Pondicherry, is a Union Territory of India and was a French Colonial Settlement. You can easily compare it to Goa, but it is less crowded, cleaner and sophisticated. There are less tourists, complete absence of noisy clubs and basic infrastructure. Pondicherry has preserved its French legacy and you will be able to notice many things in common with the French settlement. The ideal time to visit lies between monsoon and winters. It has white sand, green sea and bright sunshine.
If you have a lazy and laid back approach to your holidays, Pondicherry will definitely please you. You can feel the soul of the city, in its streets. Every street is distinct and speaks a different story. Break away from the monotonous glass cubicles and head to this beauty of a place. Pondicherry is considered a very safe place for solo travelers as well. You can take a walk through the French Quarters or the White town and locate various cafes that resemble a lot of France. The White town has retained a European vibe and the roads as well as the grid layouts, have retained their French names. You can rent a bike or take a rickshaw across the city. Here is a list of must visit locations in the city:
1. Paradise Beach:
The Paradise Beach in Pondicherry is pristine, crowd free and can be accessed by a boat. You can take a relaxing dip in the calm, turquoise water of the Bay of Bengal. The beach is also known as the Boat House Beach and Chunnambar Beach. Paradise Beach is the only beach in Pondicherry where you will be required to pay an entry fee.
2. Aurobindo Ashram:
The Ashram attracts maximum tourists to Pondicherry. Founded by Shri Aurobindo, the Ashram has a quiet and cool environment which makes it an ideal destination for those seeking peace and solace.
3. The Promenade/ Beach Road:
This is a beach front stretch of 1.5 kms alongside the French quarters. This stretch is considered to be the pride of Pondicherry. Post 5 pm, the road is closed to traffic and declared a Pedestrian only zone.
Your visit to Pondicherry is incomplete if you leave without visiting Auroville. Famous for the production of incense sticks, handmade paper and essential oils, Auroville is well known across the World. You can visit the Matri Mandir in Auroville, Mantra Pottery and Auroville Bakery.
There is a French War Memorial, Gandhi Statue, Old Lighthouse and many more beaches across Pondicherry. The best way to go around the city is by foot or on a bike. If you have had enough of the crowded Goa beaches or if you are planning a first solo trip, Pondicherry is the place to be. Most visitors easily fall in love with this place. Soak in the sunshine on the white beaches and spend hours at the beautiful French cafés that serve some of the most delicious French pastries.