Pondicherry is meant for chilling – even if you do find yourself there in the middle of the sweltering summer months.
Not heeding the well-intended warnings of the locals Sukrit and Arpan who maintain this very informative website on Pondicherry, we took off last week because, well, we just wanted to go somewhere. And enjoyed every bit of the stay, even though the heat was as killing as they had promised.
To do’s when you are in Pondicherry, compiled based on our 5-day stay:
- Do not try hard to find things to do, instead just meander about. You will find things. This is the mantra – the key to enjoying Pondicherry.
- Hire a scooter or a bike, or walk a lot, depending on your stamina and style. We got a scooter, and sandwiched our toddler in between, and all 3 of us had a great time roaming the streets.
- Ideal food for me: South Indian breakfast at one of the many nice restaurants, Thali for lunch, and French food for dinner . South Indian Filter Coffee or cappuccino for the coffee fix. We kept switching from one to the other.
- Go to a antique shop and gawk at the stuff they have raided from old and decaying houses. And of course, visit the ones that are not decaying – the heritage homes that have been restored and are now grand hotels.
- Visit Alliance Francais, and check out the events there. We missed a screening of Sita Sings the Blues because we did not check out their events list .. the cafe there is great too.
- Roam around in Auroville, and visit one of the communities.. not just the visitor’s center and the Matrimandir. There are some good eateries there too. Marvel at how the Aurovilleans ( is that what they call themselves) managed to turn a dry arid plateau into a green zone.
- Check out the boutique leather stores.
- Promenade with everybody else at the Promenade.
- Check out the sunrise over the seas.. this is the East coast, remember?
- Chill in the garden if you have the good fortune to get a room in the Ashram Park Guest House. Do Yoga there in the morning..
List of restaurants to go to:
Ram International, Surguru for South Indian food
Ashram Dining Hall for the experience
Satsanga and La Promenade for a fine dining experience
Cafe 41 for North Indian food
Jubilee for Authentic Bengali food, served in simple surroundings
Hot breads for croissants
Alliance francais cafe and Coffee.com for coffee fix
A more detailed list is on the website I referenced above .