This Underrated City In India Is The Ultimate Place To Spend Your Winter Out Of The Cold

Winter vacations can be a delight in a time of dreary weather. Days filled with wind and cold, gray skies, piles of snow, and streaks of ice can feel draining and relentless. Taking a break and allowing yourself to reset somewhere bright and warm is an escape that has the potential to recharge your soul. If this sounds enticing, let us help you determine your next winter adventure. Sure, you could go somewhere popular like Miami or the Canary Islands, but then you'd miss out on unique and compelling places like Pondicherry, India.

Pondicherry is a city of just under 900,000 located in southern India. It's known for its annual International Yoga Festival, beautiful architecture, glorious beaches, and spiritual spaces. No matter your interests, you'll find something to keep you intrigued and entertained when you visit this colorful city. Next time you're craving warmth, sun, and lots of fun, consider booking a trip to Pondicherry to quench your thirst for adventure and delight.

Finding inner calm and exploring serene sites

For those looking to take a winter reset a step further and experience a potential spiritual connection, you can visit during the first week of January for the International Yoga Festival — much of which takes place outdoors. The festival, hosted by the Puducherry government's directorate of tourism, lasts four days and consists of discussions, competitions, workshops, group yoga practices, and more.

Alternatively, or additionally, you can check out some holy sites for that spiritual connection and education. For example, various ashrams serve as lovely places for meditation, contemplation, and, if you can be a respectful tourist, exploration. Auroville Ashram is perhaps one of the most popular ones in Pondicherry. Here, you'll find a community that centers on diversity and human unity. You can stop by the visitor center to obtain passes to tour the main meditation chamber, the Matrimandir Inner Chamber, as well as to see the garden. Other ashrams in Pondicherry include the Sri Chandru Ashram and the Natura Ashram.

Activities and relaxation

Once you've hopefully found some inner calm during the yoga festival or in the ashrams, you can introduce more movement and adventure into your itinerary. You can walk or pedal on your own or sign up for a tour that'll offer insight into the buildings and green spaces you'll encounter. For those wanting to travel by foot, you can go on a Heritage & Cultural Walking Tour of Pondicherry or embark on the Pondicherry Art Trails walking tour. 

Take control of your time and itinerary by choosing one of the many tours that pique your interest. For cycling enthusiasts, The Unique Pondicherry City Bike Tour by Sita Cultural Center is worthwhile. On the bike tour, you'll learn about the colonial architecture, diverse neighborhoods, and serene gardens throughout the city. You may be pleased to know that the tour company also offers various cooking classes.

While in Pondicherry, you might as well take advantage of the location and warm weather by spending some time at one of the city's beaches. For example, there's Paradise Beach, where you can lounge around, swim, kayak, and take boat rides, and Serenity Beach, which is great for surfing. Whether you want to relax or stay active, these beaches are fantastic choices. Enjoy them and the many other activities you can indulge in — you'll forget all about winter and the cold when you stay in Pondicherry for your warm-weather vacation.