Pondicherry, India 

This township is an antidote like no other. Warmly called Pondi, this French settlement a few hours away from Madras, is where you should go if you’re looking for some lone time with yourself or your loved ones. Tucked behind the sea is this small city, rich in aesthetic beauty, spiritual heritage and colonial history.

Pondi for us holds a special place in our hearts, because it was the first trip that our friends dragged us to, as they got cupid to shoot some arrows! And in hindsight the destination had done its deed.

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We were an exuberant bunch of twenty something’s, indulging in everything from sun kissed cocktails to spicy street chaats and flavoursome desserts. Soaking in its erstwhile charm and congeniality we were happy-go-luckying from dawn to dusk!!

What makes Pondi absolutely delightful is the spirit of Pondy which has proscribed commercialism and preserved its addictive pacifism. Sprinkled with limited artful restaurants and tastefully highlighted cafes, Pondi has some of the most stunning avenues you’ll walk through. This place is a photographer’s paradise.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t miss out on Auroville. The inviting premises of the ashram will tempt you to resign to its divinity forever. We were mesmerized with the positivity that we felt at the Matramandir. You have to feel it to believe it! Advocating amity with nature and between people, this community offers a host of activities that you can volunteer and participate in.

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There are some picturesque spots like the Bharathi Park and the Botanical Gardens where one can spend a sunny afternoon chatting away, like we did, or take a leisurely walk. Exploring Pondi’s quaint chapels, tranquil beaches and blissful looking heritage homes is an absolutely delightful experience! The city streets will also spring happy shopping surprises. Pondi has a fortune of indigenous products ranging from hand painted silks, to candles and potpourri, scarves to bags and jewellery, which can get you to take back some lovely picks for your home and wardrobe.

All in all, this city is infused with a magnetism that will keep you coming back for an unwinding experience of doing nothing yet doing so much!!
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