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Puducherry: French Riviera of the East

''Travel to Chunnambar, walk through the beaches and enjoy the sophisticated French architecture''

Travelling down south for a vacation is a must and what’s better than watching the serene backwaters of Pondicherry (officially now Puducherry) this summer. Abound with Greco-Roman styles of architecture, Puducherry has beautiful churches built by the French. In fact, what is most remarkable is witnessing temples influenced by French architecture. One such temple is the Kanniga Parameswari temple, a must visit.

The beaches and backwaters : One of the many reasons for holidaying tourists, families and couples are the beaches and the backwaters. They are surreal and give you a soothing feeling.

Promenade beach:
Visit sometime in the evening for a long peaceful stroll. Swimming is not recommended owing to the seawalls.

Serenity beach:
If you want to swim then a clean and favourable beach would be Serenity beach and as the name suggests you can find just that here.

Chunnambar backwater:
It is pretty popular and your stay at Puducherry would be incomplete without a visit to this place. It has a beach, picturesque beauty and if you are lucky enough then you can also spot a few dolphins during your boat ride which can cost as low as Rs. 30. Entry fee is just Rs. 3. Depending on your choice of boat you will be charged. A speed boat between Chunnambar would cost more that a paddled boat.

Plage Paradiso:
Beach sport lovers can actually spend an entire day at Plage Paradiso which happens to be located right at the mouth of Chunnambar. A fun filled day at this beach is a guarantee.

If you want to spend your holiday close to the backwaters then you can choose to stay at one of the three tree houses – Nest Bird, Sunrise Panorama and Palm House. Each tree house has a unique attribute to it. While one gives you an ethereal view of the backwaters, another has a rope ladder leading up to a balcony and the other has a view of an artificial pond.

Shri Aurobindo Ashram at Auroville:
The sound of it might not interest you but the place would definitely calm your nerves. Meditation to dance performances, you can choose to relax in whichever way you want. You could even visit the Auroville beach and if you go there on a weekday, you are sure find the beach favourably less crowded.

Kanniga temple:
It is well-known for its atypical architecture which is a mix of Tamil and French styles. If you wish to visit one temple in Puducherry then this one is highly recommended.

Botanical garden:
Has history rich museums and a park. Visit the botanical garden on a weekend in the evening to enjoy the musical fountain which is one of its main attractions.

You can choose to visit one or more of these museums too: Pondicherry Museum, Bharathi Memorial Museum, Jawahar Toy Museum. The toy museum is intriguing for families visiting with children. Don’t miss the illuminated Aayi Mandapam at the government park and also the 19th century light house which is roughly five kilometres from western part of the city.

Interesting items to pick up : - Visit the Anglo-French textiles for the best fabric.
- Looking for cheap products then you should definitely visit the Sunday market.
- One can find fine terra cotta, reasonably priced spa candles, sachets and incense sticks, leather products and a lot more to take back home.

When to visit? : To be able to enjoy a less crowded holiday, you should visit Puducherry during the summer months. But you should also be aware that the city would be at its hottest at the time.

If you are highly interested in Shri Aurobindo Ashram then the month of August would be favourable when the ashram holds elaborate celebrations for the great personality’s birthday.

However the most ideal time to enjoy the perfect holiday would definitely be during the winters. You should visit Pondi between October and February.

How to get there : By road:
If you have enough time in your hand and are a road trip person then you could actually get off at Chennai or Bangalore airport and drive or hire a cab all the way to Puducherry. The road trip will be worth considering the spectacular view of the Bay of Bengal enroute.

By Air:
Connecting flights are available from major cities. Direct flights are available from Bangalore and Hyderabad. A private taxi would be a good option to travel to Pondicherry from Chennai airport.

By train:
Trains from major cities are available to Villupuram railway station which is approximately 35 kilometres from Puducherry. Hire a taxi to Puducherry once you reach the station

By bus:
You can also choose to travel to Pondicherry by bus from Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Thanjur.

Source / Review By : Annu Choudhury

Team Triponomics

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