Life is a beach

Swastik Pal | Updated on January 27, 2018

Puducherry’s seaside, just like the town’s oft-visited spiritual attractions, has its tranquil moments

Under French rule till 1954, the Union Territory of Pondicherry (renamed Puducherry 10 years ago) is synonymous with Auroville, Creole cuisine and its French Quarter. People come here for a “spiritual break”, with a bit of meditation, voluntary service and even some healthy eating (courtesy the kitchen at Aurobindo Ashram) thrown in. The not-so-spiritually-inclined gravitate towards the sprawling bungalows in the French Quarter, sign up for cookery workshops, and dine at posh beachfront restaurants.

Away from the touristy circuit, Puducherry’s beaches are mostly frequented by locals. It doesn’t have the pull of Kerala or Tamil Nadu’s sandy stretches in terms of tourist footfall. Perhaps that’s what helps maintain their serenity.

During the wee hours — like in any other fishing harbour in the world — Puducherry’s beaches look lively. Once the men have ventured into the sea, calm and tranquillity return to the shore. As you sit by the sea through the day, you’ll find locals — students, officegoers, homemakers and newlyweds — trickle in for their quantum of solace.

Swastik Pal is a Kolkata-based documentary photographer

Published on January 27, 2017

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