It was Savani's idea to take a trip to Pondy. Although we set out for a backpacking trip, ended up doing a lot of touristy things. I, Sushant and Savani had full plans to celebrate 18 years of Dil Chahata Hai. Our budget was not more than INR3000 for 3 days, obviously excluding the transport cost. Along with the transport, which was approx INR6500, our total trip budget was INR10K per head. We could've cut down the budget by booking trains, but then sparing 2 more days for a rail journey would have been too hectic.
Our flight landed in Chennai at midnight. That night we crashed at a place of an Instagtam friend of mine, Sulai. Early in the morning, Sulai got us seated in a bus to Pondicherry and there is where our trip began!
It took approximately 2.5 hours (due to less traffic) to reach our stop 1, Auroville. Auroville, the best settlement I've ever come across. It's an experimental community where people from all identities live together in the most sustainable way possible. You should definitely google everything about Auroville. Our stay was at the Time Travelers Hostel, which was just opposite to the Visitor's center (literally the center of the town). We had booked a pretty little primitive looking coconut hut for 3 of us which costed INR 900 for a night. After a cup of filter kaapi at the Visitor's center cafe and a bit of window shopping at some super expensive organic boutiques there, we head to the Matrimandir. It was just a golden ball which didn't fancy us much. We were interested to see what's within it, but couldn't make it till there since our itinerary for next 3 days of our tour were packed (You have to physically go and book a slot for the Matrimandir at the Visitor's center at least 2 days prior... Also it's free)
Although covered by lush green patches, Auroville was high in scorch meter. We were all drained out so we decided to chill at the hostel after having lunch at a local cafe. Our hut was the coziest place around. An afternoon nap was the most Maharashtrian thing we did that day. The other half of the day I spent painting Freddy Mercury on a wall while Savani and Sushant were busy talking to Nafsal (the guy who looked after the hostel) about his travel ideas, weed and Marxism. It was dinner time (9pm) but all the cafes nearby were closed, Auroville shuts down early. That day we had to survive on instant ramen.