It was around the start of December. Almost everyone I know was planning for the New Year Bash. I had no plan but I wanted to do something different rather than attending house parties. While all this was happening. I stumbled upon this TEDx video where a solo traveller – ‘Tomislav Perko’ shared his experiences about travelling and how it changed him and his perspective towards life.
This video acted as a catalyst in bringing my dormant desire of travelling to life. I started googling and reading blogs about various travel destinations.
Finally, I chose Pondicherry as the destination due to my inclination towards the French – Their culture, music, food amused me. All this was enough to choose the French Colony as my travel goal.
After a lot of research. I came to know that there was no direct flight to Pondicherry from New Delhi. One has to fly down to Chennai and then take a Taxi or a Bus to Pondy.
My excitement about the trip made few do few mistakes. I guess that’s how one learns. To save some cash I took a connecting flight (New Delhi – Hyderabad – Chennai). Not realizing, I may not get a Bus or Taxi from Chennai to Pondy in the evening.
I boarded the flight at 10 AM from New Delhi. Reached Hyderabad around 12 noon. And then, there was a long halt as the next flight was scheduled for 4.30 PM. During this time, I roamed around the airport doing window shopping. Once my body was done, I had lunch and then dozed off.
My slumber broke on hearing my name, again and again from the announcement desk. I got up and started running towards the boarding gate. Eventually, I boarded the flight and reached Chennai in an hour. It was almost 7 PM by the time I was out of the airport.
Now there was a bigger problem. It was dark. And, there were no direct buses from Chennai airport to Pondicherry. So, reluctantly I had to book a taxi which costed me 3500 Rs. including all the taxes. After 2.5 hours journey, I finally reached Pondy.
Few tips for the fellow travelers:
(a) If you are flying to Chennai from a distant location like New Delhi. I would suggest booking the flight a month or two prior to your travel. This would cut down some travel expenses. You can book flights through websites like www.skyscanner.com or www.google.com/flights. I received some great discounts from these websites in recent past.
(b) Do not book flights that land in Chennai in the evening hours you may not get a bus at that hour and taxi would be an expensive option.
(c) Have a prior bus or taxi booking for Chennai to Pondy. Also, make sure that you have enough time to reach the Bus pickup point as most of the boarding points are far from the airport. You can use websites like www.paytm.com, www.redbus.com or www.makemytrip.com for bus bookings.
Note: Taxi would be an expensive choice
(d) Contact your Bus Operator beforehand. I had a bad experience with the Bus operators in Pondy while I was returning to Chennai. I was expecting the Bus to depart at the scheduled time but when I called the operator for the pickup location. They told me that the Bus to Chennai was cancelled.
Beach Side Hut – My Home In Pondy
Want to stay at this amazing guesthouse for FREE. Just do the following
(a) Register yourself to the booking website using this link.
(b) Once you have the registration complete. Fill in my contact form with your details and I’ll share the contact details and a ‘Name of the Stay’
And, it does not end here. You get ₹2,200 ($30) in your account which you can redeem to stay at these beautiful Beach Side Huts.
The ‘Auroville’ guesthouse by the beach’ is on the outskirts of Pondicherry. I was staying in this hut, from which I got this incredible view of the sea. It was a total bliss to sleep to the sound of waves. I wanted someplace near the beach but this proximity was better than I expected.
This location was the most picturesque sea facing experience I have ever had. The restful mood of the guest house submerged me in thoughts of heartfulness.
Places to visit in Pondicherry
Below I list the best places to visit in Pondicherry. These places made my trip memorable, enjoyable and affordable. I hope you take the best out of these and create amazing memories.
(a) Le Café
This is a 24-hour operational cafe beside the Rock Beach. Le Café has an amazing ambiance. One gets a great coffee experience while enjoying the scenic beauty of the beach. The prices are almost similar to café’s like CCD and Barista but the aura is worth the price.
(b) H2K Eating Joint
If you want to have a decent South Indian breakfast/dinner at a dirt cheap place. This is the place. H2K Restaurant is located opposite to the Public Transport Office in White Town. And every dish has low price.
(c) Artika Café Gallery
This courtyard Café has a modish disintegrated aura that takes you back in time. Here, you can find a variety of dishes worth trying. Visit this place for an awesome breakfast and an evening bite.
(d) Auroville Township
(e) Paradise Beach
Among all the beaches I’ve been to in Pondy. I found Paradise Beach as the most perplexing seaside. This beach is less crowded and uncontaminated. Probably because one has to take a boat ride to reach this delightful destination. The beach is isolated from the mainland by Chunnambar backwaters. To reach Paradise Beach, you would have to take a boat ride from Chunnambaro. Believe me, the boat ride is worth the price.
Operating Hours: 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Boat Ride Price – 250 Rs. per person
Note: I would strongly recommend taking your own food and water. Because once you are on the island there is not much to choose from other than purchasing at a higher price.
(f) A La Villa Créole
This French quarter has its own charm. It is the perfect spot in Pondy from where most of the sites are easily accessible. Places like Rock Beach, Le Café, H2K Eating Joint, Artika Café Gallery, etc. are at a walkable distance from it. They have a bar which is open until late hours for the guests. Caretaker Ranjith is very considerate, even their chef Das is cordial, friendly person. Food is absolutely amazing, not inexpensive but worth the price.
Note: There are 2 rooms in the villa, one is fairly bigger and expensive than the other. So, you can opt for the smaller one to save some money.
(g) Rock Beach
I stayed in ‘A La Villa Créole’ for few days which gave me the advantage to visit the Rock Beach at early hours of the day. I enjoy walking on this beach in the mornings. This spot gets notably crowded during the afternoon, especially in the evening. If you are a day person then you can walk around the street that runs parallel to the Rock Beach, offering best of the restaurants and hotels most sea facing. You can relate this beach to Mumbai’s Marine Drive. It is one of the cleanest beaches in Pondy filled with Black Rocks. There are other attractions close by Rock Beach like the Pondicherry Museum, the Gandhi Mandapam or the Gandhi Statue, Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, etc.
(h) Serenity Beach
This beach is in Auroville about 20 minutes from Pondicherry. I did not find this beach very engaging as it was very congested and was littered. However, there was a rocky part of the beach where one could sit and gaze out into the sea.
Au Revoir Pondicherry!