ITINERARY OF BEST TOURIST PLACES IN PONDICHERRY UNDER 8 HOURS! INCREDIBLE INDIA!
I had been on a solo, budget trip to Pondicherry aka Puddhucherry in 2010. In fact, that was my first solo trip ever. In March 2017, I returned to Pondy, as it is lovingly called, in the capacity of a travel blogger.
On invitation by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), I explored Pondy again, albeit for a few hours. My last solo trip to Pondicherry was 2 days long, on the day of Indian festival Holi. It was a wonderful soul satisfying trip and inspired a travel dream in me which is in its 10th year right now.
It was amusing to return to Pondicherry, this time on a luxurious trip. As we were pampered through the 7 nights and 8 days aboard the Golden Chariot, I realized how much travel has changed for me in a decade. Pondy however, remained more or less the way I saw it 10 years ago.
I started the Pondy journey along with other travel bloggers and real guests aboard the luxury train at Matri Mandir in Auroville.
Here is the itinerary of the best of tourist places in Pondicherry in under 8 hours!
11:00 a.m.- AUROVILLE AND MATRI MANDIR, PONDICHERRY
Our first stop was Auroville. The sprawling landscape buzzed with activity as we passed devotees, curious foreigners on bicycles and general domestic and international tourists. We managed to see the short film on the Ashram in the auditorium and also walked upto the Matri Mandir. Surrounded by well manicured gardens, the unique architecture of Matri Mandir stood out. We spent around 2 hours here which included a visit to the café and shop area and loo break.
2: 00 p.m.- LUNCH AT PONDICHERRY PROMENADE HOTEL
We arrived at the Pondicherry promenade just in time for lunch. Just 15 kilometers (around 40 minutes) away from Auroville, the promenade is the most popular attraction of Pondicherry. We had our lunch at the Promenade Pondicherry which is located in the heart of French Pondicherry and bang opposite the promenade. I particularly liked the mezze platter from their buffet. Rest of the food was passable. For a 5 star property I expected better. Of course I am a vegetarian so that limits my options. But I love restaurants which value its vegetarian guests as much as the carnivorous variety.
3:00 p.m. –SRI AURBINDO ASHRAM AND THE FRENCH QUARTERS OF PONDICHERRY
We spent the next 2.5 hours exploring the French quarters of Pondicherry. Starting from the Bharathi Park, which is right behind the Promenade Pondicherry Hotel, we arrived at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in one of the quaint streets of French Pondicherry. It’s a great place to meditate but since we had less time on hand all we could manage was a quick visit.
4:30 p.m.: MANAKULA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE, PONDICHERRY
Next on our agenda was ManakulaVinayagar Temple. It is a very popular temple. I spent some time here admiring the superb interiors of the temple. The next one hour was spent in leisurely strolling around the colorful streets on Pondicherry, often posing in front of the colorful walls of the homes of old French quarters. One of our friends almost bought the colorful Thanjavur dolls which a woman was selling on the streets!
5: 30 p.m.- EVENING BY THE BREEZY PROMENADE OF PONDICHERRY!
After finishing visiting the French quarters of Pondicherry in a loop, it was time for us to enjoy the evening breeze by the long promenade of Pondicherry. The itinerary by the Golden Chariot team was designed intelligently. As you read above, the noon was spent in the leafy shades of the French Pondicherry, the evening was reserved for a stroll by the beach. It made our brief visit to Pondicherry pleasant. (and saved ourselves from harsh sun)
We posed in front of the famous Mahatma Gandhi Statue on the beach road of Pondicherry and walked on the sandy promenade. Still too full from a heavy lunch, we suppressed the temptation to binge eat the street food sold on carts.
We ended the day, by spending some quality time on the rocks, allowing the evening breeze to slap our faces gently. I switched off my mind from the chatter briefly, stared at the blue sea and promised myself that I will returned to my beloved Pondicherry and spend at least 2 days somewhere in future.
HOW TO REACH PONDICHERRY:
Railway: Pondicherry has a well connected railway station. It is one of the stops of the only luxury train of South India, the Golden Chariot.
Flight: Pondicherry has an airport too. Check out the flight tickets to Pondicherry here.
WHERE TO STAY IN PONDICHERRY
Pondicherry has hotels in all budgets. Do check out these hotels in Pondicherry for some of the finest places to stay.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PONDICHERRY
Pondicherry can be very humid like other states of South India. However, the best time to visit Pondicherry is winter.
Winters in Pondicherry is from October to March – Pleasant and best time to visit Pondicherry.
Summers in Pondicherry is from April to June- Avoid this season as it’s hot and humid. Temperatures can soar upto 40 degree Celsius.
Monsoon in Pondicherry is from July to September- It’s rainy season. Personally, I enjoy traveling in rains. The rains in Pondy are sporadic.
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