Everybody needs a break from the city life to go to a place much quieter and away from the day-to-day work and life pressure. Every once in a while we all deserve that therapeutic trip to rejuvenate our enthusiasm in our work and be better focused in life.
Not very far away from Chennai lies an ethereal coastal town, Puducherry, which boasts of its 18th-century French architecture and definitely deserves to be on your must-visit list. Puducherry was a French colonial settlement until 1954 and still holds the legacy of its history and progress.
Famous for its serene beaches and French architecture, Puducherry has become of the most-visited coastal town in India over a period of time. From French cuisine to local dishes, it provides its tourists with an ultimate experience of being on a perfect trip. Looking for a weekend getaway from Chennai? Here is your article.
Best Time To Visit Puducherry
PC- Nishanth Jois
Being a coastal town, Puducherry experiences a tropical wet and dry type of climate. Hence, the best season to visit Puducherry is from November until the end of February when the weather is favourable. If you desire to stay comfortable and relaxed while roaming around the town, then it is advisable to avoid visiting Puducherry during the summer season.
How To Reach Puducherry From Chennai
For detailed map check here
By Air: If you are travelling to Chennai by air, then you can take a cab directly from the Chennai airport to Puducherry, or take a cab to Chennai city and from there take a bus to Puducherry. The Chennai airport is at a distance of 149 km from Puducherry.
The Pondicherry Airport is only well connected to Bangalore and Hyderabad.
By Rail: Puducherry is well connected to Chennai and other major cities by rail. You can catch a train directly from Chennai railway station to Puducherry. It will take you an approximate of 4 hr 30 min.
By Road: Situated at a distance of 157 km, Puducherry is easily accessible by road. You can either take a bus from Chennai to Puducherry or hire a cab.
If you are commuting on your own, then you can take the following routes.
Route 1: Chennai - Kovalam - Mahabalipuram - Puducherry
Route 2: Chennai - Chengalpattu - Tindivanam - Puducherry
However, route 1 is the fastest and hence, preferable. You will be driving parallel to the shoreline. While on your way to Puducherry from Chennai, you can take a break at the following captivating places.
PC- Ronald Tagra
Also spelt as Covelong, it is situated at an approximate distance of 40 km from Chennai. Built during the era of Carnatic Nawabs, Kovalam was developed as a port town. Today, it is popular amongst offbeat travellers as an unspoilt beach town and its beaches are used for windsurfing. If you are looking for a getaway with untouched atmosphere, then Kovalam should be your en route stoppage.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as Mamallapuram or Seven Pagodas, it has been a major port city during the Pallava era. Today, it is well known for its ancient temples along the shore and religious structures.
Hence, it is one of the most-visited, religious towns in India. With temples in the form of chariots and astounding rock carvings, Mahabalipuram is home to innumerable and incredible religious buildings and structures.
Places To Visit In Puducherry
Once you have reached the town of beaches and lip-smacking cuisine, you can find yourself elevated with the feelings of calmness and quietude vibrating your surroundings positively. There are innumerable places to visit and explore in Puducherry; however, following are the few must-visit places, if you are looking forward to experiencing the authenticity of the town.
1) Promenade Beach
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The most famous beach in Puducherry where hundreds of people can be seen loitering around and savouring the spectacular views of dawn and dusk, Promenade Beach is a second home to every person living in the town. Ideal for jogging, walking and romantic dates, you can see people sitting around idly and enjoying the liveliness of the environment.
2) Paradise Beach
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Undoubtedly, a paradise for all beach lovers and the ones who love water activities, Paradise Beach is definitely a must-visit beach due to its clean surroundings and marvellous views. If you are looking forward to chilling at some peaceful place with less crowd, then Paradise Beach is your spot.
How about spending time in seclusion and retirement while getting rid of all the enigmas of life? Well, Auroville is one such place which can keep you away from the hustle and bustle of the city in the peaceful arms of pristine nature surrounded by freshness and silence.
Auroville is known for its Matrimandir spread across acres of land where tourists from all over the world can be seen here meditating and enjoying the spirituality all around.
4) French Architecture
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Your journey to Puducherry will certainly be incomplete without exploring the French architecture of the town and capturing its authentic beauty in your camera. Several buildings are designed in pure French style while others are influenced a little bit by Tamil style, thereby, creating Franco-Tamil architecture to enhance the beauty of this town.
Each and every lane is filled with surprises if you are an ardent lover of French patterns and designs. The domes and arch-shaped entrances definitely draw everyone's attention, making them applaud and commend its incredible beauty.
The other tourist destinations include the Pondicherry Botanical Garden, Raj Nivas, the Pondicherry Museum and Sri Aurobindo Ashram.