Pondicherry, a quaint coastal town in Southern part of India, showcases a perfect blend of different cultures. Former French colony in India, Pondicherry is globally renowned for spiritual philosophy, which promotes universal unity and harmonious way of living.
Every year tourist from across the world visit Pondicherry for spiritual enlightenment. In addition to spirituality, Pondicherry has much more to offer. From beautiful beaches to impressive French quarters, Local shopping to exploring a variety of Cafes. Union territory of Pondicherry is like no other destination in India. Check out the best places to visit in Pondicherry by clicking this link.
Given its proximity, Pondicherry is a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore and Chennai. A quick and relaxing short trip to this blissful destination is rejuvenating experience for solo as well as family trip.
Over the years, we have visited Pondicherry many times specially during long weekends. In this article I am sharing an Itinerary for 1 day trip to Pondicherry. Follow this itinerary to enjoy the true essence of the city leisurely without pressure of ticking checklists and rushing from one spot to another.
How to reach Pondicherry
The best way to reach Pondicherry from Bangalore or Chennai is by Car. Frequent buses are also available from both the cities. Pondicherry also has an Airport and Railway station.
Best time to visit Pondicherry
October to March is an ideal time to visit Pondicherry when weather is comparatively pleasant. Although this is the peak tourist season and you may expect a lot of crowd. We visited Pondicherry in August, weather was pleasant and cloudy.
Best Places /Area to Stay in Pondicherry
Staying close to beaches or popular hangouts is always convenient. Pondicherry offers a range of stay options right from home stays to luxury Hotels.
I suggest, either explore French quarters/White town near Rocky beach or stay at one of the beach resorts in ECR road. During our two visits, we experienced both the options. Check out 18th Century mansion, we stayed during our first visit. If you are visiting with kids, it’s better to find a good beach resort.
1 day itinerary to Pondicherry – Soak yourself in blissful atmosphere of Pondicherry.
Check into the hotel
Depending upon arrival time, you can relax or enjoy pool time. If you are staying in a beach resort, a quick beach visit is a good idea. During our recent trip to Pondicherry, we stayed at Ashok Beach resort, on ECR Road.
Lunch at Tanto Pizzeria
For those who love Italian cuisine, Tanto Pizzeria, near Auroville is a good option. Enjoy sumptuous Italian meal while relaxing under big banyan trees. They bake amazing thin crust pizza’s and many other delicacies. Tanto is an open-air restaurant, which might be uncomfortable during sultry and humid weather. Also expect a longer wait time and not so great service during peak season or long weekends.
Head straight to Auroville, one of the most popular spots in Pondicherry which attracts many foreign as well as Indian tourist every year. Auroville is an experimental township which promotes human unity through peaceful and spiritual living.
Divided into different areas, Peace area at the Centre of Auroville houses golden dome-shaped Matrimandir and its beautiful green garden. Matrimandir is the major attraction in Auroville. The amphitheater with the Urn of Human Unity contains soil from 121 nations and 23 Indian states. Although everybody is not allowed inside the matrimandir, as it’s a place for meditation. Apart from this, check out Auroville boutique for unique and creative items. I loved particularly silver jewelry.
Shopping at Pondicherry
Stop by at Street stalls right outside Auroville, selling some beautiful fairytale lights, candles and other wooden items. You can also find many small shops on the way to Auroville where you can pick up wooden products like coasters, wall hangings etc.
Pondicherry also happens to be, the manufacturing place for Hidesign bags. The factory outlet in JN Street, offers a good collection of hand bags at discounted price.
Explore The white town, Rocky beach & Promenade in the evening
Next destination is Rocky beach & Promenade, one of the most popular hangouts and center of tourist activities in Pondicherry. This area encompasses the famous French colony also known as white town, Aurobindo Ashram, MG Road which has many administrative offices, some of the plush resorts, hotel and popular eating joints.
Travel back in time while walking on the streets lined with white and yellow French style colonial houses, many of them are now restaurants, hotels or boutiques. A walk-through Promenade is also a rewarding experience.
Enjoy the Breeze and Coffee by the sea
Soak yourself in tranquility with soothing sound of waves hitting the shore and cool Sea breeze. Choose one of the many restaurants lined around Rocky beach and enjoy the view along with refreshing coffee.
Dinner at Promenade by Hidesign
White town has many dining options, a variety of restaurants offering cuisines from different parts of the world. Choose a place as per your liking. During our recent trip, we visited The Blue line restaurant at Promenade Hotel by Hidesign. Restaurant offers French, Italian, Indian cuisine including Seafood and an array of drinks. This restaurant remains open 24 hours, so you can walk in any time for a quick snack or sumptuous meal. Food was good, but service was slow with long waiting time.
Sunrise at the Beach
Watching Sunrise in Pondicherry is one activity that you should not miss. Whether you are staying at White town or on ECR Road, walk to the nearest beach and enjoy the magnificent sunrise with small fishing boats dotting the sea. It’s just a picture-perfect view.
Visit Aurobindo Ashram
If you are staying in White town do visit Aurobindo Ashram. Ashram remains open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
There are many other places to explore in Pondicherry if you have more time to stay. Do share your favorite hangouts in Pondicherry!
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