Pondicherry- or Puducherry- is a union territory in India located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. With azure blue skies, French architecture, swaying palm trees and rocky as well as sandy beaches, it is one of India’s favourite vacation spots. Pondicherry’s geography is also blessed with backwaters, mangrove forests and lakes that make it a perfect adventure destination in India. With Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach, Auroville and its Matri Mandir, Sadhana Forest and French War Memorial amongst other places to its name, it truly is a tourism hotspot!
1. Scuba Diving
Pondicherry has a diverse marine life along with its costs which makes it absolutely ideal to go scuba diving in Pondicherry. Pondicherry is the first place that’ll come to your mind when you think of scuba diving in Tamil Nadu because it certainly is the best! Pondicherry has many PADI certified trainers and training camps. With a number of fish, sea plants and even sea turtles, Pondicherry scuba diving is good for divers of all ages- whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver. One can spot whale sharks, angelfish, kingfish, sea snakes, groupers, manta rays and many other creatures here.
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out scuba diving in Pondicherry is from October to March.
There’s perhaps nothing better than a calming sunset kayaking session in the balmy weather of Pondicherry! From mangrove forests in the backwaters to paddling away in the calm ocean, kayaking in Pondicherry is definitely unbeatable. There are many kayaking institutes in Pondicherry as well where one can learn the basics of the sport. Scenic Beach and Karaikal beach are definitely the top Pondicherry kayaking spots.
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out kayaking in Pondicherry is from October to March.
The lanes of the French Quarters with their colourful pastel buildings and its vintage vibe is a great place to start bicycling in Pondicherry. The Muslim Quarters and Tamil settlements are also perfect to explore this tiny union territory and its hidden charms. For a more adventurous bicycling fix, one can explore the dirt tracks and forest trails around Auroville.
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out bicycling in Pondicherry is throughout the year.
4. Rock Climbing
The great thing about Pondicherry is that it is not just a beach town, it is much more than that. There are several rock formations throughout the UT where one can try rock climbing in Pondicherry. In fact, one of its beaches- Serenity Beach- has great rock formations and boulders for one to climb! Additionally, the ravines near Auroville also make for a great spot to get your climbing game on. Not only that, but you can also try your hands at rappelling here.
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out rock climbing in Pondicherry is throughout the year.
The forests around Auroville and its lesser-known ravines are picturesque spots where one can go hiking in Pondicherry. For the wildlife and bird lovers, Ousteri Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for hiking trails in Pondicherry and one can even camp overnight at several places here, including the mesmerising Ousteri Lake!
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out hiking in Pondicherry is throughout the year.
The Kallialay Surf School is what brought the surfing revolution to Pondicherry. With such great surfing spots in Pondicherry, one can learn to catch a wave at very reasonable prices here. The breaks here are ideal for surfers of all levels- from beginner to advanced, and other related sports like bodyboarding in Pondicherry are also a must-do. Serenity Beach is one of the best spots for surfing in Pondicherry with great swells and breaks.
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out surfing in Pondicherry is from October to March.
Parasailing in Pondicherry is not the most common sport, but if you look enough, there are a few operators that help you indulge in this extreme adventure. The beach located close to the new lighthouse is one of your best bets for Pondicherry parasailing. If you aren’t afraid of heights, you must try this exhilarating sport!
Best time to visit: The best time for trying out parasailing in Pondicherry is from October to March.
Pondicherry is indeed a complete destination for all kind of travellers. For the history buffs and the architecture lovers, one can geek out in its colonial buildings, many cathedrals and war memorials and museums. For the nature lover, there are several ravines, lakes, beaches and forests around to soak in the bounties of nature. And these bounties of nature make for the perfect adventure sports companion that let you get your adrenaline dose through its many sports! So choose what you want, Pondi has your back!