Pondicherry: A City of French Culture and Bougainvillea
It all began in the month of February 2017, when my husband and I decided to take a trip somewhere as a one year anniversary gift to ourselves. It had to be a short and a budget trip and so we picked out the weekend during the Holi festival in India. So one fine evening we sat down in our cozy living room and began searching for places. After almost three hours of virtually traveling all over India, we came across this place called Pondicherry.
The whole vibe of Pondicherry is so welcoming and relaxing. Just two hours from Chennai International Airport, you can drive down on the mesmerizing East Coast highway to reach Pondicherry. We stayed at Tantos Far Beach Resort. Just a few km’s from main city in Pondicherry, this place is located in an isolated area. Surrounded by beautiful palm trees, a Bougainvillea wall that separates the beach from the property and completely covered with beautiful, colorful and different types of cactus plants, this is by far the best place to stay if you are looking for a private relaxed time. They have multiple room/cottage options from which you can pick out which suits you the best. Each cottage is at a good distance from another so you can have just the perfect amount of privacy and fun. Tantos has a restaurant in their property and many more spread throughout the city of Pondicherry and their food is just the thing you need on a hot summer day!
In the main city area, you can go around the beach and explore the beauty of French houses and cafes. Anywhere you look all you can see is colorful Bougainvilleas dropping from balconies and doors. The people are warm and the food is just great. Due to the diversity of people living here, from Asian to Lebanese, you can find all kinds of cuisines in this small town.
When you are in Pondicherry, you just cannot miss out on a place called Auroville. This is a small community just on the outskirts of Pondicherry. People from all over the world have come down to Auroville and are living the simplistic life of Auroville. This is the most cultural yet modern community you can come across. They believe in “live and let live” to its truest of forms. You will see red sand paths, cotton clothes, and loads of cycles here. You cannot miss out on cafes like Kopi Bar and Wells Cafe, serving the best food and coffees. You can visit Maitri Mandir, a meditation area for the Auroville community and also for many other cultural and folk events. This place needs to be booked at least a week in advance if you want to see the architectural wonder of this building.
All in all, if you are looking for a quiet healing of your mind, body and soul, this is the best place to go. This is a place filled with art and culture of all sorts, a retreat of its own kind!