Pondicherry, or “Pondy” as affectionately she’s called, have been at the top of queue, when it came to deciding quick vacations for me. It beat Alleppey boat house, and Hyderabad Film city with a narrow margin and shorter distance . She was closer to Chennai and more attractive to me than any other spot since that would give me more distance to drive my car – yea what a silly reason but that was it. For those of you who didn’t know, I’m an enthusiast of long distance drives.
So yea, Pondy was like a quick visit, short distance, small place, shorter roads, small beach, less crowd and lot of free space. I somehow couldn’t understand the Pondicherry tourism tagline – Give time a break ! Well, I did give time a break, but it should’ve been a short break.
To be honest, Pondy is not the place to be if you are looking for fascination, or adventures and big surprises. It’s a small clean and cute place with lot of space, good people, a different culture, a good beach, well kept roads, some traffic, some sun and a taste of goa ! Yea, everything is so miniature about it, yet so nice.
The roads at Pondy are very narrow and half part of it is covered by two wheeler parking.
Three things I noticed at Pondy were cycles, people wearing trousers and foreigners (more towards the middle/old aged).
There are not lot of places to see but a few quick visits to Aurobindo Ashram, Museum and the nearby places is a good choice. The only place you have to visit for sure is the Matri Mandir. Make sure that you book for the inside entry if you want one. Or else you’ll have to see it from a distance and get the hell out of there for the scorching sun!
Where to stay in Pondicherry?
There are lot of cheap places available there and you can get everyone who visited Pondy saying that there are shared accommodation and paying guests too available.
But my recommendation is, if you want to enjoy the beach and after a quick run through the place and chill out with some beer , there’s this superb hotel called the Promenade at the beach. What’s so special about it?
It faces the sea. Take Room No.17 on the first floor and you’ll have extra large full size windows opening to the beach and you have the sunrise, moonlight and all that scenery right from your bed. Believe me the hotel was just awesome, just for it’s scenic beauty.
Regarding the cost, it’s a bit on the higher side, but worth it , I’d say. Per day it’s INR 6,000 with axes, oops taxes. And you get access to the pool, a complimentary breakfast, alchohol supply (not cheap better buy it from outside) and some massage parlour access.
Overall, what I felt is that Pondy is the place for people who wants to run away from the crowd, have a little break, and settle back in the beach (may be in the Promenade facing sea) with some beer and chill out the day..but also keep in mind this is definitely not Goa !