My Li'l Travel Book | Pondicherry - Sushmita Malakar Blog //]]>

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Li'l Travel Book | Pondicherry

Here I am, with the first part of my series - My Li'l Travel Book.

I decided to start with the latest holiday that I had with my family. It was a pretty good, 8 days long trip in the month of March this year. The trip consisted of a stay in Bangalore for four days, Pondicherry for three days and Mysore for a day.

I was mesmerized by the beauty of Pondicherry, a small Union Territory which is actually a perfect and peaceful getaway.

Before I give you a detailed description of my stay, let me tell you quick facts and travel tips about Pondicherry.

  1. Two to three days are sufficient to cover this place. 
  2. The best time to visit is before the onset of Indian summers, that is, from October to February. 
  3. You can reach this place by train or plane or by road. 
  • If travelling from Chennai, the journey will take around 3 hours via the East Coast Road. 
  • If travelling from Bangalore, the journey takes around 6 hours via NH 46.

My journey started from Bangalore at around 7 am in the morning. The route that we took, and which I will recommend as well was : 

Bangalore > Hosur > Krishnagiri > Vellore > Arcot > Cheyyar > Vandavasi > Tindivanam > Pondicherry

This route was a wonderful experience and I fell in love with the highway. Even the state highways offered a very comfortable experience. And the journey took around five and a half hours. 

The road highway is pretty beautiful. 
No matter how long the route is, the beauty and the no traffic and hassle will not make you tired.

Tamil Nadu is greener than I imagined. At least way too greener than Karnataka.

Pondicherry welcomed us with li'l traffic and a pleasant weather. We checked-in into our hotel, took a nap and then started for exploring this beautiful city. We stayed very close to the Heritage or the French Colony which is by the side of the sea. 

One beautiful corner of the French Colony.

The promenade is a wonderful place to go for a morning or an evening walk. The quietness of the sea is its beauty. I was totally mesmerized. Along the promenade, there are various memorial established from the times of the French Settlements. This place also has the Aurobindo Ashram where the samadhi of Shri Aurobindo Ghosh rests. Photography is not allowed inside the premises, but the ashram is indeed beautiful. 

The calm and quiet sea in the morning. 
The coast line along which the French Colony is situated.
The various memorials are built along the Promenade. 

The French War memorial. 

Gandhi statue at the Promenade. Even you will be surprised to see the difference in the maintenance of the Indian and French memorials!
There is a local market around and few french restaurants as well. However, I would really recommend to eat the local South Indian food. I am not a South Indian cuisine fan but the food there was too good that I had no problem in eating that twice a day. Too light and fills you exactly in a manner to keep you active for sightseeing! 

Totally scrumptious South Indian tiffin.  

And one thing that is definitely recommended by me is their bakeries.  There are some fantastic ones like Hot Breads at the MG Road near the Heritage colony - freshly baked breads and various other bakery items are a must have! 

Pondicherry's famous beach is the Paradise Beach which is reached by the a 15-20 minutes boat ride crossing the Chunnambar Lake. The boat road is so peaceful across the still backwater lake that you will be prepared to get mesmerized by the beautiful Paradise beach already. 


The never ending and mesmerizing Chunnambar Lake. 

Finally, the Paradise Beach, which truly lives up to its name. 

If you are in Pondicherry and if you haven't visited Auroville then I believe the visit to Pondicherry is incomplete. Auroville is a small township on the outskirts of Pondicherry. It is a settlement which was founded in the year 1926 by Shri Aurobinda and his guide, "The Mother". 



The moment you enter the town, you will actually experience the ultimate peace and serenity. Then you go to the Matrimandir Complex, which is a place to meditate and and attain tranquility. Before yo go the the Mandir, you will be shown a movie about the history and foundation of the place. The path leading to the temple is  shady and the walk on it is just beautiful, surrounded by various trees.

The path which leads to the Matrimandir.
The well maintained parks around the Matrimandir. 

Finally, the Mandir. You will be able to see it from the National Highway before entering Pondicherry. Yes, it is that massive. You can go inside the temple but you need to book your visit in advance. 
The coastline along Auroville has various beaches like the Auroville and the Serenity beach. These are basically inhabited by the fishermen. The beaches are not as clean but yes, as I said, the sea is ultimately peaceful. 

Auroville Beach.
The beach with the boats.
You have to try one of the restaurants in Auroville. You will be surprised to see the preperation of the food and also how the ingredients used are either freshly plucked from the gardens or caught from the sea. We went to this place called Tanto which offered authentic and very innovative pizzas made in the traditional wood and brick oven. Not the authentic pizzerias are not here in Delhi, but these pizzas were certainly different. Very different. 


Freshly plucked basils as one of the toppings on our pizza. Look at the texture of the pizza.
I had egg plant (brinjal) on my pizza for the first time and it did not taste bad at all( though it does sound bad!)

And finally, my trip at Pondicherry ended with visiting loads of churches. Trust me, the cathedrals here are magnificent, beautiful and as peaceful as can be. 


The Eglise De Notre Dame De La Conception Immaculee.
The Sacred Heart Cathedral. 
Pondicherry is indeed a very great holiday destination and it would not disappoint you! I was glad that I went there with my family and they were pretty content with a short and sweet escape from the always busy Delhi. 

14 comments:

magiceye said...

Beautiful images and interesting information!!

Nima Das said...

interesting read and lovely pictures.

Ami Bhat said...

Thanks for sharing. You should try out the Bangalore- Krishnagiri - Vellore, Pondicherry as well - Stop over at Vellore for the Vellore fort . Will be a good route.

Another longer yet lovely route is Bangalore- Krishnagiri- Kanchipuram- Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry. Again, plan a stop over at Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram....

Cheers
Ami @ http://thrillingtravel.blogspot.in/

wanderingjatin.com said...

Lovely photos and accounting of your trip to Pondicherry. East Coast highway is too awesome with backwaters at one side and the ocean at the other, at times. Did u visit inside the Matrimandir? It's out of this world!

Pendown M Talks Here said...

I have not visited Pondicherry and have heard a lot of its beauty, you reminded me once again that it needs to be done.
Keep the stories coming Lil' girl :)

Sushmita said...

Thank you so much! I am glad you liked the images :)

Sushmita said...

I am glad Nima you appreciated this one. :)

Sushmita said...

@Ami I am surely going to try this route during my next vacation.

This time we wanted a very very clean and comfortable route because our parents were travelling. And it was indeed pretty comfortable :D

But yes, thanks for these suggestions. Mahabalipuram has been on my list since a very long time :D

Sushmita said...

Hello Jatin! Firstly, I am glad you visited my li'l space. My Pondicherry trip was very impromptu, but next time I am really going to go inside the temple! :)

Sushmita said...

You have to visit Pondicherry once! And yes, I hope I continue this series :)

Ankit said...

It was nice to see Pondicherry from your perspective. It takes a lot of effort to organise one's thoughts and memories to write a travel log, so keep up the good work!

Sushmita said...

Ankit, I believe the best way to preserve a nice trip is to write a travelogue : D
I am glad you like it :*

Aseem said...

Pondi seems to be a really tranquil and calm place. Beautiful pics all around :). You know the funny part is that I have been there as we once drove all along the ECR but didn't actually intend to go there :P. So it was more by chance than anything else. Would love to go there to discover all these beautiful places :D.

Sushmita Malakar said...

@Aseem
You have to go there. Trust me, ECR is just a trailer of the tranquility that Pondi offers.