It might be a little difficult to describe the real Pondicherry Vibe, but this former French Colony does a wonderful job of maintaining the contrasting and yet pleasant melange of culture where the old French influence seamlessly blends with Tamil tradition.
On one side you have the French Town with beautifully paved, French-inspired streets like La Bourdainnais, La Sufferen adorned with quirky art galleries, vintage curio shops, and French Cafes and on the other side of the canal is the colourful Tamil Quater with popular shopping centres and Dosa joints and on the famous Ambour Salai and Nehru Street.
A miniature version of Paris you might say, Pondicherry with its Franco-Tamil architectural and cultural heritage, offers travelers a slice of culture, a peek into history and laidback seaside getaway. It is rapidly transforming itself into a modern day destination but still with all of the old charms intact.
From the old restored villas to the Tamil mansions, this seaside town is another great option if you are looking to stay different. And by different we mean a more local experience of the place and this is exactly what our team from Rightstay was on the lookout for in Pondicherry.
The RightStay Team was in Pondicherry a week ago and they came across some of the most charming homestays and hosts , who introduced to them a different side of this quaint seaside town.
Fluent in French, English and multiple other languages, homeowners in Pondicherry have been welcoming travelers from all over the world for years before the concept of ‘homestay’ even started trending. It was for them a great way to meet new people , gather knowledge and at the same time put their extra space to use.
While on the lookout, we met Bitasta a teacher, an artist and a homemaker who divides her time between teaching at the Ashram, taking care of her three beautiful dogs and maintaining her lovely heritage mansion which has welcomed and hosted guests from all over the world. Located in the prominent area of Pondicherry in the French Quarters just 100 meters from the Beach, this Heritage Home is a reflection of Bitasta’s continuous endeavor to provide her guests a slice of Old Pondicherry with all the modern world necessities.
Bitasta currently has three different rooms on offer, one facing the sea, one garden facing room and one in the terrace. When asked about what she loves about hosting? Bitasta answers with a smile, ‘ I love meeting new interesting people’ She speaks fondly about this one gentleman who stayed with her in 2015. Although she gives her guests their own personal space, she was really intrigued by this particular guest who arrived with crutches on the first day and opted for the room with the terrace.
When she offered the room below so that he wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of climbing up , he politely refused. The next day when he walked down the staircase, Bitasta stared in awe as he was walked about perfectly without his crutches. Was it an overnight miracle? Was he really handicapped? Bitasta wondered for a while and decided to ask him anyway. She was pleasantly surprised to know that this particular guest was on a walkathon around India and her home in Pondicherry was his last stop. ‘This is why I open my doors to travelers’, Bitasta says with a smile.
In Pondicherry, our team got to experience warmth, trust and a sense of hope , a hope of a great future relationship between hosts and their guests.
And if you want to experience the same sense of hospitality and warmth, stay with one of our many wonderful hosts on your next visit to Pondicherry.
You can find your next ideal homestay here!
By : Richa Devi