Planning A Getaway Soon? Try These Top Things To Do In Pondicherry

    For a slice of Europe, closer to home, Pondy has always been our exotic, quick getaway from Chennai. You can go with your fam, squad, bae or even for a relaxing solo trip. A dip in the sea or walk in the lanes of White Town or hogging on those delish treats - the options are endless! To make all this easy to access, we have curated a list of the best things you could do in Pondicherry!

    Take in your fill of chill. 

    Disclaimer: Check with the local authorities of the place before planning a trip. Given the current pandemic, not all tourists spots will be accessible in that place, so plan your trip accordingly. Of course, travel with all safety measures intact. 

    Shopping

    Do some gift shopping in and around Pondy — you can get lovely dresses from Anokhi and there’s even a Hidesign flagship store where you can get leather bags and jackets for some crazy discounts. Yas! If you are on a budget and looking for more discounts, check out Titanic for some export surplus shopping. Also, Mission Street is where you go to stock up on your shopping bags; eco-friendly and sustainable products are aplenty. Do remember to check out Casablanca on Mission Street - they house some beautiful collections from local designers!


    Cycle Tours

    Go on A Wake-Up Pondy Tour and fall in love (with the place, and maybe each other?)! Those who love travel and cycling, sign up, wake up early and cycle on! The tour starts at 7 am. You can hop on to one of their quirky revamped vintage cycles and pedal through the picturesque town and capture the colourful buildings and bustling markets on frame (they have a professional photographer who will be joining you too). If you want to be a free bird and explore the town on your own, you could rent a cycle from bicycle rentals on Mission Street as well or from Pondicherry Tourism Information Centre. 

    Tuck Into Seafood

    Bon Appetit! What’s the point of coming all the way to Pondy without stuffing your face fresh catches of the day, eh? If you don’t mind splurging a bit, the gorgeous Palais de Mahe hotel has a lovely restaurant that serves incredible seafood at the café and speciality coffees that are sourced from the neighbouring Auroville. You can also head to Le Pondy which is located within thatched huts for some peaceful conversations and food. Fish Aurant in Heritage Town is another one of the delights where you can find South Indian seafood variations. 

    Cafes And Desserts

    The rare mix of the Tamilian and French heritage gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to food in Pondy! The little town is filled with multi-cuisine options when it comes to cafes and sinful french desserts. Head to Bread and Chocolate for some freshly baked delights. You can also head to ZUKA Choco-la-te café which offers a range of chocolate-y desserts and more. We loved Kasha Ki Aasha which is a heritage cafe which is only run by women only and has some fluffy pancakes and coffees to try. If you want to try out of French cuisine then La Maison Rose is another place to head to. Click here to find more about the best dessert places! 

    Scuba Diving

    A couple of daredevils, are we now? Take a deep dive into the cool waters of the Arabian Sea and gawk at the incredible marine life down under. Organised by Temple Adventures, they have 20 underwater sites ranging from 12-metres to 50-metre depth. And the best part? We hear you don’t even need to get your own underwater cameras, you can get these guys to take a picture of the two of you swimming in the deep sea. Picture perfect, we think! 

    Auroville

    Hang like a couple of tourists at this little township that is like no other — people from different societal backgrounds, cultures and nationalities practice a peaceful life of sustainable living here. Just a 15 km drive from Pondy, go sight-seeing, visit ashrams, pick up handicrafts and even watch performances like fire shows and plays (most of them are free!) at their auditorium (subject to changes, of course). You can even stay at one of their many cool, budget-friendly homestays for INR 400 per night! Currently, the ashram and Matrimandir are open only to long term guests and volunteers but new guidelines will be released in October. 

    Soak Up The Sun And Sand

    Isn't the best part of it all is the serenity the town provides being surrounded the Bay Of Bengal? The long walks along the Promenade Beach are as dreamy as it can get. You can even wake up a little early to watch the sun come out or if you are lazy, head for a colourfully serene sunset. If you want a quieter place with less crowd then you can head to Maha Beach. Or you can just sit by Rock Beach in the evening with an ice-cream in your hand. It won't disappoint you! 

    Water Sports

    Did you think diving was the only option here? Well, no. It is a beach, what did you expect? You can head to Serenity beach if you want to give surfing a shot. This is the most popular surfing spot where you'd find many amateurs and professionals give waves a hit with their boards. Promenade Beach and the others also offer banana boat ride which starts from about INR 300 onwards. You can also try out Jet Skiing which starts at INR 450 onwards. 

    Boating At Chunnambar River

    The beaches and sands are alright, but did you know about this hidden gem? Pristine waters and greenery on its banks, the Chunnambar River is a place to go for picnics, boat rides and stays up tree houses. The backwater boating will be an ethereal experience. You can give a try to banana boats here or you can go for pedal or motorboats. What is even more special is that you can set up your own tent in the banks of the river and enjoy the peace with a little hustle of birds. 

    Get Spiritual At Aurobindo Ashram

    If you want to find the peace of soul then you must head to Sri Aurobindo Ashram set up in 1926. You can even book a stay here! Offer to do a few a chores and you can even stay for free. Along with the calming and peaceful surroundings, they are mostly known to host various yoga and meditation sessions every now and then. You are always welcome to be a part of it. A little away from the ashram is the Matrimandir which is a known meditation house where people from around the world come to seek peace. Currently, the ashram and Matrimandir are open only to long term guests and volunteers but new guidelines will be released in October. 

    Visit Ancient French Churches

    Pondy has some of the most beautiful churches in the South. One of the must visit churches in the town would be the Dumas Church on Rue Dumas. This happens to be the only church in town to conduct mass in French. The tiny, peaceful lanes at the French Quarter and the vintage design, gives us a feeling of being in an old town in France! Churches in Pondicherry are magical and filled with history.

    Stay In An Ancient French Building

    White Town and most of the French Quarter is filled with colourful, ancient buildings. It's lucky for us, because most of them are hotels! Check into places like Dune Mansion Enclave or the Hotel De L'Orient on Rue Romain Rolland, to experience vintage architectures, furniture and baths. Spoil yourself with the best food and simply chill in a stone bathtub, filled with bubbly warm water and a glass of wine. Now, that's what we're talking about.