Budget Trip to Puducherry– Since it had been quite some time following our routines, we wanted to go for a quick budget trip to Puducherry. We had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with us since Friday was an off at our son’s school.
Out of sheer greed to squeeze out the best possible from the trip, we decided to go for a night drive on Thursday. This way, we could get two and a half days with two nights at Puducherry, getting a good night’s sleep on Sunday night to be well prepared for Monday.
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Our Plan to Puducherry From Bangalore
Initially, the plan was to start the journey by 12:30 am, but the very thought of a scenic sunrise at a beach made us reconsider. The plan was thus preponed to 11:30 pm and we started well on time after finishing our dinner.
It was just my wife and my son who had their dinner, as I had got mine packed to have it at some later point in time. I didn’t want to eat heavily while driving at night.
It was at nearly 3:00 am that we took a quick tea break, where I also had the home-cooked food we were carrying. We didn’t want to wake up our son as he seemed to be in a deep sleep. We used an air bed in the car this time, and he had a very comfortable sleeping arrangement.
We Reached Puducherry
We reached Puducherry by 6:30 am and headed straightaway to Rock Beach as we didn’t want to miss the sunrise. Although we got a bit late, the view was still beautiful. Thankfully, our son had a good night’s sleep and was energetic on the beach. We spent some time at the beach and then walked on the beach road.
At the end of the beach road, is the French Governer’s Statue (Statue of Dupleix), which reminds a lot of the one that we used to see in a Doordarshan Serial “Malgudi Days”. You can also use the public toilet very near to this statue, which is quite hygienic.
Some Best Things To Do In Puducherry
Being on the beach road, we thought of covering the nearby spots first. To begin with, we went to this beautiful temple named Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Devsthanam. As per the locals, the temple had been attacked multiple times during colonization, however, each time the locals had collectively preserved the temple.
Very near to this temple was Shri Aurobindo’s school. One can very easily identify the properties of Shri Aurobindo Trust as all of them are usually painted in Grey and White.
We then visited the Sacred Heart Bascilica Church which is one of the most beautiful churches in Puducherry. Opposite to this Church is Puducherry’s Railway Station.
You can also visit Puducherry’s Museum if you have an interest in old Indian Idols and artifacts.
Coffee in The Puducherry’s Cafe
It was 8:30 am by now, and we needed a boost to our dropping caffeine levels. My wife and I ordered coffee (Coffee Cortedo) at Le Café near Rock Beach. Our son wanted to start the day with a Fruit Salad. It cost us a total of Rs. 230.
After coffee, we wanted to check in at our stay, which was Bon Gpsy Eco Stay. We couldn’t hold our hunger for long and stopped for breakfast at Mano’s Café, where we ordered 3 Masala Dosa, 3 Idly-Vada Combo, and 2 Coffees. This cost us Rs. 235, just like any other regular shop in Namma Bengaluru.
Our Stay in Puducherry
Finally, we reached Bon Gpsy Eco Stay, the place we had seen online on booking.com, and it was an incredible deal where we got a hut for Rs. 1000 per day for the three of us.
It was a bamboo hut with a bulb, a fan and a mattress. Nothing too fancy, but just what we were looking for. The mattress was big enough for the three of us.
The resort had some other guests, most of them, were young foreign nationals who kept very low profile and that way the place was very peaceful. The only sounds that we could hear were the birds chirping and few stray puppies which seemed to have been adopted by the facility manager.
Night drive, followed by the long walk on the beach road, and then eventually covering few of the nearby spots, had exhausted us to an extent. My wife and I were seriously in need of some rest.
Our son kept himself busy with the phone and the camera. Please don’t judge my son for using the gadgets as he is the one who manages the pics and videos on our trips, even the one that I am sharing here.
A power nap of an hour was bliss, and we were all charged up to check out the French Colony.
All About The French Colony
Traveling by your car and having a tough time looking for a safe parking place at French Colony? Port Parking is the solution. Parking charges would be Rs. 20 per car for 3 hours, post which you need to pay Rs.2 per hour.
Just near the Port Parking, there is a worn-out bridge into the sea which looks quite picturesque. You can go for a walk near that bridge but not on the bridge as it’s not safe to walk on.
Cafe to Try Out in French Colony
French Colony or White Colony hosts a bunch of famous cafes. We had been recommended to try out Shanti Villa Café for Lunch. Spending Rs. 1080 at that place was valuable as we had a delicious treat of Pasta, Sandwiches, and a French Crème Brulee.
I am not sure if it’s with everyone, but with us, travelling is directly proportional to metabolism. After exploring the French architectural grandeur, we returned to the beach and then to La Café, where we tried this wonderful Lasagna and a yummy Chocolate Milk Shake for our son.
We ended up paying Rs. 250 which was not much considering the generosity in the amount of cheese in the Lasagna and Chocolate syrup in the Shake.
By now, we were kind of, done for the day and thus headed back to our humble hut. Auroville is a different world at night and it seems that you are in mid of nowhere.
To the extent that we got a bit confused in locating our stay at night. It was pitch dark, thanks to no street lights there. Eventually, we managed to identify the gate in the dark, but by then, we all had energy left, even to have dinner.
We wanted to explore more of Auroville on the second day as most of the places near the beach road were covered on our first day. Since we had skipped our dinner, breakfast was the most important ritual to start our day with.
Initially, for breakfast, we had thought of trying out Bread and Chocolate, quite a known name in Auroville, but seeing the long queue, we went to another nearby eatery which was a complete contrast considering the menu.
We had our breakfast at Maahe Chat Café which offers very tasty Sattu Parantha (recommended by the Café owner), Aaloo Parantha, Poori Sabji and so on. We had 4 Parantha, 1 Poori Sabji and 2 Coffees and paid Rs. 560.
The place is a foodie’s heaven, especially for someone craving that typical Desi North Indian food and, of course, Chat and other Indian Snacks. Chat is their Middle Name, after all.
All About Our Experience at Auroville, Puducherry
We reached Matrimandir, Auroville, by 10:30 am. Car parking charges were Rs—100 per car. Entry to the temple is free.
You get a pass/entry ticket on which you need to get the number of visitors updated. One can take a cycle on rent at Rs.60 to explore the premises of Matrimandir. Alternatively, you can also walk around to behold the symbol of International Peace.
While returning, you can always avail the free bus service, if you are too tired walking all this while. We preferred walking back till the cafeteria of Matrimandir which is very near to the starting point. We had 2 Lemon Rice and a Cheese Omelette which was fairly priced as Rs. 285.
The cafeteria also offers a range of delectable shakes and exotic drinks at reasonable prices.
After lunch, we wanted to have a quick tour of Svaram Sound Garden in Auroville. Knowing that the tour takes a minimum of one hour, we skipped the same to invest that time on one of the beaches.
The tour cost to Swaram is Rs. 120 per person. It’s a great place for people who are into music as you would find various unconventional music instruments. One can also go for a music therapy which is chargeable.
Time for The Beach | Eden Beach
By 3:00 pm, we headed to the only Blue Flag beach in Puducherry – Eden Beach. Car parking charges were Rs. 50, and we relished some raw mango, pineapple, and watermelon, which the roadside vendor could offer. Surprisingly, even that was priced appropriately, and we just had to pay Rs.60 for that assorting of fruits.
Till evening, we were at the beach and were lucky enough to witness a beautiful sunset. With nothing more to be done, we returned back to our stay. But before that, we had our dinner at Maahe Chat Café since the food and the service, both were great during breakfast.
We had two Dal-Rice for dinner, 1 Chhola Bhatura (I can always have Chhola Bhatura as breakfast, lunch, or dinner), and two teas. The dinner cost Rs. 510. Nothing much to tell after dinner.
Sunday | The Last Day in Puducherry
Sunday, the last day in Puducherry, was finally here. And we wanted to start the day with an ambrosial mix of South Indian and French bakery food items. We had two Idly-Vada combos, one Red-Rice Dosa, one Veg Burger with Fries, a toothsome Cinnamon Croissant, and two coffees.
Auroville Bakery is a host to multiple nationalities and the menu says it all. We ended up paying Rs 550 for this wonderful treat.
With a target of reaching back to Bengaluru by 10:00 pm, we agreed upon having a quick boat-ride to Paradise beach before leaving from Puducherry.
Tickets for the boat-ride are available at Chunnambar Boat House. We paid Rs. 60 for the car parking and entry fee of 3 individuals and another Rs. 1062 for the three of us to enjoy our first ever boat ride in Bay of Bengal.
Paradise Beach, Puducherry
Paradise beach is a very clean beach with white sand. There was a quad bike and powered paragliding or parasailing for the adventurous ones.
We enjoyed our light lunch at the beach that we had got packed from Auroville Bakery. For lunch, we grabbed one cheese, one cinnamon croissant, and a spinach pie, for which we had paid Rs. 235. We took some fresh fruit juice at Café De Pondy, for which we had to pay Rs. 280.
After spending some quality time at the beach, we returned to Chunnamber Boat House and left Puducherry by 3:00 pm. We reached safely by 10:00 pm.
Summary of Our Puducherry Budget Trip
We had a wonderful, fun-filled family time together. We had a beautiful stay that lasted for 2.5 days and two nights. Our entire stay, including the food and boating charges cost us a little less than Rs 3000 per person, or to simplify, it was nearly Rs.1000 per person per day.
The reason behind sharing the prices, along with the experience, was to help our fellow travelers, with limited budgets to think of travelling. I believe that travel is not just an escape from life, but a therapy to ensure that liveliness does not escape our lives.
Recommended budget stay – Bon Gpsy Eco Stay
Please visit our article on Puducherry Travel Guide for a complete guide.
A Video From Our Puducherry Trip
Why not, as they say, 1 picture is 1000 words, and then an informative video is worth 1000 pictures. Here’s one from our Puducherry Trip
About the Author: Mayank Sharma
Mayank Sharma is an avid traveler exploring India with his wife and son. He is also a novice camper who likes hunting for secluded camping sites on weekends. You can check out his experiences on his YouTube Channel, ‘Pahadi Patidev’. You can also connect with him @pahadi.patidev on Instagram.