French colonies, Gourmet food & Sun drenched #bestoftravel

Tripoto

Things to look out for in this trip:

1. Break from the mundane tasks.
2. Ancient monuments and sculptures.
3. Auroville – Must visit.
4. Mouth watery dishes.
5. Pristine and beautiful beaches.

Day 1

The moment I set my foot down, I experienced a sense of ecstasy. Travel gives me an alluring delight. The warmth of a new place, minuscule conversations with strangers whom we may not meet again, exploring something which we've never seen before and witnessing that which we've only heard before; one can only experience the beauty of it all with a personal encounter.

I’ve reached Mahabalipuram at around 10 A.M in the morning. It was fiery with blazing sun, slowly forming beads of sweat, leaving me to wonder the horror of the neighborhoods during peak summer. Needless to say, it becomes utterly chilly in the evenings tantalizing our spirits to drift away in solace.

Mahabalipuram is known for its ancient heritage and sculptures. On the other side, one can also come across the Indo-western culture, colorful cafés, lip-smacking food, narrow roads and bright lights. The town’s history dates back to 7th century with its temples and architecture being exceptionally old.

At the Mahabalipuram beach, Tamil Nadu

Photo of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India by Avanthika Musipatla

Dare not to miss:

Shore temple

The meaning of the name is prominent from the fact that it overlooks the sea, Bay of Bengal. Ideal time to spend at this place is one hour depending on the person’s interest in architecture. Having less aptitude in architecture, I sought out to explore the unseen corners of the place. I was thrilled with the spectacular view that came by, climbing up the rocks all the way behind the temple. One should exit the temple, and walk down the road for 500-600m to find themselves in Paradise! The vivid colors of the sea: blue, green, white, all set in different partitions added a cherry to the frosting.

Do ensure safety while climbing up the rocks as the rocks are extremely pointy and slippery.

Krishna’s butter ball & Descent of the Ganges

At every point in my travel to various destinations, I figured out one striking truth and that is India is a place of mysteries and miracles. The more I discover such places, I find myself drawn to travel a new destination up my wish list to demystify the truth about certain puzzling facts.

One such amused place is nestled in Mahabalipuram.

This huge granite boulder is settled on a short incline supported by literally nothing. To avoid the crowd and get a better view of the place, visit the place either early in the mornings or late in the evening’s right before the sunset.

Silhouette up the hill at Krishna's butter ball.

Photo of French colonies, Gourmet food & Sun drenched #bestoftravel by Avanthika Musipatla

Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna’s Penance is a perfectly carved out monument on two rock boulders. I was in awe over the spectacular and minute details of the carvings. The monuments looks rich and vibrant even till date.

A fun challengeTry and capture the complete monument in one single frame!

Lighthouse for perfect sunset

Not even once, I was worried about hiring any public transportation as all the places are in close vicinity. Two kms up the hill from Descent of Ganges was the Lighthouse.

It was enchanting to watch the sunset from over the lighthouse. The view was worth the trek up a small flight of stairs. I stood right in the middle on the top, the gigantic Bay of Bengal on my left and on my right was the captivating sunset. It was one definite sight to behold.

I spent the rest of the evening at the Mahabalipuram beach, sifting the warm sand through my fingers, watching it slip through just like time. It was indeed an amazing place to spend in solace. Not to miss the delectable and scrumptious food to go along.

Day 2

After taking a weather check, I started towards Pondicherry. It was a fresh and a nippy morning with spine freezing breeze blowing my senses away.

Road from Mahabalipuram- Pondicherry

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Avanthika Musipatla

Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry was a 2 hour journey by road. One of the convenient & cheapest ways to travel is by taking a public transport which is available for every ten minutes from the crossroads. The road was wide enough and less crowded giving us a quick ride to the destination. Since I was short of time, I made my first stop at Auroville.

Auroville

Honestly I was skeptical about visiting Auroville as I felt it would wash out half of my day.

Visiting for the first time is slightly complex. For those who wish to enter the golden sphere (Matrimandir) have to obtain a pass from the Visitor’s center, physically present, at least one day in advance. Those who just want to see it from outside can take a visitor’s pass and proceed towards the viewing point. From the viewpoint, one can get a panoramic picture of the astonishing Matri mandir and its serene greenery.

From the enchanting Matri mandir view point at Auroville

Photo of French colonies, Gourmet food & Sun drenched #bestoftravel by Avanthika Musipatla

After the visit, I felt complete. My feelings were similar to that of a flying Ninja! I didn’t realize it was past afternoon, by the time I came out to tour the rest of Pondicherry. I lost track of time, whilst contemplating on my thoughts, drowning to find my inner peace.

The moment I entered Pondicherry, I was disappointed. I had a vivid imagination of alternate Goa painted in my head with secluded neighborhood, shacks at the shore and chilling by the bay. I rented a bike for the day or rather for those few hours left, pacing restlessly to cover the rest of the places.

I checked- in at a hotel in a locality named, White Town. Apparently, that was where I caught a glimpse of French colonies, colorful urbanities, blocks painted in yellow/green. It was thrilling! To finally have visited the French reign! Overwhelmed by the surroundings, I marched to treat my taste buds a savor of French!

Café Xtasi

Being a lover of Wood-fired pizza, I had a time of my life relishing the food at this restaurant. Affordable prices, tasty food and great ambience. This place is groovy at all times!

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

This one’s a must on the itinerary. The extremely beautiful stained glass panels portray the origin of the Christ. Its specimen architecture draws a whole lot of devotees as well as tourists to admire the magnificent house of God.

Paradise Beach

My ride to Paradise beach will always be a dear one, for it being nothing less than chaotic.

The only way to head to the Paradise beach is by taking a boat through backwaters. The boat ride would last for 30 minutes and the last ride back to the boarding point is at 6 P.M.

Oblivious of the fact, I reached the boarding point finding myself in a huge waiting line for tickets to board the boat. While I was progressing through the queue patiently not losing my ire, to my horror, after waiting for sweet twenty minutes, the ticketing counter pulled up the board that it was closed.

Dejected, I made my way towards the counter to at least enquire about the accurate timings and other details. I couldn’t really help myself to move out of the place as I have heard great reviews about it. Nevertheless, sub-consciously, I knew I will visit Pondicherry another time since there was a lot left to cover.

Just before my exit, I noticed a huge crowd gathered in front of the ticketing counter. Within span of seconds, I stormed to the point with the obvious hope to squeeze in a ticket.

Luckily, I made acquaintances with a group of tourists who were desperate enough like me and clubbed in the queue to buy tickets together. My excitement knew no bounds! It seemed like I won a raffle.

The topsy-turvy visit to Paradise beach was absolutely worth the adversity.

The view was absolutely worth the agony I went through!

Photo of French colonies, Gourmet food & Sun drenched #bestoftravel by Avanthika Musipatla

At Paradise beach

Photo of French colonies, Gourmet food & Sun drenched #bestoftravel by Avanthika Musipatla

Baker Street and Promenade beach

That being crossed off the list, and with a late night flight to board, I felt disheartened that I couldn’t cover all the places.

With few hours left, I set off to explore the streets. The Baker Street at White Town, has extraordinary confectionery items. The icing on top of the cakes, freshly baked cookies, handmade chocolates and jams are certainly tingling treats to rejoice in. Pondicherry looks magical at night! I just sat down at the end of Promenade beach on the rocks under the dazzling moonlight and illuminated streets listening to the roar of the waves, seizing the best of it!

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