Pondicherry or Pondy (as it is affectionately called) is a little French town in the Indian Union Territory, Pondicherry. The town has a huge influence of French architecture and culture that is reflected throughout the city. It is often called “The French Riviera of the East.” Pondy is thus a splendid amalgamation of South Indian and French culture along with a hint of Dutch, Portuguese and British elements. Situated alongside the Bay of Bengal, Pondy has a few stunning beaches with a wide range of water sports activities for the adventurous soul. Pondy is home to the highly esteemed Sri Aurobindo Ashram and hence is a popular spiritual retreat.
From sun-bathed delightful beaches to exquisite French monuments and a platter full of mouth-watering cuisines, Pondy is where you need to be to experience pure bliss! And to visit it with your better half as a yet another new experience. Here’s what you need to check out while you’re here!
1) Promenade Beach
An infinite stretch of blue water with sparkling white sand like a silver lining is just how breathtakingly beautiful is the Promenade beach! It is the perfect place to visit if you’re on your honeymoon. There is certainly nothing better to walk around the beach hand in hand with the love of your life. Many more tourist attractions are nearby including magnificent statues of Joan of Arc and Mahatama Gandhi. An old lighthouse, a War memorial and a heritage town hall some other major attractions.
The city of dawn or Auroville was established as a Universal Town with the concept of bringing the world together irrespective or caste, colour, religion, gender or nationality. Designed by the famous architect Roger Anger, Auroville promotes harmony in unity and is a must visit! A major attraction of the Matrimandir situated in the heart of the city that is beautifully decorated in golden hue and an exquisite design that will take your breath away! The temple is where one can go and practice the art of introspection in such silence that engulfs you in peace.
3) Chunnambar Backwater
Chunnambar Backwater is located approximately 8 km from Pondicherry and is an ideal destination for those wanting to enjoy some beach sports! Situated along the Plage Paradise beach, the Chunnambar Backwaters is a great picnic spot where you can spend time with your loved ones. As the pristine water filters sunlight, the sunset is a something to watch out for. There are many beach resorts and restaurants located nearby and on the beach equipped with facilities and delicious food.
4) Immaculate Conception Cathedral
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the oldest church in Pondicherry and was built 300 years ago. It is a cathedral for the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. The land on which this beautiful church now stands tall was earlier home to three other churches that were built before the French occupation. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral was finally built here in 1791 and portrays some magnificent elements of French architecture.
5) Ousteri Wetland and National Park
The Ousteri Wetland and National Park lies 10 km away from the city on the Pondicherry-Villupparam road and is home to an immense variety of exotic aqua-fauna and migratory birds. The place offers a great way to connect with nature and wildlife and to do so with your partner is a refreshing experience! Migratory birds are a major attraction during the month of December. This place has become a major tourist attraction because of the houseboat services offered here
Megan Eileen McDonough
Megan Eileen McDonough is a New York City-based freelance writer the founder of Bohemian Trails, a blog covering global lifestyle trends for the savvy and stylish traveler. Her cultural escapades have taken her to Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and across the United States. Megan’s work has appeared on Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, US Airways and USA Today among others.