Pondicherry is a shopper’s paradise offering an assortment of shops, boutiques and stopovers that make shopping in Pondicherry absolutely delightful for the fervent shopper. The union territory enjoys the advantage of an octroi free zone apparently leading the shoppers towards price advantageous shopping.
Your trip to the meditation destination of India will prove futile if you have not indulged in relentless shopping. The colourful and vibrant destination boasts of wares that explain the culture of Puducherry in the best possible manner.
With many shopping places in Pondicherry, you are certain of finding appropriate souvenirs to mark memories of your time here. Markets here are bustling with bright fabrics, interesting curios and handicrafts that will adorn your living room.
Artisan culture comes alive here and if you are an art aficionado you will find pieces worth your admiration. If you are looking at collecting ceramic tableware, terracotta toys, trinkets and incensed candles and sticks, this is the destination to be.
The bargain-savvy shoppers can get their hands on stylish yet cheap Kora grass bags, export surplus clothes, duty-free articles and custom made footwear. We have put forth a list that will help you address all your shopping needs.
Aurobindo Ashram or the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual group (ashram) situated in the union territory of Pondicherry. The ashram was a small community that expanded over some time as more and more disciples of Aurobindo Ghose gathered around to seek spirituality. Aurobindo Ghose founded this ashram after he left his political career and aspired to inherit spiritualism in his life. A few followers of Aurobindo joined him in the ashram with the same aim of seeking spirituality. Located in eastern Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram has become a hub of tourists who are inclined towards divinity and simplicity in their lifestyle. The ashram is popular not only in India but also in other countries because of the work put forth by the community towards the healing of humanity. The ashram in its initial days only had a few buildings but later, as more and more people joined, the ashram grew bigger and presently, it consists of many small buildings that are adjacent to each other. The ashram provides all the basic needs of its members for living a healthy and simple life. There is a library in the ashram where members can read and learn about the history and teachings of the place. Also, there are various cultural facilities like dance, theatre, music, arts, and sports for the all-round development of the members. The ashram is managed by a board of five trustees who make sure that the legacy and vision of Aurobindo Ghose remains in the ashram.History of Aurobindo Ashram:After quitting politics, Aurobindo Ghose spent most of his time writing and meditating in the ashram. From 1910 to 1920, the ashram had a few members alongside Aurobindo who all lived a simple life involving reading, writing and doing their daily chores. In 1920, Mirra Alfassa or “The Mother” who was regarded as the “spiritual collaborator” of Aurobindo returned to Pondicherry and lived in the ashram. Soon, more and more people came in the ashram and it gradually became a community under the umbrella of Aurobindo and the Mother. In 1926, the formal foundation of the ashram was done and this resulted in more and more people coming to the ashram. From just 24 people in 1927 to 150 in 1934, the ashram started to grow like a community. Over the years, as the ashram grew in numbers more and more departments were formed and the sadhaks looked after the departments as a part of their sadhana. Today, the ashram is spread throughout the town in around 400 buildings and houses more than 2000 sadhaks. Highlights of Aurobindo Ashram:-Aurobindo Ghose founded the ashram in 1926 after quitting his career in politics -Mother (Mirra Alfassa) companion of Aurobindo carried on the legacy of the ashram after Aurobindo’s death in 1950.-One of the biggest Ashrams in India, Aurobindo Ashram housing more than 2000 people living and serving each other. -Auroville, the city of dawn was the brainchild of Mother. Auroville is associated with the ashram in its ideological structure and well-being.-Aurobindo Ashram publishes many periodicals about the essence of spirituality and peace in life-It takes around 2-3 hours to see the entire ashram
Rock Beach, often referred to as the Promenade Beach or Pondicherry Beach is a beachfront located along the Bay of Bengal. The coastline of this beach is 1.5 km long and starts at the War Memorial built at the beginning of the beach, while ends at the Dupleix Park built at the Goubert Avenue. Unfortunately, this beach is not open for taking dips in the sea or any water sport activities, but many visit the place during sunrise and sunset for walking, jogging or taking a stroll. The beach is clustered with tetrapods along the coastline, while a concrete pathway has been constructed which is flanked with cafes, restaurants and pubs. These restaurants serve various cuisines including French, Indian, Arabic and Chinese. Some of the places have live band performances that attract many tourists. The restaurants and pubs do not allow any customers after midnight and shut down before 1:00 AM.Apart from restaurants, there are shopping boutiques that sell textile materials, home décor and souvenirs for you to take home. The various hotels built around the beach provide several stay-at options for foreigners and local travellers. There are no vehicles allowed on the concrete and paved path, but there is a parking space provided at the entrance where you can give a fee of NR 5 and let the watchman take care of your vehicle.One may encounter various hawkers and vendors selling balloons, neon bands and tiaras whose presence may be vexing. The beach is not as crowded on weekdays as it is on weekends.
The Raj Niwas building is constructed on the foundation of a hotel named Hotel De La Compagnie. This is the government house of the Pondicherry and is a blend of both Indian and French architecture. The previous name of this Raj Niwas is Palais du Government. The Raj Niwas isn’t open to public but it is one of the attractions in Pondicherry. Most of the people who went on a trip to Pondicherry will surely pay a visit to this Raj Niwas to enjoy the Indo-French architecture. The monolithic pillars, fountain are the biggest asset of this Raj Niwas. They enhance the look of the construction as well as add royalty too. The public can go into the Raj Niwas on some special days and occasions only.Location:White TownPondicherry 605001Best Time To Visit:The Best Time To Visit: Raj Niwas will be between 12 pm and 1:30 pm as you will be allowed into the house. The point to remember here is the passes are limited to 40 per day.TimingsThe Raj Niwas will be open between 12pm and 1:30 pmDistance Between Pondicherry Bus stand and Raj NivasThe distance from Pondicherry bus station to Raj Nivas is 2.6 kms which can be travelled in 4-5 mins.Image Credits: thehindu.com