Ideal Duration : 2-3 days Best Time : October to March
"The French Riviera of the East" Pondicherry Tourism Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and commonly referred as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is a little town tucked away on the south-east coastline of India, and it is a destination that promises travellers sanctity and serenity, in the real sense of the terms. A former French colony, Pondicherry has retained all of its old-world French charms, and despite being miles away from France, the city comes close to giving you a very authentic feel of the French culture and allure. Famous for its brightly painted houses with bougainvillaea laden walls, large boulevards, streets and road signs boasting French names, gothic churches and colonial buildings, serene backwaters and pristine beaches, topped with authentic French cuisine, Pondicherry has a lot to offer. Download Pondicherry PDF Guide > What's Great? Good Beaches. Get a first hand taste of French culture and architecture. Beautiful scenery. Delicious French cuisine. What's not so Great? Communicating with locals could be difficult. Summers can be very humid. For Whom Pondicherry is mainly a city for the explorers. The city gives you the opportunity to explore a French town in India, which is an exciting endeavour in itself. Another highlight of this beautiful city is the beautiful beaches along the Bay of Bengal. These beaches are an amazing place to relax and enjoy. Nightlife in Pondicherry There can be no better explanation of great nightlife described by the streets full of shimmering lights and bang on music. The Pondicherry nightlife awaits with its glitzy streets brimming with the uber nightclubs and beach shacks. You can camp your way to the beaches to take your nightlife experience to the next level and party till the sun hits the sea. Here is a complete guide to theNightlife in Pondicherry What Makes Pondicherry An Amazing Tourist Destination The coastal city is dotted with untouched beaches and beautifully decorated promenades, which are simply perfect for watching a magical sunrise of sunset. Watching the sun rise over the deep blue expanse of the Bay of Bengal is an experience that everyone should have while in Pondicherry. If your idea of a holiday to a place steeped in history and culture is basking in the old-world charm of French colonial buildings and monuments, then taking a Heritage Walk across town is the best bet for you. Organized by the INTAC and Puducherry Tourism Department, the French Heritage Walk, spanning across two kilometres, is the perfect thing to take you back to the old French era. Stroll along French residential villas and Parisian street cafes, or take a visit to some of the town?s most important French monuments ? the French War Memorial, the Old Light House, the Governor?s Residence, the Place de la Rebublique, and the statues of Joan of Arc and Dupleix. The Pondicherry Museum is another place you can visit to get a feel of French architecture at its finest. A holiday in Pondicherry is synonymous with savouring the authentic local cuisine. Pondicherry offers traditional French flavours mingled with local delicacies in mouth-watering dishes. If you find yourself craving for desserts, try the local chocolate mousse and the litchi stew, which are absolutely delicious. The quaint little town has something to offer to adventure seekers as well. Karaikal Beach and Paradise Beach are two of the beaches in Pondicherry that are renowned for their water sports activities such as kayaking, jet skiing, canoeing and backwater sailing. Scuba diving is also organized in Pondicherry, under the supervision of trained instructors, of course. For anyone wanting to experience the best of old-world French history and culture, Pondicherry is the place to be. French Culture and Architecture Pondicherry was a French colony till 1954. Therefore, this city is more like a miniature version of France in India. It gives out colonial, bohemian and serene vibes through its French civilisations. The houses are built in straight lines and are draped wit Bougainvillea. The streets are extremely clean and lined with trees. The people also follow French cultures and talk in French, either with an English accent or a South Indian accent. Itinerary Day 1- Arrive in Pondicherry, and start your vacation by taking a boat ride from Chunnambar river to Paradise beach. There are many activities and water sports to try out at the seaside like boating, kayaking and jet skiing. Explore some of Pondicherry's well-loved restaurants and cafes like La Pasta or Cafe des Arts for dinner to end your first day. Day 2- The second day can be spent exploring the quaint French quarters of Pondicherry. Rent a bicycle and ride through scenic and idle locales, making pit stops to have exotic French cuisine for lunch and visiting the local shopping bazaars. Get a flavour of Pondi's nightlife by spending the evening at the nightclub Asta - The Spirited lounge; great for some beers and other beverages. Day 3- Devote the third day to visit the famous Aurobindo Ashram. Have a calm and peaceful day exploring the Ashram's history and exhibitions, and taking part in the evening samadhi or meditation. Day 4- Pondicherry has much to offer its tourists, it is up to you to choose among its many tempting options! From catching the sunrise and bird watching at Ousteri lake, to spending a relaxed day sunbathing at Serenity beach, or just having a laid-back brunch with pizzas and beer at Cafe Xtasi, the choices are varied. One could also try scuba-diving for a truly magical experience underwater with the marine life and corals, which is organized by Temple Adventures, who offer options for both beginners and experts. Restaurants and Local Food in Pondicherry The food in Pondicherry is outlined with a dominant influence of the French cuisine, especially in its elements and styles. A lot of restaurants serve authentic French food - definitely the best place in India for French cuisine. Some of the popular items here areBaguettes, Croissants, Italian Baked Beans, Stuffed Cabbageand many more. The Union Territory also derives flavours from the neighbouring South Indian states and you can find countless South Indian preparations (especially Tamil) in the city. Read more about Cafes in Pondicherry View 18 Restaurants in Pondicherry >> Oct-Maris the best time to visit Pondicherry Pondicherry is best enjoyed during the months of October to March as the temperature usually ranges between 15 degree to 30 degree Celsius. Summers (April-June) are quite hot and the temperature touches even 40 degree Celsius occasionally. Monsoons (July-September) is also a good time to visit Pondicherry despite the rainfalls. Weather in Pondicherry Loading... Pondicherry in Summer (March - June) Summers in Pondicherry can vary on a day to day basis. Somedays could be pleasant while some extremely hot. The temperature usually ranges between 26 to 42 degrees Celsius. Pondicherry in Monsoon (July - September) Due to proximity to the sea, monsoons bring in quite a lot of humidity. The average temperature ranges between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. Pondicherry in Winter (October - February) Winters in Pondicherry are very pleasant and mild. The temperatures range between 22 to 32 degrees Celsius and it is a very good time to be planning a trip here. Monthly Weather in Pondicherry Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C) January 22 30 February 21 32 March 25 34 April 28 38 May 28 38 June 28 38 July 27 35 August 27 36 September 26 35 October 25 34 November 23 32 December 22 30 Events in Pondicherry Natyanjali Dance Festival, Chidambaram 13th - 17th February During Maha Shivrati, renowned dancers from all over congregate at the ancient Natraja temple at Chidambaram, and perform so as to give offerings to Lord Shiva. Sightseeing at the French War Memorial Throughout the year The French War memorial pays homage to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in World War 1. Every 14th of July the memorial is beautifully illuminated in memory of those brave martyrs.
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