Pondicherry: A French colonial state

Tripoto
29th Dec 2017
Photo of Pondicherry: A French colonial state by Jatin Gangwani
Day 1

The distance from Bangalore to Pondicherry is around 350 km. Pondicherry is one of the famous weekend getaways and an ideal place to sit and chill and enjoy the beauty of Bay of Bengal. You can take buses from Bangalore t0 Pondicherry which takes about 7 hours to cover the distance. But we thought of driving our way to the destination and enjoy the serenity of the roads. Now there are two ways to reach to pondicherry via bangalore. The Google map shows the shortest route via NH 77 which takes less time but the road conditions are pretty bad. So after a lot of research we took a different route via NH48 which covered krishnagiri, Ambur, Vellor, Arcot, Tindivanam and Pondi. Road conditions are very good and its a four lane highway, so i guess you can cover the additional distance without losing on drive time. We packed our bags and left home at around 1 a.m. The weather in bangalore at this time is chilling. Get your car’s tank full in Karnataka itself as the fuel in Tamil Nadu is a little bit costlier. The roads will open up as you cross Hosur. The road to Krishnagiri is a pleasure to drive and also you wont find much traffic on the way if you take the night journey. We took many pit stops on the way for tea and smoke which kept us going without falling asleep. I slept for some time on the way so i don’t remember the roads then but i guess it was a sound sleep without much interruptions.

Photo of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Jatin Gangwani

Passing through Krishnagiri, Ambur, Vellore, Arcot we finally reached our destination at around 8 a.m. Since our check-in time at the hotel was 11 a.m so we thought of heading to the beach as it was a windy morning and the weather was cool. We headed to the Auroville beach which is located about 10 km from the main Puducherry town opposite to the road leading to Auroville. It was early morning so it was not crowded at the time. The only people we could see were the fisherman and there boats. So we sat as it was drizzling, clicked pictures and saw the waves come and go. We spent some time on the beach and then left to our hotel "Ram guest house" which was on M.G.Road nearby to the railway station. We had our breakfast and tea and since we were tired from the road journey so we slept for a while. After noon we left the hotel and went directly to Whitetown which is right next to the sea. There are three beaches next to each other on Whitetown road - Rock beach, Serenity beach and Lighthouse beach. The temperature was around 30°C but it wasn't humid.

Photo of Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu by Jatin Gangwani

Things to do/Places to see : Sit on the rocks at Rock beach, Eat at Le Cafe or gaze at Gandhi statue. We tried getting into Old Port Dock but it was strictly restricted.

Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Rock Beach, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of GANDHI STATUE, Beach Road, White Town, Puducherry, Yanam, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of GANDHI STATUE, Beach Road, White Town, Puducherry, Yanam, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of GANDHI STATUE, Beach Road, White Town, Puducherry, Yanam, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of GANDHI STATUE, Beach Road, White Town, Puducherry, Yanam, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani

We spent time till evening and then headed to French colony which is at a walk able distance from the beach. Its a beautiful colony with buildings of different colors mainly yellow. We thought of going to Sri Aurobindo Ashram but it closes at 6 p.m. , so we spent our time walking around the colony. We had our dinner in a restaurant in Whitetown which cost us around 1100-1200 for four which was cheap. One more thing which is cheap in Pondi is alcohol :))). You can get a Budweiser pint for 70 Rs and Blenders Pride for 600 Rs which is pretty cheap. We still had time to call it a night so we headed to a church which is quite famous - "The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus". After that we headed to our room, sneaked to the rooftop and drank till 2 .

Photo of The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, MG Road Area, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, MG Road Area, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, MG Road Area, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Day 2

Places to see : Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Paradise beach and Matrimandir.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual community located in the Indian territory of Puducherry. The ashram grew out of a small community of disciples who had gathered around Sri Aurobindo after he retired from politics and settled in Pondicherry in 1910. You will be asked to switch off your mobile phones as you enter inside as it is a quiet place. We stayed there for 10 minutes in silence. There is a library inside where you can buy books written by Aurobindo. After that we had our breakfast in A2B restaurant and left for paradise beach.

A2B

Photo of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, White Town, Puducherry, India by Jatin Gangwani

Paradise Beach is around 7 km from the city center of Puducherry. It is Pondicherry's most pristine beach. You can build sand castles, play ball or read a book or take a relaxing dip in the turquoise water of the Bay of Bengal. Boat house beach, Paradise beach or Chunnambar beach all refer to the same place. We stayed there for a while till 3 pm and then headed to Matrimandir.

Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani

backwaters

Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Paradise Beach, Pooranankuppam Road, Pudukuppam, Pondicherry, India by Jatin Gangwani

The Matrimandir (Sanskrit for Temple of The Mother) is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga, situated at the centre of Auroville initiated by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Inside a central dome is a meditation hall. For your information, it is not a ‘tourist’ site. It is a place for individual meditation. Prior booking is required to access the Matrimandir for concentration at least a day in advance. Also a shaded 10-12 minute walk leads from the Visitors' Center to the Viewing Point. A free electric shuttle service is available for those who may find it difficult to walk the approx. 1 km distance each way. To see Matrimandir from the outside there is a raised garden area which offers visitors a beautiful view of the Matrimandir and its surroundings.

This was our last destination in Pondicherry and by 6 pm we bid our adieu to this beautiful place and headed back to home thorugh the same route we came. A nice trip will remain a nice one, and nothing can spoil the charm of the moments spent there. That's the beauty of travel. Also "Don’t listen and read to what I'm saying. Just Go see it".

Motto : "Work, Travel, Save, Repeat"

Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
Photo of Matrimandir, Auroville, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Jatin Gangwani
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