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True India Travel Treasure – Pondicherry
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You would never go looking for a destination like Pondicherry when you travel in India. Very few do. Most travellers enter this union territory as a part of some Tamil Nadu travel package. Yet, as you stumble upon this simple and marvelling city, you will be taken aback by its French demeanour. Three centuries of French rule has left its mark on every nook and corner of the city.
This is not a popular travel destination, though. Pondy; as it is called by admirers, has an edgy French-village-meets-South-India vibe. The soulful international spirit of the city would linger long after you have enjoyed two days in the city. Though it hardly flaunts commercialized travel options like Goa, you will remember a leisure stroll in the quiet streets of colonial townhouses. You will also walk away with memories of a three meter high statue of Dupleix, the 18th century Palais du Government and French war memorials exuding an old-world–French-charm that will make you forget that you are travelling in India.
But any Pondicherry tour package should include the local beaches. The clean blue water, clear skies and sandy beaches create great ambiance for relaxation and fun. Pondicherry beach is a secluded piece of beach heaven. This beach oozes calm that is perfect for sunbathing or a quick skinny-dipping experience for a couple.
Plage Paradiso (Paradise beach) does justice to its name. This beach has golden sandy beach, palm trees, a fascinating view and sky blue ocean. It is pleasant for beach games and water sports activities. You can dip a rod in water for a fish or play beach volley. You could swim in clean pristine water or watch the beauty of ocean while relaxing under the umbrella.
Just half an hour ride away from Pondicherry, there is an experimental community; Auroville city. This universal town is worth a visit as people from different faiths, nationalities and culture live in harmony. Matrimandir, a major tourist attraction, is a 30 meter high globe with a lotus-shaped foundation. This state-of-the-art architectural wonder is simply breathtaking. Technically, this town is not part of Pondicherry, though. So, quite a few travel agencies fail to include it in the Pondicherry tour package. However, this unique phenomenon is remarkable tourist attraction that you should definitely sample.
Pondicherry, in many ways, is like India. It is gorgeous and far more of a rewarding travel experience than expected. It doesn’t seem like just a cluster of sightseeing and activities, but actually a true ethnic harmony. It is a wonder, which is rarely seen in the outside world. Yet, it seems so blissful in this world. When all things come together, this destination is a hidden travel delight that you can choose to explore.
Ninad Chaudhari works as a Web UI Designer / Developer with Cox & Kings. Ninad is an ardent photographer and loves travelling in India to pursue his passion. He recently travelled to Pondicherry on a tour package by Cox & Kings and his albums are replete with pictures of this tour.
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