At the break of dawn on the 4th of June, 2014 we began driving to Pondicherry or Puducherry, a union territory along the east coast of South India. We entered a hot & sultry Tamil Nadu after a 5 hour journey and countless stops asking for directions & embarrassments owing to my Tamil speaking attempts. We finally made it to Le Pondy, a resort boasting of the beach & luxurious cottages. We were a little apprehensive about the weather but the resort looked tempting & I would never deny a French experience, even if it was to be in small measures.
First off, let’s talk about the resort and as per usual, I’m going to go with my good ol’ Pro’s vs Con’s list:
1. Space: The resort space is a balance of luxury & natural beauty. Lush greens lawns, cottages overlooking the beach, ornamental plants, the works. Other than that, it’s impeccably clean, very well maintained with a huge lobby area and a pretty little pond with blooming loti and a glass walkway connecting the lobby to the dining area. I have to admit that though it’s not a massive area, there is no lack of the basic amenities that a resort should possess aka a pool, recreation area, gym, conference room etc.
The rustic looking cottages are actually pretty neat inside & are on 2 floors. We occupied the one on the 1st floor. With new fixtures, good furniture, a very comfortable seating area in the balcony & an over working A/C, we couldn’t be happier.
2. The staff gave us a very warm welcome and the kind lady who was in charge of acclimating us with the resort made sure she was always available for any queries we had.
1. I was battling with myself whether this should go in the Pro’s or the Con’s list and with good reason. All right we were entailed to the basic Indian necessities like Dal,curries, rice, dosas & idlis and if I’m honest, they all tasted great too. My issue was the breakfast which in the name of “continental” served doughnuts & muffins which I felt were probably a week old.
2. The pool was indubitably a blessing in these humid conditions but the location proved to be a mess! Overlooking the dining area, it became more of a viewing area for a few desperate men. The conference room adjacent to the dining room, led to people coming out of it via the pool area & into the resort. But not without taking a peek!
The husband & me were thrilled about an empty pool but not for long. 5 minutes later we realised why it was empty. We ensured the staff were informed about this and implored them to intervene but unfortunately since everybody is a guest, they were helpless & so were we.
So it’s a tie! lol…But all kidding aside, it is away from the city & hence makes for a nice getaway.
Coming to the city, we wanted to get a taste of the French experience. What better than a visit to a bakery. Croissants, tarts & pastries at Baker Street were almost badgering us to make an invasion & so we did! This was just Round 1 which included, a raspberry & chocolate mousse pastry, lemon tart, quiche & a croissant sandwich.
The French arrived in 1964, colonised & made Pondicherry a trading centre. After India became independent,  Pondicherry, previously a portion of French India, became a part of India. Since I’ve never been to France, I can’t tell if the experience was an authentic one or not but subtle distinctions gave the feeling that a little piece of France has made a home for itself all the way in India. As we drove around, we entered Rue Suffren, a street in the French colony that led us to European homes adorned by creepers of bougainvillea, boards that were scripted with La Maison & Villas and coloured walls & doors.
We walked along the streets, past hotels & shops and stopped for coffee at a quaint little place, Villa Shanti. Adorned in white & lush greens it makes for a romantic little afternoon tea/coffee break. I vividly remember their almond-orange cake, hot samosas & caramel pudding.
All in all, it was a good vacation. Pondy, I will be back to explore more..the beaches , Auroville & all the Rues! Au Revoir until then!

6 thoughts on “LE PONDY – PONDICHERRY

  1. Je l’aime..the post on phenomenal Pondy and my smattering of French is akin to your Tamil:)
    Loved this French connection through your imitable style enriched with humour and pics. Thanks to Rashmi for this fantastic find!

    Liked by 1 person

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