakshmi’ is quite friendly. She uses her trunk to collect coins and fruits and to bless you.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most beautiful churches. The entrance of the Church has beautiful stained glass panels which depict incidents of Christ’s life. The Church of our Lady and Notre Dame de’are two other places one must see.
Pondicherry is also world-famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The Ashram’s influence can be felt in Pondicherry. The Ashram located on rue de la Marine. It has the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother. Their Samadhi is always surrounded by devotees and is covered with flowers.
Pondicherry is a Shoppers paradise. By 11 AM the streets are filled with vendors various things like clothes, leather goods, etc. Pondicherry is famous for scented candles, pottery and handmade paper.
Pondicherry has mix of French and Tamil culture and the people of Pondicherry (except the autowallas) are very helpful…in one line a perfect holiday destination