Published: March 28th 2009March 28th 2009
Pondicherry one of the locations, i wanted to go from years. One of the attractive tourist locations in India. I was wondering what would be driving so many tourists to that place all these years. You want to holiday with all the peace in the world, Pondy is the perfect place in India. Not too many people crowding behind you to do marketing, not too many strange eyes gazing your movements lets you live your holiday with your peace of mind.
This Union Territory is in the east sea shores of Southern India. An heritage city as far as tourism in India concerned. Pondicherry has other names like Pondy, Puducherry.
How to Reach pondy
Nearest Big Cities to Pondicherry are Chennai & Bangalore. Both these cities have international airports.
From Chennai international airport pondy is around 180Kms away. You can reach pondy from chennai either by road or train. I would say prefer road. It is very well built & managed road. You would cruise in 70mph.
The next best city you can land to reach Pondy is Bangalore. Bangalore to Pondy is 320Kms. The first 100Kms of the road is beautiful. You can steam your
La Dupleix Hotel
car, however the next 200Kms is not so good. Maximum you can in 50mph in the later part of the road, however this a lonely road. Not much traffic after first 100Kms.
How many days in Pondy
Pondy can be covered in 2 days. There are not much attractions in Pondy. There are couple of other historical places like Mahabaleshwaram, which is 80Kms away from Pondy. As i said earlier Pondy is a place where you go & relax. It has less hassles & less busier tourist place than other locations. Ideal number of days you can spend in pondy would be 4 to 5.
When you should go
December to February is the season. Lot of tourists pour in. The temperature in the city would be around 35degrees centrigrade & less humid.
March to May is very hot & humid. You will get roasted, temperature would go up to 40-42 & it will be very very humid. However less crowd.
June to September would monsoon season & there would be lot of depressions expected during this period.
My suggestion would be October & November months are the most apt times you
Promenade Walk in the Evening
can make it. Not too many toursist, not too much heat & no cyclones.
Where you should Stay
Ofcourse in French Colony. Dont compromise on this :). This part of the pondy is very beautiful. Lanes & side roads are really maintained beautifully. Very calm part of the city. Lot of heritage hotels & lot of old french houses. You can see lot of foreigners landing into this part of town. You will have lot of continental hotels, small coffee shops, which serve food most suited if you are a foreigner. I will list some of the heritage hotels for your information. There are heritage houses run by foreigners who rent out as guest houses. Per day rent for the rooms in these houses would vary from $50 to $150.
It is easy to find the hotels in french colony, all roads are designed in parallel. All the good hotels & international guest houses are nearer to each other. Rents in all these hotels can be negotiated. Do not negotiate just for breakfast. The breakfasts are very little for the money you compensate.
Some of the prominent hotels in the Pondicherry are,
1. The Promenade --
Italian Ice Cream parlour
Ice Cream parlour at beach street
If you are looking for luxury this is the hotel. The rent would start from $100 & it can go up to $200. The promenade hotel is in the beach street facing the sea.
2. La Dupleix -- It is a heritage stay in pondy. One of the old french houses has been redesigned to accomodate the guests. Rooms are really very good. The luxury rooms & suites are also available here. The rent would start from $70 & can go up to $200 (for suites). The ambience is very good & food is also good.
3. Coloniale Heritage
-- Run by a french family. It is an house accomodating the guests. It has around 5 rooms. The rent would vary from $40 to $100. I have stayed in this place. Very calm people. Though there is a complimentary breakfast, it is not a great food. Calm place & good to sleep with all peace in the world. No TV. But all the rooms have AC.
4. International Guest House -- It is in the same street as Coloniale heritage. The rent varies from $3 to $6 per day. However no TV or entertainement in this guest
Vinayaka Temple in French Colony
house. This is run by aurobindo ashram & they will give accomodation to the visitors of ashram. Hence you better claim that you are visiting the ashram & just not tourist. You need to contact for bookings in the ashram well before, atleast 2-3 weeks minimum. You can find the list of other guest houses run by ashram in the below link. Ashram Guest Houses List
Some of the other good hotels in the colony are, La Maison
, Villa Helena
. You can contact these hotels directly instead of going through travel agents. You can find phone numbers in the web.
No problem for food in pondy. French colony has lot of resturants, which serve Continental, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian. If you are looking for Indian food,
Anand Bhavan is good hotel. Rendezvous serves realy veggie food. There is one veg resturant in the beach street, but not lot of varities. There is one Italian Soft ice cream joint in the beach street & you can eat good ice creams here.
la cafe in the beach street is good eat out place. The omlet is really yummy here, but priced
for foreign tourists though
. If you are looking for some south indian good food, you better try in other part of the Pondy. There is a sarvana bhavan near MG road & lot of other local resturants, who can feed you good meals in less than a $. Most of the resturants serve both veg & non-veg food.
Places to See
Some of the main attractions in Pondy to see are,
1. Botanical Garden near Raj Bhavan
2. Shri Aurobindo Ashram
3. Promenade - A walk in the evening will be fantastic.
4. Alliance Francais - Institute where french is taught & they really have beautiful buildings. You can meet lot of good french people too.
5. Vinayaka Temple - Very beautiful & big temple. Very Near to Aurobindo Ashram
You have to find the passes from Autocare of Ashram. They will take you to auroville in their transport. The auroville is around 18Kms away from pondy.
People in Pondy
Lot of Foreign Toursists to be seen. Lot of french families, Expats holidaying. Some of the most beautiful foreign faces are seen here. They are all calm, happy & easy going people. Locals are very friendly as well.
Good food to eat & good place to relax.
You would need around $50-$70 per day including the stay, food & travel to have above average holiday.
Weather is really hot & humid , hence decide on the period of year.
You will have free internet (wi-fi) access in most of the above stays i mentioned.
You do have good number of international banks including CITIBANK, HSBC. You have Thomas cook as well for currency exchange.
All in all, Have Your Life Man, it can be spent good here.