2) Day trip: Auroville
Soak in the utopian atmosphere at the Matrimandir, a golden dome more sci-fi than Stranger Things. To enter the structure, you have to collect a pass from the Auroville office a day earlier.
PS: Don’t miss the Auroville Bakery for croissants, Tanto’s (for delicious organic pizza) followed by the Naturellement Garden Cafe (try the fresh mint-chocolate ice-cream). Another highlight is Swaram, a zen-like centre for musical research with creative, space-age instruments. Go play.
3) Shop: Kalki
Lose yourself in a maze of cotton dresses, perfumes, aromatherapy, natural essential oils, pottery, jewellery and unique souvenirs, all made by regional artisans. My stash included handmade soaps, beetroot & carrot pasta, hibiscus syrup, guava jam and spirulina supplements to take back home.
134, Mission St, Heritage Town. Inquiries, 0413 262 3450
4) Surf’s Up
Just 10 km north of Pondicherry is Serenity Beach. Even if you’ve never surfed before, the Kallialay Surf School will teach you to ride waves like you own them. One of the good-looking brothers, Juan or Samai, will be your instructor. (Either way, it’s win-win).
A 90-minute lesson is INR 1,000 per head.
5) Bon Appétit
Girl, let me break it down for you
Breakfast: Café Des Arts
Lunch: Villa Shanti (best red wine sangria ever)
Coffee: Le Café
Dinner: Maison Perumal (go for a complimentary cooking class at 6.30 PM)
Dessert: Zuka or Baker Street