Pondi - Mini Goa of south India
Every city, tourist place is under lockdown now and people hate current situation, I was just going through some of the pics when we are free to travel and thought of penning down about my trip to Pondicherry. Those who are bored of Goa or finding an alternative to Goa, Pondi is definitely worth visiting. Pondi, though not as lively as Goa but its a miniature version of Goa and has lots to see and enjoy.
Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, and commonly referred to as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. It was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside promenade runs along the Bay of Bengal and passes several statues, including a 4m-high Gandhi Memorial.
Pondi is famous as liquor prices are very less and it has some of the serene beaches. Pondi is best for a 2 day outing for those who love to spend their weekends in a laid back fashion. Is Pondi only about liquor and beaches ? NO. Pondi has more in it. If you love photography, Pondi's french colonies are a feast for photographers and posers. Promenade area is a bliss for those who love to walk by the beach.
Cleanliness is something which we usually don't see in places filled with tourists but Pondi is contrast to that and its one of the cleanest tourist hotspots in the country. Thanks to its Governor, Kiran Bedi. Her efforts to educate the people about importance of cleanliness has paid off well. You will see dustbins everywhere and people are aware of the importance to keep the city clean
Amidst all the chaos and noise, Aurobindo ashram is a place where you can rest your nerves and get your mind clean. Visit this place, which is very near to promenade and spend some time enjoying the silence. Make sure you switch off your phone. Learn about Aurobindo's principles and spend some quality time there. I am sure you will definitely feel relaxed there
Pondi is still in french mood and you can see that when you roam around the city. There are lots of houses and shops which makes you feel you are in France. All the streets before Promenade are called french colonies and you can see some French people settlements there. The street is worth taking a walk and you can click and really awesome photos.
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Dedicated to the god Ganesha, it is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in Puducherry. The temple is of considerable antiquity and predates French occupation of the territory. During the tenure of Dupleix, there were attempts to destroy the temple, but it was spared owing to strong protests from the Hindu population and the threat of British and Maratha invasion of the territory
The Matrimandir is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga, in the centre of Auroville established by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is called soul of the city and is situated in a large open space called Peace. Matrimandir does not belong to any particular religion or section. Normally visitors are not allowed inside but you get to watch a beautiful video of how the mandir was built and its purpose
Pondi has a very humid climate so you make sure you carry appropriate clothes and try to book a hotel which is close to Promenade or MG beach as you can visit most of the places by walk from there.
Let me know your thoughts about Pondicherry in comments