By Deeplina Pattanaik
Pondicherry, a quaint little former colonial French town, is rapidly becoming one of the hottest vacation destinations among Indians as well as foreign travellers. Due to its close proximity to metropolitan cities, it sees a lot of frequent vacationers wanting a break from the fast-paced life looking at Pondicherry as a sanctuary of sorts to relax. Pondicherry has been called the Paris of the East and rightfully so; with their french avenues and colonial buildings.
If You have a 3-4 day weekend coming up and want to retreat and relax, a Pondicherry trip may be just the thing for you. A pre-planned Pondicherry tour would enable you to experience the most of this paradise away from the buzzing cities. You’ll notice the town has the distinct influences of both the French and the locals, The White town is the French quarters and the most frequented tourist area. That’s the reason why Pondy boasts of a versatile cuisine, from local south Indian food to French fine dining its got it all. Be it quaint little boutique restaurants or clean beaches, there is a wide array of places to see in Pondicherry.
You can be up early in the morning to experience the serenity and calm of the ashrams or see what is said to be one of the most beautiful sunrises in the country or stay up all night and experience the nightlife. Here are a few things to do in this charming town after sunsets.
Take a walk on the Promenade Beach
A walk along the beach, while the sun sets on the horizon may seem like a cinematic cliche but is often one of the most cherished experiences of the tourists. The view is unparalleled, the atmosphere is buzzing with life, and with the cool tropical breeze flowing and squishy sand between your toes we assure you, you’ll definitely find the relaxation Pondicherry is so famous to provide.
Bike ride to Paradise Beach islands
You can rent bikes and scooters and drive 8km to Chunnambar boat house from where Paradise islands is a short ferry ride away. It is far less crowded, has pleasant weather with no real infrastructure, making you feel like you are on a retreat from your busy daily life. It is perfect for beach parties with taxfree liqueur, French food and amazing music. There are various events that go on, take a look beforehand when you plan so as to experience the beach parties and decadent French buffets.
After a full day of touring Pondicherry, it is understandable if you just want put your feet up, have inexpensive drinks, and talk with your friends about the experiences and relax.
Pondicherry has several lounge bars and pubs that are pretty awesome to relax and just unwind from a full day of playing tourist. There are popular pubs and bars scattered across the town that tourists frequent. Like Le Bar at White Town is very popular due to its location, then there are places with free ladies entry like Ecstacy, or the more relaxed St James court beach bar. If you’re strapped for cash you can even kick it up with a drink in the shacks along the coastline offering good comfort food and cheap booze.
Pondicherry wasn’t into the nightclub scene for the longest time. Nightclubs are fairly new and rare in the town but definitely don’t fall short of providing the complete discotheque experience. If you want to get decked up and dance the night away to good music there are a couple of places you can hit. The Asian House Disco is the most popular club in Pondicherry and super exciting to be in. A lot of clubs don’t allow stag entries and only allow females or couples mainly to make the women feel safer and avoid unpleasant drunken encounters. SO if you’re there on an all-boys trip or an all-girls trip do a little research look up the clubs more suitable for your requirements. Some other clubs in the town are Dance Floor and The Zen Lounge. The rules don’t permit very loud music after 11 pm so most clubs stay up to open till 12 am with the music slowing down after 11 pm. So hit the nightclubs accordingly.
If you’re here with a loved one and both of you share a love for food, you can go out for a romantic dinner on the seafront or a breezy rooftop and explore the huge variety of cuisine Pondicherry has to offer. You can explore the French food and other continental delicacies and have a quiet conversation in amidst of charming restaurants like The Lighthouse; a rooftop restaurant in the Promenade hotel. If you are a lover of Italian cuisine there is La Pasta that has the most mouth smacking Italian food. Apart from that, there are also a few authentic pizzerias, which will make you forget the takeout we get in the cities from popular chains of fast food. You can also visit the local french bakeries post-dinner for a little dessert.
Walk along the seafront
The seafront roads are beautiful at any given time and great for a lazy walk but especially in the evenings, because after 7:30 pm there are no vehicles allowed along the seafront roads like Goubert Avenue, so it’s pretty peaceful and relatively quiet. If you’re into photography a walk on the seafront will give you a lot of photo opportunities. There is also a local market nearby you can walk out to. You’ll find all the local souvenirs you’ll want to take home in these markets. The best way to explore the market also is on foot so it makes sense if you walk by the Goubert Avenue to the market.
Camping and Bonfires
Pondicherry has several registered campsites where people organise camps where you can camp in a tent instead of staying in a hotel, sit around a bonfire and talk and get to know the other campers. If you’re a solo traveller or in a group, you’ll be able to fit in and enjoy regardless. It’s a great experience for someone looking to try something new. There are tour planners who plan this as a special part of Pondicherry tours and the price usually includes the accommodation, food and activities. This is also a very economical option if you’re on a short trip and want a small budget holiday.
Pondicherry is a quite safe holiday destination but you may never know what kind of situation or emergency may come up so here are some local helpline numbers you should keep in handy when you travel to Pondicherry.
|POLICE STATION||100 ,2334243-47|
|WOMEN POLICE STATION||2336178|
|AMBULANCE||108 , 2336050|
|FIRE STATION||101, 2336238|
There are tonnes of places to see in Pondicherry and even more, Things to do in Pondicherry. Plan a short trip to this serene town away from the metropolitan buzz and you’ll probably have one of the best holidays of your life. If you’re tired of Goa trips but want a beach holiday this is the place for you. With a vibrant nightlife and beautiful daytime activities, be it touristy tours around the town or exhilarating water sports; you won’t spend a moment bored or out of things to do! Safe travels!