Pondicherry - Cherry of the South

Tripoto
29th Sep 2018
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

Pondicherry, now Puducherry, for long, has been a dear #destination for people around the #globe. The place is a former French colony, which later became part of #India in 1954. It's along the sea side to the Bay of #Bengal.

The temperature can go high in summers and since it's along the sea, the air is quite humid. One must try to travel in winters or just after the monsoons end. The journey from Bangalore to Puducherry is an overnight journey of about 14 hours with lots of buses available on the route.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South 1/1 by Indian Footsteps

We reached at around 8 in the morning, rented two-wheeler from the market at about a kilometer from the bus stand. It's a must to keep in mind to avoid hiring private autos as much as one can because of their high fares and easily available public transport in the area.

After renting the two wheeler, we headed to Auro beach, where we planned to find a stay for ourselves. We reached #Auro beach area and there were a lot of affordable options available, including small #bamboo huts which cost around ₹300 per day for one person. We booked one, which easily accommodated three people and small luggage.

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Indian Footsteps

We freshened up and planned to visit white town, the part of #Puducherry that still holds the memories of its french colonial past.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

The #architecture of the town is admirable and takes you to a different world. There are a lot of old houses which are now converted into #Heritage hotels. A lot of places are named in #french and there are lot of restaurants serving good French cuisine.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

After roaming in the streets for few hours we went to visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram nearby. #Photography is strictly prohibited inside the premises and they also take caps and other accessories before one sits near the shrine of Sri #Aurobindo. The place has a small garden and lots and lots of squirrels. It's a great place to meditate and an #escapade into the peaceful environment.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

From one peaceful rendevous to another, we reached #Auroville in the early evening which is near to Auro beach.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

Auroville is a township partly in #Tamil Nadu and partly in #Pondicherry. It's built with the idea of universal brotherhood.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, which was conceived by #Alfassa as "a symbol of the Divine's answer to man's aspiration for perfection". Silence is maintained inside the #Matrimandir to ensure the #tranquility of the space and entire area surrounding the Matrimandir is called #Peace area.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

The entry into Matrimandir was closed at that time. There is a long walk from the entry of Auroville to matrimandir. One has to pass through the beautiful and ever green passage of trees. The place is quiet and captivating. Continuous drizzling added to the brightness of the greenery around.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

We clicked pictures of the dome of Matrimandir and on the way back sat in the restaurant at the entry of Auroville. It serves nice #coffee and lots of options for #cakes and custards. The food was decent and the environment just added the mysterious affinity to everything in that place.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

As the #rain stopped, we went back to our hut house and waited for the weather to get clear.

From there we went to #Rock #Beach to spend the #evening. There is a #promenade across the beach and huge rocks on the coast and thus the name. The place is vibrant and no vehicle is allowed to enter the beach area at night. It appeared as if all the #tourists as well as locals have gathered at one place. It was crowded but colourful.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

One can see people #skating, #riding #bicycles and just walking along the well constructed path adjacent to the beach, with the #sea breeze blowing across. The place is very clean and there are a lot of restaurants alongside.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

There is also an ice cream shop called #GMT, which serves #liquor flavored ice creams. It's definitely a must try. There are also shops for buying imported items. A memorial with the statue of #Mahatma Gandhi and some government buildings. Due to lack of lighting we could not capture the view on the #camera but its definitely captured in our minds.

We had our food at one of the restaurants and went back to our hut house.

First we were reluctant as we wanted to do #scuba diving and had no great idea about #surfing. The owner of the place changed our minds with one statement "surfing is about controlling the water while scuba diving is submission to water". Well with that being said, we got ready for our first surfing lesson.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

Our trainer was a French guy, who taught us about the positions on surf board and within an hour he took us to the tides. Well, to be true after about 99% of failed attempts, the first successful #surf ride was more satisfying than anything in the world. The sense of achievement and the adventure spirit went through the spine.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

After all this physical exertion, we went back to our stay, cleaned the sand off and slept through the noon. After waking up, we went back to roaming in the streets of White Town and the lively atmosphere of Rock beach. Well it's festivity was indeed infectious.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

This time we went through some internal route and found a temple before the beach area. The temple had an #elephant outside. The elephant was giving blessings by gently putting it's trunk on the head of anyone offering something to the benevolent beast. It was exciting and fun. We spent few hours there, tired and satisfied we went back and slept to see what the next day held for us.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

We reached via #two-wheelers at one side of the beach. We parked our vehicles and travelled some distance to reach the beach.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

Well credit goes to the person who named it like that. The view of the endless sea, partly cloudy sky, clear sand and coconut trees was majestic, incredible and exquisite.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

The main area of the beach is under the government and we paid an entry fee of 100₹. The place has shacks that serve food and offers a boat ride to the backwaters.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

We boarded the boat and fortunately, there was nobody else on that #boat. The trip across the beautiful backwaters and intricated circles of #coconut trees around was beguiling.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

After completing the ride we stayed at the beach for few hours, looking towards the sea and peeking into our own being, serendipitous indeed.

We searched for places to eat and sat in #Cafe Xtasi, which is famous for #pizzas. The pizzas were good both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and also the mock-tails were nicely prepared.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

Walking through the market nearby for hours, we felt the urge to relax and we sat in cafe des artes.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

The ambiance of the place is gorgeous and there are some graffiti outside the cafe. The food is average and disappointed us to some extent.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps

By the time we, reached back and packed our bags, it was late evening and we had to catch our bus. So we returned the two-wheelers and on the way to bus stand, had our dinner at A2B restaurant, which is a popular food chain in south India. The food was great and trip ended on a good note. We reached the bus stand, picked the bus and reached back Bangalore by the next morning.

A look back at the this brings the sweetest memories of fun, adventure and tranquility to the mind. The fun in the streets of White Town, the adventure of surfing at Serenity beach and the peace and tranquility at Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Why visit Pondicherry? the answer to that is why not?

The perfect beach holiday, the self exploring journey, this is Pondicherry.

P.S. : All the pictures were clicked on Xiaomi Redmi 3S.

"Don't let lack of resources limit your imagination and passion"

Total trip cost : 20K for 3 persons

Surfing : 3.5K/person

Cafes and food : 4K

Accomodation : 2.7K (300/day for per person)

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Day 2

Next day, we planned to find a club for scuba diving but there was no availability. But in the process, we stumbled upon a surfing club called Mother Ocean Surf school located at Serenity beach, which is just few kilometers from the Auro beach.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
Day 3

This was the last day and we decided to go to Paradise beach before anything else.

Photo of Pondicherry - Cherry of the South by Indian Footsteps
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