Escaping into the French Colony – Pondicherry

The best things happen when you don’t see it coming.

In a WhatsApp chat of hodophiles, you see only plans which of course rarely happens! Why? (Because mummy ghar pe nahi chodegi / Mera kaam hai yar!) And this time it was to visit Pondicherry- the French quarters. So did anyone backout? Of course no! Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here writing the story. We just got lucky enough to make this trip happen.

We were a group of 7 people and the very first thing we did was to book our flight tickets from Bhubaneswar to Chennai. A solid assurance that everyone was going). We had a 3-day itinerary and our hotel was booked at a stone’s throw to Serenity beach where all the major tourist attractions were nearby.

After reaching the Chennai Airport (also known as Silent Airport because of no flight announcements) we booked two taxis for a 4-hour drive to Pondicherry. The road trip was a memorable one with all our chit chats and waves of laughter including the fact that we had to listen to Tamil songs throughout our journey which we hardly understood. It was already dark when we reached our destination. The hotel staff were amiable and our stay was super comfortable and convenient.

The next day we hired rental scooters and were all set to explore the town. After having an astounding French breakfast in Cafe des arts which reflected breathtaking vintage decor, we headed towards the Rock beach. We spent our evening by the spectacular seashore enjoying the cool breeze. The place was very lively with a 24*7 cafe where we had scrumptious delicacies at 2.A.M. What’s Pondicherry without a super cool nightlife? We visited the Asian House Club and tapped our toes on the French and English music which was quite splendid. (Make sure you are above to above 18 years to enter the club).

We also made a plan to visit Paradise Beach. The only way to access the beach is to cross the river on the boat. So we bought our tickets and went on a bumpy enjoyable ride to our destination capturing beautiful pictures of the mangrove forest surrounding it. The beach looked mesmerizing equipped with several cafes. We played volleyball as the setting sun painted the sky with its orange tint.

The Pondicherry market quite surprised us. It was great for shopping and we absolutely loved its vibrancy and variety. We hopped around popular restaurants for finger-licking food and one among them was the unforgettable wooden pizza at the Cafe Xtacy to satisfy our hungry bellies.

Our trip ended with a visit to Auroville which is situated on the outskirts of the town. Auroville is popularly known for its concept where people from anywhere in the world can live peacefully with no rules and no government. We visited Sri Aurobindo ashram and walked a few miles to reach Matri mandir. Inside it was a different experience where you escape into the unparallel world and silence to cherish. One needs to book their meditation session a day prior.

A trip to Pondicherry should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list to enjoy and experience the rich heritage of the French quarters. From food to beaches to club, it has everything one can ask for. It does not matter how you plan your trip, escaping long enough to see how wondrous life is all that matters.

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