An Indian union territory, which is, interestingly, also recognised as a French Colony renamed as Puducherry, this city has so much to explore with its focus on architecture and food.
With the calm of West African Bougainvillea and walls plastered in vibrant mustard — bound by the state of Tamil Nadu — is a city that is affectionately known as Pondi.
It is a global hub for many artisans, who earn their living by breathing life into techniques such as terracotta, pottery, granite grading, carving, ceramic and other art forms.
The most exquisite yet commercial part of the city is White Town. This township focuses on Franco-Tamil architecture and offers multiple concept cafés serving French cuisine to exhilarate your taste buds. It was once reserved only for white French people, who had settled here in 1674.
Going further down to map my travel, I visited Auroville (founded by the Mother of Sri Aurobindo). It is known as the City of Dawn and survives on the basic principle of human unity. The place is not considered as a part of Puducherry, rather a part of Tamil Nadu.
The foundation of this city rests on Matrimandir (centre of Auroville). This place has a spiritual significance to its followers who practise Integral Yoga, acting as a hub for meditation — majority of it being an international community, it’s known for its divinity, peace and sustainability.
Individuals here come together from all castes, creeds, colours and race to form a cashless, universal and a non-religious township.
Top 7 Cafes to Visit & Dishes to Try:
(Selection is customised as I'm allergic to Mushroom & Seafood)
• Café des Arts — Banana and Nutella Crepe, Chocolate Waffles
• La Villa — Thai Noodle Salad
• Auroville Bakery — Croissant and Coffee Brownie
• Tanto Pizzeria — Thin Crust Pizza and Strawberry Pannacotta
• Les Alizés-Palais De Mahe — Chicken Crepe with Sundried tomato and Cheddar Cheese, Organic Penne with Spicy Tomato & Chicken (From the lunch menu)
• Dreamer's Cafe — Baguette and Gelato Ice Cream
• Right Path Cafe - Chocolate Ice Cream with fresh Peaches.
Top 3 Clubs/Bar to Visit:
• Le Space a Semi-open Rooftop Bar
Beaches to Visit :
~ A Boat ride to Paradise Beach from Chunnambar Boat House
~ Serendipity Beach
~ Promenade Beach
Temples/Churches to visit:
~ Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
~ The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
~ Immaculate Conception Cathedral