My First Beach Experience
That heated debate! Mountains or Beaches?
Believe me, I have seen and lived around my fair share of mountains of Jammu & Kashmir as well as Uttarakhand! They are undeniably stunning! The mountains that always create curiosity of what lies underneath, or ahead of it! What is it that they’re hiding or may be guarding! All these questions, yet, I always craved something that seemed endless yet, the end. Something that doesn’t create curiosity, but assurance of a horizon! Because in life, we need both!
Unarguably, there are many beautiful towns and cities with beaches in India. Yet, we chose Pondicherry.
Pondicherry, established as the French trade centre in 1674, was originally named Putucceri, ‘Putu’ meaning ‘new’ & ‘ceri’ meaning ‘village’ in the Tamil language, the oldest language in the world. Pondicherry has been a haven or should I say ‘pied de terre’ for French & Dutch people in the 17th Century. It got freedom in the year 1954 and was named as one of the six Union Territories of India in 1962 (now eight, after the addition of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir in 2019). The Union territory came back to its local name Puducherry in the year 2006.
And finally, in 2021, I got to spent a weekend at pondy’s! However, living in Dehradun, surrounded by the luscious mountains, why would someone go all the way to a place, where the language & culture are not the only difference! But, unlike the North, you get to see those rivers become the ocean! And for that exact reason, we had to go!
Day 01- The Journey!
I took a Shatabdi Express directly from Dehradun To Delhi and we hopped on to our early morning flight from IGI Airport to Chennai. You could also take a Volvo bus, instead of the train from Dehradun, but aren’t train rides fun? I think so!
We reached Chennai Airport at around 10–11 am and waited for one of our friend to arrive from Jhansi & together, we booked a taxi for Puducherry at 2–2:30 pm. We reached the destination around 6 pm and more of our friends would join us the next day.
We were famished for food, so we ate first (priorities) and then headed straight to the Rock Beach! We were staying in the White Town area of Puducherry, which was a French Colony at the time. It is nearby to the beach, best cafes and pubs & the most beautiful street to walk upon! We walked upto the beach, and clearly anyone could point me out, as the only one who has never seen a beach, as I was the only one running like either I had to pee or I was literally running away from life to drown my sorrows into the ocean!
I saw it. It was the Bay of Bengal. The northwestern part of the Indian Ocean! One of the only four oceans on the planet! I could not believe I was looking at it. I don’t want to exaggerate but it’s true that I cried. It felt like I could finally breathe! I could see, there’s an assurance of the horizon, and there’s nobody blocking the way! NONE.
My friends took me towards the shore and as I can’t swim I was extremely scared to go. It reminded me of the time we went for White Water Rafting in the Ganges in Rishikesh, in the month of March. I was scared to drown, yet I overcame that fear then, and I did it again today! I touched all the rivers I have met so far in my life, together. I touched all the phases of my life, right there. It was beautiful!
Afterwards, we had some waffles while walking at the beach. It was a great welcome in the Union Territory and to the South India! Being a North Indian, it is quite easy to gel and pour yourselves into different cultures, than it is for any Indian from any other part of the country. May be the reason is more geographical, that Delhi is the Capital of the country and it is the Queen in the North!
After the most dramatic first date with “The Rock”, we finally came back and took some pictures on the most alluring streets of the area.
DAY 02 — Auroville & Second Date With ‘Serenity’!
More of our friends had arrived from Bengaluru. The chaos had finally begun! The debate was on! What do we do today? Since, few of them had already visited the place before, they suggested to checkout the place called Auroville.
Auroville is a place, rather a small town that aims to become a haven for all men and women, regardless of their nationalities or social differences. It is situated in the outskirts of Tamil Nadu, that shares the border with Puducherry.
We rented few two-wheelers and rode all the way to Auroville. It was a beautiful ride crossing the country side. And the rainy weather added to it, providing relief from the dreading humidity!
Upon reaching Auroville, we took a long walk all the way to the centre of the town, and clicked some snaps on the way.
Obviously, the day had just started. And it will always be incomplete without a beach sighting! So, the next beach we went to appreciate was Serenity Beach, which was situated quite opposite and outside of the Auroville Town.
We went to Puducherry over the weekend, and just like when you need a weekend to wash-up the week, you need to party on a vacation to wash-up the tiring yet exciting day! So, we went to a cool club in White Town, looking like the cool kids we thought we are! And I would suggest for you to stay in White Town, as everything is nearby and walking feels surreal, especially after sunset! Following the fun we had at the club and dancing our legs out, we met a cute furry friend on our way back to the hotel & chaos returned only the next morning!
DAY 03 — Let Me Take You To ‘Paradise’!
When you’re in Puducherry, you’ve got to be at the beach, mostly! However, going to the beach without having some breakfast would be a failure of the experience! Because, don’t we want to run, swim, giggle, dance, make videos, click pictures, make sand castles and mermaids at the beach!!? So much to do right? So, let’s eat first. I mean, we ate first. And trust me, when in South, don’t go stupid and eat what you usually like, but what you usually don’t find! The most authentic South Indian cuisine! We did exactly that.
We can go to paradise, alive! *just wanted to make that lame joke regardless*. Anyway! We took our rented two-wheelers and rode all the way to the outskirts of the town, took tickets, ate some more, stood in the queue waiting for the ferry ride (that would take us to the beach). To be clear, Paradise Beach is not just a beach, but a remote, small island! And, after waiting for what felt like a lifetime, we got to Paradise! *(pun intended)*
We spent 2–3 hours there. My friends swam, which is one skill I don’t have, so I turned and buried my friend into a sand mermaid! A pregnant sand mermaid! Yeah, the belly was big! I know you want to see the pictures, but only I am allowed to laugh at my friends...So back off!
It was nearly time for the sun to set while we were coming back! It was the Golden Hour!
After a fun, tiring, adventurous, playful day, we came back to White Town and went for some food at one of the most popular places, Cafe Xtasi. I must tell you, the food was delicious and the view was surreal, especially at sunset!
You can clearly see, the vacation was extremely fulfilling and fun! So, if you’re planning to go to Puducherry, please do. You won’t regret it.
One final image of how the sky treated us on our flight back to Delhi:
Thanks for reading. Namaste.