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Offbeat India - 10 Things To Do In Pondicherry - All About TravellingAll About Travelling
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Offbeat India – 10 Things To Do In Pondicherry

Jul, 28 || No Comments | Tags:
things to do in Pondicherry

Bokeh patterns on roads. Colourful dusks. Meteor shower. Coffee on the beach. The Milky Way sprawling in the night sky. Cane mats. Hot chocolate. Moonrise.

 

The air. The waves. The streets.

 

The place that seems so far away from everything.

 

Bicycling through French Pondicherry with a baguette tucked into a tiny basket, spending days watching birds fly alongside colourful wind surfers while enjoying a popsicle, reading in quaint bistros and bakeries while your ordered marshmallows are being freshly made, is just a little glimpse of what Pondicherry awaits for every relaxed traveller.

 

things to do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry’s relaxed vibe is perfect

 

It was the first time I was ever in Pondicherry. In fact, it was the first time I was travelling to some place in India without being greeted by relatives and swamped with premade to-do lists they’d made. I reached pretty late in the evening after a rather tiresome road trip all the way from Pune – because only a fake traveller takes a flight and saves time, I told myself. I regretted saying that three minutes into the road trip – and the last decent meal I had was a chocolate chip cookie. I had grand plans for dinner but I who was I kidding? I looked like a train wreck and my legs couldn’t move after being forced not to move for over 12 hours. I decided to find a quick bite to eat before my sleep won and I passed out on the road back to my room.

 

A walk didn’t really help me understand the place immediately at all – I was almost crawling, my legs were lead – but I found the most lovely bakery selling fresh marshmallows by the basket and after inhaling about a dozen of those, the grand dinner plans were back in action. I had read about this café right on the beach off the main road, three minutes away from the bakery and decided that was the only place for tonight.

 

The sun had set a couple of hours ago and a charming humble Le Café right on the beach off the road on the rocks, warmed me up with the biggest cup of filter coffee you would ever see. I was sitting outside on the porch of the café, watching the waves roll in quietly on what could only be one of the stillest nights I have ever experienced. I was just about to get done with my chicken and thought I would walk back for another marshmallow basket when suddenly I saw it. A hazy bright white light dancing over the water’s edge on the horizon. It took me a while to grasp what was happening because I had never known this to exist. The moon had started to rise. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the moon enough, till that night, till it rose from the water. That feeling still fills my heart every time I think about it, that feeling everyone at Le Café felt that night quietly, and by themselves.

 

things to do in Pondicherry

Sunset in Pondicherry

 

That night I fell in love with Pondicherry. And I cannot wait for the day I get to go back and sip my filter coffee while watching the moon rise from the horizon every night and bicycle around the streets finding the most beautiful coloured houses elegantly enveloped by the brighter bougainvillea creepers every day.

 

If you’re ever in Pondicherry, there’s where you should go for your first meal. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

10 Places You Shouldn’t Miss When You’re In Pondicherry (Apart from Le Café)

1. Surguru – The South Indian food is unbelievably delectable. The idlis melt in your mouth.
2. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram – I worked here for a month. Their teachings are inspiring to say the least.
3. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges – The peach and lemon church stands pretty in the evening pastel glow.
4. Paradise Beach – Take a boat across the backwaters to reach the beach, now who knew?!
5. Serenity Beach – The name says it.
6. The Golden Globe, Auroville – Touristy, yes. But a definite to do. (You need two days for this. And bookings that can be made a day in advance when you’re in Auroville itself.) Also while you’re at it, explore Auroville. There’s no other place in India quite like it. A friend told me how she went to visit a friend in a community center that that girl was staying in for a while, she called out to her friend to come see her, and he popped his head out of his tree house that he lives in everyday that he built himself and told her he’ll be down after he gets done sowing a new shirt. Never seen that before, I bet. And I found the loveliest bakeries. So Auroville is a must.
7. Daily Bread and the many bakeries surrounding it on the same street for the fresh marshmallows and the different flavours that you wouldn’t know could be bread that would make you reconsider shifting there.
8. The Rendezvous Café.
9. Café de Flore – The Alliance Francaise café, al fresco, quintessential mango coloured walls and wrought iron twirly furniture set on a pretty manicured lawn. Need I say more?
10. Don Giovanni’s and Giorgio’s Pizza – Italian, if you feel like you need a change from all those South Indian restaurants and patisseries

 

things to do in Pondicherry

Mango coloured walls and fuchsia flowers – Pondicherry is a photographer’s paradise

 

Do you enjoy Offbeat experiences? Don’t forget to read our article on the world’s most unusual hotels 🙂

 

Are you a foodie too? Read our drool-worthy section of Food and Cooking from around the world.

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