Like my other weekend gateways, I started this trip on one of the Friday evenings. I took the bus from Bangalore, had no bit of clue about this place, a French colonial settlement in India is now a union territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu known as Pondicherry (or Puducherry).
I reached Pondicherry around 6:00 am in the morning. So far, I have experienced is that if you want to understand the culture of any city, it’s always good to start early in the morning. I always find it so fascinating to see that how the local community does their daily household chores, how do they start their day, love the smell of early morning tea at tea stalls. Observing that I reached my hotel Promenade which was located on the beach side.
In the French Quarter overlooking the Bay of Bengal, I booked Promenade before coming to the Pondicherry. The promenade is a boutique hotel, little expensive but worth staying. After the stay, I can say this without any single doubt that I am extremely lucky to experience this property. In particular, my room was a sea facing wooden cottage with an antique door made my time stuffed with the complete package.
Moving around Pondicherry: Moped, the efficient and cheap way
As I moved towards the mission street, the first thing I wanted to do was to hire a scooter. I never enjoyed any city the way I did Pondicherry. The road was so clean and well constructed. Pondicherry is quite small, as the area of the town’s core center, called Heritage Town, I realized that it is thus possible and even advised to visit the town on foot.
Travel to French Era
While walking through the Pondicherry street, most of the time my eyes were on the courtyard and balconies which were very much typically French. Actually, the architect was a major attraction. In Pondicherry, the houses were built in a way that almost all of the houses in the city had verandahs, big lawn and graffiti painted walls which seemed to me like a Canvas. The whole city was so creative and warm. Most of the houses were colored with yellow and white paints.
Great food makes Pondicherry the go-to place
Pondicherry boasts a list of cafes that have been restored. Starting with the Kafe Express, Le Cafe, and Asian House. Asian House was more lounge and resto-club with an aesthetic ambiance. Asian hour feature more of a pure Electronic Dance Music (EDM).
While crossing Caserne Street, I noticed in a corner plot, warm yellow walls set off quaint French-style curved window house. That was the quick impression I had when I entered that old house where Pondicherry’s Anokhi operates. Indian style but in the European way! All I wanted was to buy everything! Anokhi sells ethnic Indian women’s cotton wear with traditional block dyes. Anokhi is a well known chain shop in India.
Sri Aurobino Ashram
When I entered the Aurobindo Ashram, I saw the flower-festooned samadhi of Aurobindo and the Mother, and I saw the bookshop when I was leaving. I could not get time for the evening meditation around the samadhi which is open to people with passes.Everything there was calm and peaceful, and it’s one of the places where the new world is growing, activities promote health, philosophy, yoga, and art. There is also a great bookstore with products from Auroville.
Lovely and inspiring !!
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