January 20, 2010

Pondicherry Weekend

Had been to Pondicherry for the christmas weekend...One day visit from chennai was the single most factor that tilted our decision towards Pondi. Wanted to enjoy the ECR scenery, but unfortunately, our Van didn't have the permit to use the route, so had to take the NH45..The travel was smooth, went to our native village near tindivanam, enroute to Pondicherry..Around 12 of us were there. lots of fun. Chennai was at it's coolest best during that time, thought Pondicherry would also be cool, packed my boy in full sleeves, full pant..but sun was out in its full force and there was stuffy feeling all around.

First stop was at Auroville, a town by itself. In its own words - Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity." So, the place was teaming with Foreigners and tourists from other states. The Mantrimandir is the center piece for meditation and it was a good 1 km walk so we decided to skip it. I don't fancy herbal products at exorbitant amt. Auroville has a well stocked shop that sells candles, t-shirts, kurthas, soaps, etc and are priced for NRIs and Foreigners. A small video presentation gave us an insight into what Auroville was all about.

It was lunch time and we went to Hotel Ram International - waiting period was a good half-an-hour. The food was good. Next was Aurobindo Ashram. I could see pious devotees all around. I liked the calm atmosphere. Thats it. Wonder, why they converted it into a tourist place..half the crowd didn't know what it was (Heard a man comment : I think, it is some foreign temple built here) Few steps ahead was the Manakula Vinayagar, contrary to the silence we saw earlier, the decibel levels here were high as in a typical south Indian temple...A small elephant was at the entrance and was doing brisk business.

Beach was our last stop. On the way to beach, we had some snacks at Le-Cafe opp to the French Consulate. The masala puri there is divine...try it. The buildings near the ashram were a scream, very majestic. Lovely architecture.

Beach is not like the ones we find in chennai, there is very little of the beach as such..there is small stretch of sand and then the rocks. We were there exactly on Tsunami anniversary.. a small group was seen saying a prayer to the loved ones. We left pondicherry at around 7 pm..reached chennai around 9.30 p.m

Well, Pondi is not a great place for family visit. I think, checking into a resort would have been a better choice. Pondicherry by itself is not alluring for a chennai-vasi..the beaches in chennai are far better than those in Pondicherry...Can be seen once, just for the heck of it.

9 comments:

nalliyakkodan said...

How did the French Colony in South India get its name Pondicherry?
Puducheri –New Town

One of the translaters during the French regime translated puducheri as Poudicherry and in addition made a mistake,inadvertantly, of replacing “n” instead of ‘u”,and it came to be known as Pondicherry

nalliyakkodan said...

Please visit http://www.india.gov.in/knowindia/literature.php and comment

nalliyakkodan said...

also visit http://www.india.gov.in/knowindia/ancient_history.php
and comment please

Krishnan said...

Been there umpteen times (my sis lives there) and got bored. Next time try Chunnambar.
Like you said, maybe staying in a resort will be a better experience.

sugan said...

Nalliyakkodan: Thanks for stopping by - thats an interesting anecdote on nomenclature...I shall read the links u have pointed out and get back to u..

Krishnan: Let me try chunnambar sometime later...

Sathya said...

Once the beaches in Pondicherry had enough sand space where we used to get down and play in our childhood days.. rocks are there for the past 10+ years to avoid further soil erosion,. We too miss the sand stretches there.

Aaarti said...

Nice post...

I for one love going to Pondy... just sit by the beach, talking to a friend or walking up and down the roads..its fun!! have gone there alone, with friends n with family...its just peaceful for me!! :)

infact i was also there the Xmas weekend.. fri-sat!!

Aaarti said...

Have u visited Tranquebar? and pichavaram? both are a few kms from Chidambaram... lovely places!!

Admin said...

Karaikal a part of Pondy quite unique in its own way , have sandy beaches and nice rivers... Dont miss it....

http://pondyblog.blogspot.com/