Pondicherry or Puducheri is a quaint little laid back town in India. The most beautiful thing about it is it’s architecture and the mixed culture due to it being a dutch colony. What really irked me to visit Pondicherry are the stories I heard from a friend that, many restaurants are open only to foreigners and do not entertain Indians! That’s unbelievable, I mean Pondicherry is an Indian Union Territory, isn’t it?
Anyway, during my 3 day trip, I went to a lot of places and restaurants but did not come across any such discrimination. Frankly, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to this adventure in this quiet sleepy little town. Here are the tips and places to go to and things to do:
1. A weekend trip to Pondicherry is more than enough. Do not try and extend it, you’ll get bored unless you’re planning to stay indoors, sleeping or watching TV.
2. As soon as you put your bags down in your hotel, hire a scooter or a bike. Ask the hotel receptionist for guidance.
3. Enjoy the stroll. Walk down the town if you don’t have your bike yet.
4. Try the Jackfruit as a fruit if you haven’t yet! It’s a popular street food in Pondicherrry and many other south Indian towns.
5. Visit the main market street for some shopping, I bought a pair of silver cupid earrings that I get complimented a lot for. One holds an arrow, the other holds a heart :p
6. Relax at the restaurant right next to the beach and sip on a coffee or munch on the sweet offerings in the evenings. It is a great place to observe people and strike up a conversation with fellow travellers.
7. There is an ice cream parlor across the road from the beach, can’t remember the name. I loved their ice cream cups with flavored gel toppings. A must try. I had the mint flavor. Yum!
8. For the night life, you can drive around to find a place that best suits your mood and style. Most places serve Italian cuisine and alcohol.
9. Auroville is nearby, a must visit. Go there and get a feel of all things organic. To enter the building, you must inform them a day in advance otherwise, you won’t be able to visit it.
10. While at Auroville, try ‘Amlakka‘, dried amla pieces that work as a natural mouth freshener and is great for health too. I loved the aftertaste. If you like, get some packs back as useful souvenirs.