The fusion of Tamil-French influence in Pondicherry is so dominant that one can easily see the contrast in everything, from lifestyle to pattern of houses, heritage to art and from food habits to mannerism. There is so much that this city can offer, that one may get confused as to what to do here.
So here are 6 things/experiences one should not miss if they are in Pondicherry:
- Traverse through the French Quarter, situated just near the sea, gives you a taste of French Lifestyle. Broad grid pattern roads, colorful houses, red bougainvillea decorated streets and the gentle breeze from the Bay of Bengal makes it a splendid affair. The White Town as it is known by many showcases a marked imprint of cultural assimilation to France. We stayed at this lovely place called The Blue Yonder at Rue Camatchi, run by Gopinath and his team. They are a bunch of wonderful people and great hosts, always ready to help out with anything and everything. You can reach them at 04134502218.
- Tamil Heritage and Market Walk will give you an insight into Pondicherry`s rich architectural traditions. One can see the amalgamation of Franco-Tamil architecture .Explore local eateries, walk around Sunday vegetable market and experience the multitude of smell at the Fish market.
- Cafe by the Bay, sip your orange juice and dig into that pastry. Le Cafe is a 24X7 restaurant facing the Bay of Bengal. Amazing location, they serve good coffee too but don`t experiment with food here. 10/10 for ambiance but only 5/10 of service and food quality. What works for Le Cafe and what makes it a must visit place is its picture perfect frame.
- Experience Auroville and discover an eccentric community based on the ideology of The Mother and her teachings of consciousness. At Auroville the multi-cultural confluence of individual and the collective leads to universal harmony. You can stay there at many homestays and guesthouses or take a day trip for just Rs. 100 with Auto Care Services. Enjoy a heavy lunch at The Solar Kitchen, shop till you drop for souvenirs at Miniature, Kalki, La Boutique d’Auroville, Mira Boutique. Witness the grandeur of Matrimandir which embodies spiritual significance for practitioners of Supermental Yoga.
For any information on Auroville:
Auroville Guest Services:  2622704 firstname.lastname@example.org
Auroville Information Service:  2622239
- For the love of stationary, visit Sri Aurobindo Handmade Paper Factory at 50, S.V. Patel Salai. From textured paper to photo frames, ear rings to pen stands, greeting cards to envolopes, notebooks to wall hangings, you will be spoilt with options. You can also see the process of paper making there.
- Soak up the sun at Paradise Beach, just 7 Kms away from the city, you can hire a cab or simply haggle with autowallah and get a bargain for 300 Rs [to and fro] to the beach. Once you are there take a ferry which will take you to the beach [200 Rs. per person] and enjoy the spotless beauty of the coastline.
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