It is already famous for its Indo-French heritage and architecture, but these beaches in Pondicherry offer even more reasons to visit the charming city. While Pondicherry’s Promenade Beach is more of a sea-facing pathway than a beach, the city is close to several pretty beaches. The aptly-named Paradise Beach has a gorgeous setting in the midst of the Chunnambar backwaters. Situated to the north of the city, the Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach are quiet and pristine, with the latter gaining popularity as a surfing spot. These small beaches in Pondicherry may not be high on the tourist radar, but they score high on natural beauty and tranquillity.
These serene beaches top the list of best places to visit in Pondicherry.
Tucked inside the neighbouring township of Auroville, this beach is the perfect spot for quiet introspection. A 30-minute-drive from Pondicherry, it has all the tranquillity in the world you can ask for. There are no restaurants, shops, changing rooms or parking space—but you will find clear blue water and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. Located near the Auroville bus stop on the East Coast Road, it is mostly frequented by locals and fishermen. Due to the large waves, swimming on the beach can be a bit of a challenge. Auroville beach, popularly referred to as Auro beach, is close to Auroville, a popular Pondicherry sightseeing destination.
Situated in the heart of Pondicherry, this is rock-lined seashore is better suited for walking. It is adjacent to the Goubert Avenue, the main historical promenade of the city, which is lined with beautiful colonial buildings. The best way to take in the views is by walking down the entire 1.5 km-long stretch, stopping to admire the statue of Marquis Dupleix situated at one end, the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the middle, as well as the First World War Memorial. During the evenings, the beach comes alive with street food stalls, ice cream carts and balloon sellers, as well as locals taking their evening walk. Remember to have a cup of coffee at the sea-facing Le Café during your stroll.
Situated seven km to the south of Pondicherry, Paradise Beach can be reached through a 20-minute boat ride via the tranquil backwaters in Chunnambar. The setting is picturesque—this is the point where the Chunnambar River meets the Bay of Bengal. The Chunnambar Boat House organises excursions on motor boats and paddle boats, as well as water sports like canoeing, kayaking and rowing. With clean sand and shallow waters, the beach is perfect for swimming and relaxing. There’s a small shack serving snacks and refreshments. A sand bar extends out into the sea, giving the beach an island-like appearance. You can easily spend a few hours at the beach and return with the last boat in the evening. Further south of Half Moon Beach lies the southernmost beach in Gokarna known as Paradise Beach. The trek from Half Moon Beach is a tough one over the rocks with the company of Arabian Sea. This is another secluded beach, which gets active only during the peak season and has minimal activity during the other half of the year. Paradise Beach is accessible only by a trek from Half Moon Beach or by a boat/ catamaran ride from other beaches. It was once the most preferred beach of the hippies when they first landed in Gokarna due to its raw surreal beauty and seclusion. Evenings on this beach are leisurely with delicious seafood served by the cafes with music gatherings.
Located around 10 km away from Pondicherry, Serenity Beach is the right place to get your fill of the sun, sand and surf. While the picturesque beach is graced by white sand bordered by palm trees, the surrounding blue waters are a surfing hotspot. Thanks to a surf break, the beach’s waves attract both beginners and professionals. Run by two Spaniards, the neighborhood’s Kallialay Surf School conducts group and private surfing lessons at various levels. If you’re hooked by the idea of surfing in the Bay of Bengal, there are several sea-facing home stays and boutique hotels situated in the vicinity.