Trip to Peaceland


Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased (John Steinbeck).

For me, that trip was called the trip to Pondicherry. A beautiful sunny morning I landed on Pondicherry railway station; a nice, clean station. I had chosen to stay in one of the hotels run by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and I must add that it was too cheap. The foremost thing one needs to know about Pondicherry is that the place has a very low cost of living and it definitely is not going to burn a gaping hole in your pocket.

There are various places to hangout in Pondicherry but I personally loved the road that connects M.G. Road to the beach. If you want to travel to France but do not have the resources for it, Pondicherry is your go to place. Once you enter the French part of the town, you are literally going to get the feel of being out of India.

You can wander along the Gandhi beach at the night or in the morning. If you want to soak your feet, just climb down the rock or you might just sit on the platform and watch the waves and the fishermen boats sail by. For getting your body hydrated amidst all the soaking in of the exhilarating beauty, pay a visit to Le Café.

Your journey to Pondicherry will be incomplete if you do not set foot in the local café – Indian Café Express – at least once. Starting with waffles with maple syrup to ice mocha with cheese and mushroom paranthas in between, this place is never going to disappoint you. You can also find some other excellent restaurants to fulfill your appetite.

Being in Pondicherry and not visiting Auroville might be considered to be a cardinal sin (just kidding) but it is a must visit place and is only an hour away from the main town. Buses leave from the Ashram and you can contact them for a detailed guided tour of the mini city. You can have a nice stroll among the lush greeneries or have a cup of tea with some south Indian refreshment or visit the museum for some amazing works by Sri Aurobindo or The Mother. However, the center of attraction is the Matrimandir which is a golden dome, perfectly engineered. Moreover, you cannot just miss the Auroville beach and the best part of this beach is that you do not have to climb down any rock.

I have done lots of travelling but none of the places have yet touched my heart as Pondicherry has. Travelling makes you a better person in every possible way. I have learned that people everywhere are the same. They change, their moods change, the person they are in the morning is different than what they are in the night and Pondicherry, in many ways, resembles people. I have been to this place uncountable number of times (if I think carefully, I might be able to tell you the number of times though) and every time the place has taught me something new. But a tip from the writer is that if you really want to know a place, travel alone and not as a tourist but as a traveller. That way you will be open to see things as they exist and not merely what you want to see.

No website or travel blog can reproduce in words what you feel when you come across a random smiling face or the zombie crabs in between the rocks in the beach and neither am I perfectly able to express to you what I really have felt on my trips to Pondicherry and so I suggest that at least once in your life, you pay a visit there and gain a lifetime of experience and store some beautiful memories.

Keep wandering; invest in travelling; take photographs; make memories; leave behind footprints and let not routine disrupt your life that is yet to happen and travelling is one way to make it happen. Bon voyage!