I have always been fascinated with the enormity of the seas. They keep calling me back all the time; especially when it is about seeking a deeper connect. You can stretch your hands wide to reach out to the either ends of the shore but they only seem so ever expanding and extending into infinity, that it almost seems engulfing all of you, with your consent. Yes, the waves have something magically healing in them.
When it came to making the choice of traveling to another coastal destination, Pondicherry struck like a subconscious call; it almost came without a second thought. So, on a Saturday, before my mind compelled me to change decisions, I was off again, boarding one of those cheap flights to Pondicherry that I managed to trawell hack for my trip already. And as the plane rolled down its landing gear, I could view through the aircraft window the coastlines and the palm trees that awaited me down there. Here’s an insight into this beautiful coastal countryside that is sure to allure you all the way.
The Unsung Beaches of Pondicherry
The feeling of walking along the coasts of Pondicherry is no different from the Goan Coasts. The blue gyrating waters, seagulls calling at a distance, the white sand under your feet and the amber of the morning instantly drain away the transient in your mind. The gushing waters instantly pull you into the present, fading away the chaos you bring to them from your urbane life and replace it with moments when you truly put yourself through the effort of contemplation. When you open your eyes after a long silence, it is your soul set free!
Whether it is dipping your feet in the shallow waters on the Auroville Beach or experiencing the pristine Paradise Beach Coastlines, the versatile waters of the Promenade Beach open for travelers throughout the day or the fishing lines at the Serenity Beach, Pondicherry comes with a breath of fresh air for all travelers, adventurers and wanderers alike. You can swim, fish, surf or simply sit by the shore and enjoy the waves here.
Walking through the White Town Architectural Extravagance
The best part about traveling to any part of India is that it has been ever welcoming the other cultures with open arms, no matter how it has been reciprocated with. It has always retained the heritage of every invasion without prejudice or bias. And every destination you travel unfolds unique testaments to this fact.
Pondicherry is a town with no exception. As you walk or cycle through the cobbled lanes of this coastal town, you suddenly swap the time frames with the city’s historic past. You surround yourself with the erstwhile reminisce of the French Riviera, that reflects in everything – their lifestyle, people, architecture, and gourmet.
Escape to the White Town and you face a blend of Tamil and French architecture. Rows of elegantly placed French Quarters and Double Gallery villas with artistic facades define the symbolic architecture of the town. At the nucleus, these French houses emerge as an extension of the innate Tamil architecture with distinct thatched roofed houses, ornamental extended door-entrances and vibrant colours. If you are planning to explore the best of this town and station yourself at the heart of the city center, the White Town is one of the areas to look for the cheapest and the best hotels in Pondicherry.
Exploring the Cultural Amalgamation
Nestled quaintly in this coastal town are the cultural connects that has evolved over time. Pondicherry is a town where not only architectures coincide but also the cultures amalgamate. The Aurobindo Ashram is the spiritual center for Yoga and Meditation Seekers that coexists seamlessly with the Gothic styled Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the neighborhood.
Adjoining the Aurobindo Ashram on one end is the iconic Heritage Town where the 17th Century Varadraja Perumal Temple is located. The temple sports ornate and intricate architecture symbolic of the Hindu culture. On the other end of Aurobindo Temple along the Mission Street is the 300 year old Immaculate Conceptual Cathedral constructed in the iconic Portuguese style.
Riding further down South the City Center, you come across the archaeological ruins of Arikamedu, 4 kms from the capital, which dates back to the Roman Culture. Essentially a coastal fishing village today, Arikamedu was once a trading port and a French colonial town along the banks of Virapattinam River, which further extends into the Bay of Bengal.
And if you are up for some adventure, head for the Thengaithittu Estuary a horse-shoe shaped coastal extension along the Boat Point Fishing Harbour where you can explore the Coromandel Coast with a memorable speed boat cruise. If you are one of those traditional sailors, cast your sails instead and explore the coastal waters on a Sail Boat over a fascinating sunset.
The Foodies Dilemma
For a foodie, traveling to Pondicherry is a dilemma intensified, in a good way of course! They are always overwhelmed with the savoury rich blend of multicultural cuisines; the choice for them is only but difficult. Le Dupleix on the 5, Caserne Street is all Italiano, whereas the Carte Blanche is an epicurean intermingle of French and South Indian tastes- the Creole Cuisine, as they proudly call it.
The excitement only rises as you step into Kasha ki Aasha on the MG Road, a trendy Art Boutique and Café, that takes you on an aromatic journey of rich organic coffee blends served in the backdrop of a traditional art gallery and garment store.
The journey to any city of Tamil Nadu is incomplete without a taste of the Chettinad Cuisine, the Indian Styled Sushi, and the right place to try it out is the Appachi on the MG Road. Entice your taste buds with the vibrant flavors of Chettinad cuisine; they are wholesome, tangy and they do not hurt your belly.
Nightlife begins at ‘Pondy’
Near the Pondy coasts, the nightlife is as vibrant as the day. Pubs and lounges fill up with travelers and the musical instruments hike up the energy levels. The beaches form a perfect setting for an ultimate high.
Alongside the pristine shores of Promenade beach is the L’Aqua a chic bar with a soulful ambiance that is a charm of the upstate White Town. With its delectable selection of cocktails and beer along with side served range of burgers, the place is a charm on the beach-side.
Some places are never found in the first view. They are like those gems that stay hidden until the right eyes find them. Tucked inside the Hotel Atitihi is the rooftop bar Toxic that is akin to its name, in the right sense though! The place accommodates few but serves the choicest of drinks from its racks.
And if you are not one of those who want too much of attention, your encounter with Rendezvous Café Restaurant will be rather a secret one. A rather contemporary and laid back setup, the place is ideal for a relaxed getaway after a hard day’s work.
What’s your unspoken secret about Pondicherry??
P.S. I am writing this post as a part of Cleartrip Blogger Outreach Activity October 2017
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