Jan 242013

Beach Road Pondicherry- A Walk to Enjoy

Bapu was born in Porbandar, a city with nice beaches, which later became known for gang wars and movies were made on its notorious Gang led by the Godmother Santokben Jadeja , where Shabana Azmi played the lead character. But Bapu left Porbandar long ago and left his mark not only on this country but also on South Africa and other countries in the world.

Tallest Gandhi Statue

Gandhi Statue on Beach Road Pondicherry

To respect Bapu’s association with the beach city he was born in almost every city with a beach in India has a Gandhi Statue, on the beach not to say that cities without beaches don’t have them.

But the Gandhi Statue on Beach Road in Pondicherry or Pondicherry is the big daddy or Bapu of all Gandhi Statues in the country. Standing larger than life at 4 meters plus the platform it is in a Lutyens Delhi style Gazebo, surrounded by granite pillars giving it a grand look.  The kids in our country love Baapu even today which was evident from all of them trying to pose with him when I visited the beach road in Pondicherry for a walk.  Though the statue does not have direct access but kids make it a point to climb the triangular slides kind of approach and reach the base of the same. This statue is a little tough to photogrpahy as the statue is made of black granite and is surrounded by white marble structure, with blue sky as background so pictures either come too dark or too bright depending on where you are focusing.

I have never seen kids and even young couples getting clicked with a Gandhi Statue, and even if this was purely for touristy purpose.  I felt very happy that Bapu is not just idolized he is still revered to be clicked by a generation who only knows him through text books, most of them having missed even the epic Richard Attenborough master piece Gandhi.

Let me come back to the  walk on the beach road in Pondicherry is the central attraction of downtown Pondicherry or Puducherry. Though the name Beach is a misnomer as after the Tsunami it has been covered by the rocks and the beach is just a sliver of sand.  Most people visit the road in the evening to enjoy the cool breeze, and the yummy street foods of India like, chaat, sev poori masala corns, bhajia, gol guppa or pani puri or puchka a favorite of all women in India. Once you have had your favorite yummy spicy treat haggle with some street vendors who are selling from balloon to semi precious stones along the pavement, though remember the 50 Rs you are haggling to save from her could be her margin for the day. On the other side of the road you will see historical buildings like the light house and the old customs house, which looks like a haunted house in the picture I took.

Gandhi Statue Pondicherry

Bapu is popular with kids 🙂

The beauty of the Beach road is that traffic is not allowed in the evening and you can see both Indian families and foreign tourist enjoying the breeze and doing things that tourists are supposed to do. The Gandhi statue is very close to the famous landmark Le Café which has become a shadow of its Former glory and is able to sell food only because of its location. It is tough to judge which is lousier their food, the service or the cleanliness, but the view of the sea is undoubtedly beautiful. There are many hotels and restaurants on the beach road and behind it most of them are within walking distance, so take your pick.

So next time you are in Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is now called as part of renaming process don’t miss the beach road, buy some corn on the cob from the street vendor or if you are less adventurous some popcorn or peanuts and hold the hand of your beloved and take a leisurely stroll. Don’t forget to stop in front of one of the tallest statue of the father of nation and ask any stranger passing by to click a picture of yours. You never know that stranger could be your friendly Desi Traveler as I did for more than 5 different groups during my last visit.

old customs house puducherry

The Old Customs House Looks Haunted in Evenings !

flea market vendor in puducherry india

A Vendor Selling Beads on Beach Road Pondicherry

Statue of Dupleix former French Governor of Pondiherry

Statue of Dupleix Former French Governor of Pondicherry

How to reach there: All roads in Pondicherry end at the beach road after which you will need a boat, unless you want to swim. Pondicherry is very safe for all kind of tourists including single women traveler, specially the beach road area and you will find uniformed cops silently walking the area till late in night.

Old light house  beach road Pondicherry

Old Light House Beach Road Pondicherry

If you go to the other end of the beach road you will find a small children’s park with The Statue of Dupleix is 3 metres tall statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix, who was governor of Pondicherry from 1742 to 1754, and I think Duplex apartments are named after  him or my thinking is wrong and it is a coincidence. 🙂

Other Posts in the Pondicherry Series

1. Random Pictures from Pondicherry 2. International Marriage in Pondicherry 3. Remembering Those taken by Tsunami in Pondicherry

4. Capturing Fishermen Catching Fish in Pondicherry 5. Ratatouille- Trying French Food in Pondicherry India

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  4 Responses to “A Walk on Beach Road in Pondicherry”

Comments (4)
  1. Beautiful picture of Gandhiji and the kids. Trust you, to take pictures with a difference!

    Do they still play the music, on the beach in the evenings. In the 80s, they used to .:-). We used to go down the sandy part, and collect lot of shell fish!

    From your post, I guess , it is still a lovely area to relax., thankfully.

    Nice post Desi traveler.

  2. I enjoy reading a lot and your stories are worth reading, nice blog, keep it up.
    EaseMyTrip Travel Blog

    For the guest blogging u can mail me
    @ kalpana.sharma297(at)gmail(dot)com

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