Pondicherry: A Guide to India’s French Colonial Legacy
Experience the “French Riviera of the East.”
7 Places • ago
Free

A beautiful city on the eastern coast of India that still echoes the remnants of its French colonial past. Often referred to as the “French Riviera of the East.”

Pondicherry is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of two distinct cultures and histories. This article covers my experience and a list of things I enjoyed during my stay in Pondicherry.

Here are the five must-to-do things in Pondi:

1. Beachwalk:

Walking alongside the Promenade Beach is a must-do activity. Catch the rocky beach and roaring waves in all its glory. And a cherry on top: No vehicles are allowed on the Promenade road.

Promenade Beach
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You can also visit Paradise Beach to experience the best sunset in Pondi.

2. Explore the streets:

Streets and Mansions in the White Town of Pondi will take you back to the French times, filled with brightly coloured walls and graffiti, huge white windows with black grills and charming cafes.

White Town
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3. Cafe Hoping:

Cafes are no doubt the highlight of Pondi. You will find a lot of fantastic food in Pondicherry.

Here are some unique eats that I love —

I. Coromandel Cafe — Personal Favourite

Coromandel Cafe
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The combination of its colonial setting, top-notch service, and delicious food creates a unique experience in the heart of White Town. The food here is just excellent. I visited there twice for Breakfast and Lunch. Must visit place in Pondi.

II. Baker Street Bakery — 123.Bussy Street

Baker Street
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If you are someone who wants to try Traditional French pastries, fresh loaves of bread, Baguettes, Viennoiseries, Macarons, Crepe, Quiche, etc., then this is the place for you. And the best part about this place is that all their products are 100% Homemade.

I visited this place because of my love for Croissant, as I saw a lot of good Google reviews about it. Also, the 4.3-star rating with 13,000 reviews created hype for me, but my visit confirmed that this place surpassed expectations.

III. Cafe des Arts, 10.Suffren Street

Cafe des Arts
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It’s a 19th-century building with chic and unique vintage decor and garden seating. This cafe’s decor is something you will fall for at first sight. Unfortunately, I visited the place on the weekend for lunch, and the area was so packed that I couldn’t get my hands on the food.

I am putting it here as I have heard good reviews about this place, and the ambience is something I can vouch for.

IV. Le Café — Promenade Beach

Le Café
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Le Café is located on the beach road and is the only direct seafront cafe in Pondicherry. It operates 24 hours daily, so you can visit this place anytime. And the food here is the cheapest of all eateries in Pondi.

4. Visit Auroville:

Auroville Matrimandir
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Auroville is an experimental township created to become a universal town where men and women of all countries can live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, politics and nationalities.

At the centre of Auroville, one finds the ‘soul of the city’, the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called ‘Peace’, from where all the township is spread outwards.

You can spend a day renting a cycle and exploring the village. The lush green town includes fancy boutiques, bookshops, cafés, and international cuisine restaurants. Besides the village, one can also hit the Auroville Beach nearby, a pristine, untouched expanse of white sand and shallow waters.

5. Scuba Diving:

Scuba diving is one of the most exciting and enjoyable activities in Pondicherry. It stands out as the exclusive diving destination on India’s eastern coast.

Whether you’re a certified diver or wish to embark on your very first dive, Pondicherry offers an opportunity for you to experience the underwater sea.

If any of the above experiences and attractions pique your interest, it’s time to embark on your adventure in Pondicherry. Whether you’re drawn to the serene shores of Promenade Beach, eager to explore the streets of White Town, savour the culinary delights of local cafes, embrace the vision of universal harmony in Auroville, or take the plunge into the underwater world through scuba diving, Pondicherry has something to offer to every traveller.

Till then, Sayonara!!

* * *
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Embarking on a journey as a travel storyteller, curating unique itineraries, and sharing rich insights on cultures, people, and history worldwide. ✈️🌍
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Pondicherry: A Guide to India’s French Colonial Legacy
Experience the “French Riviera of the East.”
7 Places • ago
Free

A beautiful city on the eastern coast of India that still echoes the remnants of its French colonial past. Often referred to as the “French Riviera of the East.”

Pondicherry is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of two distinct cultures and histories. This article covers my experience and a list of things I enjoyed during my stay in Pondicherry.

Here are the five must-to-do things in Pondi:

1. Beachwalk:

Walking alongside the Promenade Beach is a must-do activity. Catch the rocky beach and roaring waves in all its glory. And a cherry on top: No vehicles are allowed on the Promenade road.

Promenade Beach
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

You can also visit Paradise Beach to experience the best sunset in Pondi.

2. Explore the streets:

Streets and Mansions in the White Town of Pondi will take you back to the French times, filled with brightly coloured walls and graffiti, huge white windows with black grills and charming cafes.

White Town
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

3. Cafe Hoping:

Cafes are no doubt the highlight of Pondi. You will find a lot of fantastic food in Pondicherry.

Here are some unique eats that I love —

I. Coromandel Cafe — Personal Favourite

Coromandel Cafe
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

The combination of its colonial setting, top-notch service, and delicious food creates a unique experience in the heart of White Town. The food here is just excellent. I visited there twice for Breakfast and Lunch. Must visit place in Pondi.

II. Baker Street Bakery — 123.Bussy Street

Baker Street
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

If you are someone who wants to try Traditional French pastries, fresh loaves of bread, Baguettes, Viennoiseries, Macarons, Crepe, Quiche, etc., then this is the place for you. And the best part about this place is that all their products are 100% Homemade.

I visited this place because of my love for Croissant, as I saw a lot of good Google reviews about it. Also, the 4.3-star rating with 13,000 reviews created hype for me, but my visit confirmed that this place surpassed expectations.

III. Cafe des Arts, 10.Suffren Street

Cafe des Arts
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

It’s a 19th-century building with chic and unique vintage decor and garden seating. This cafe’s decor is something you will fall for at first sight. Unfortunately, I visited the place on the weekend for lunch, and the area was so packed that I couldn’t get my hands on the food.

I am putting it here as I have heard good reviews about this place, and the ambience is something I can vouch for.

IV. Le Café — Promenade Beach

Le Café
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

Le Café is located on the beach road and is the only direct seafront cafe in Pondicherry. It operates 24 hours daily, so you can visit this place anytime. And the food here is the cheapest of all eateries in Pondi.

4. Visit Auroville:

Auroville Matrimandir
@somil_gupta
Add to
Details

Auroville is an experimental township created to become a universal town where men and women of all countries can live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, politics and nationalities.

At the centre of Auroville, one finds the ‘soul of the city’, the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called ‘Peace’, from where all the township is spread outwards.

You can spend a day renting a cycle and exploring the village. The lush green town includes fancy boutiques, bookshops, cafés, and international cuisine restaurants. Besides the village, one can also hit the Auroville Beach nearby, a pristine, untouched expanse of white sand and shallow waters.

5. Scuba Diving:

Scuba diving is one of the most exciting and enjoyable activities in Pondicherry. It stands out as the exclusive diving destination on India’s eastern coast.

Whether you’re a certified diver or wish to embark on your very first dive, Pondicherry offers an opportunity for you to experience the underwater sea.

If any of the above experiences and attractions pique your interest, it’s time to embark on your adventure in Pondicherry. Whether you’re drawn to the serene shores of Promenade Beach, eager to explore the streets of White Town, savour the culinary delights of local cafes, embrace the vision of universal harmony in Auroville, or take the plunge into the underwater world through scuba diving, Pondicherry has something to offer to every traveller.

Till then, Sayonara!!

* * *
CURATED BY
Embarking on a journey as a travel storyteller, curating unique itineraries, and sharing rich insights on cultures, people, and history worldwide. ✈️🌍
Send A Tip
Support Somil Gupta’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Somil Gupta Privacy Terms