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Old 2nd September 2008, 12:49   #1
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Default Picturesue Pondicherry

Day 1
Friday 29th Aug

Just 3 days before the Pondy meet we could make concrete plans of leaving for Pondy, we had decided to start on Friday itself as we would get the entire saturday for sightseeing.
My wife, my neice and her husband were able to slink out of their respective offices by 2 PM,
I picked them up and we were at Madivala, fuelling up at 3 PM.
I took the Sarjapur-Attibele route as suggested by Akroy, it was a nice change from the dust and diversion filled stretch along e-city.
First stop was for using the facilities at a place where a lot of the government buses had stopped a little ahead of A2B which we had whizzed past.
As Abhi had told me about the lack of good hotels once we turn off from the GQ roads, we had packed sandwiches from Koshy's bakery.
We stopped just after Uttangarai for a snack break.

Setting sun and the car
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Light play
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Roads were quite good with sudden small potholed patches, traffic was also minimal and we could cruise at 70-80 kmph speeds throughout. We made good time and crossed Tiruvannamalai, Gingee and Tindivanam and by 8.30 PM we were about 6 kms away from Pondy.

We asked for directions to the guesthouse at Auroville where we had booked a studio and turned off the main road to go to Auroville. We reached the guesthouse Gaia's Garden at 9 PM.

Some pics of Gaias Garden

The Studio Unit
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We dumped our bags and decided to head into town for some good dinner.
Drove straight to beach road, this road is forever enchanting in the evenings.
Ajanta Guest house a quaint little place by the sea had now become a modern hotel called Ajanta sea view, but luckily for us the terrace restaurant was still there but shifted to the third floor. We were one of the last customers as the place closes by 11 PM.
Post dinner we hung around the beach road for sometime before heading back to the guest house.

Some views along Beach Road
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Ajanta Sea View
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...Contd
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Old 2nd September 2008, 12:55   #2
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The studio you booked @ Auroville is certainly a class of its own and so the pics and the report is rolling now after being dormant for almost 2 days .
It was good drive back with all of you folks and yes keep the report and pics coming.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 13:05   #3
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Nice pics and writeup Hari, Keep them coming.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 13:07   #4
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Looks good, will follow this later, but can you add some more snaps of the guesthouse and also how much you paid.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 13:21   #5
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DAY 2
Saturday 30th Aug
Woke up to a message from Abhi asking about how our journey was, messaged patchy Boy about their progress on the road and set about planning the day.
Since there are no facilities for food at the guest house (provision to cook your own food is provided) we decided to explore Auroville for breakfast.
My wife had a list of must see/must do in Pondycherry so we tried out a German Bakery mentioned in that list. We had lip smacking croissants and Kitsch and an assorted platter of divine fresh bakery products along with cheese omelettes. The final bill for all these goodies for the four of us came to a little over 300 rupees.

The German Bakery
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Yummy Stuff
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Breakfast done we explored some shops selling ethnic stuff and decided to come back at the end of the day for purchases.

Street Shopping @ Auroville
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We then headed out to the Visitors Centre of Auroville where they have a nice audio-visual description of the place and the concept.

The Visitor's Centre @ Auroville
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An Unusual Sign
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The Exhibit Hall
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We then took the passes for visiting 'Matri Mandir' a geodesic dome which houses a meditation centre. It is a kilometre long walk in a man made forest to the dome.
The Path
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This Banyan Tree is supposed to be the geographic centre of Auroville
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My family
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The Matri Mandir
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Trying to find my inner self
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The walk sapped our energies as we were not used to the humid weather and we limped back to the visitor's centre for some refreshments. We then browsed the boutiques in that place before deciding to head back to the guest house for a small nap.

The AuroBoutique
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The Solar Kitchen (Cafeteria)
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Once back in the guest house, I get a call from Patchyboy telling they have just reached St. James Court and will be proceeding for lunch and they are not sure of the plan later. i tell him that I will meet up in the evening at the resort.
At about 3.30 Pm we head out for lunch and decide to try out the Beach cafe on ECR. Nice food for a reasonable cost again, here we were told to go to Repose beach which is exclusive to Aurovilleans, visitors need to produce their visitor's passes before they are allowed into the beach. Since we did not have any passes with us we told the security guard that he could call up our guesthouse to verify our credentials. He then allowed us in after making entries into a register.This beach has life guards keeping vigil and they manage to keep the general riff raff out. We played around on the beach till sundown and decided to call it a day.

The Repose Beach
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Snack Bar @ The Beach
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Came back to the guesthouse for a shower and then headed to St.James Court to meet the gang. At the resort we met the Chennai guys and the Bangalore Bhpians, we hung around for a while and as they were readying themselves for a drinking binge we decided to head back into Pondy for another evening out.

The 'Driving' Forces behind the Bangalore Members
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The ladies in the group decided that an evening out in Pondy is better than the party in the resort and decided to come along, so Vj_maverick and Khan_sultan were forced to abandon all their party plans to chaffeur their better halves. Rajan however stuck to his guns and so Susan, his wife came along.
It was first decided that the ladies wanted to do some window shopping, so we head into the town centre to be met by huge crowds of weekenders with hardly any place to park our cars. Once we parked in different places we realised that the crowds were too much so it was decided to head off to Beach road, we walked the kilometre to beach road and again ended up at Ajanta Sea View for dinner.

The Monument @ Pondicherry
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Here again we were forced to sit in two groups as the place was packed, this was a dampner for the evening. After dinner the group headed back to the resort and we to our guesthouse.

... Day 3 to continue
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Old 2nd September 2008, 13:43   #6
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Day 3
Sunday 31st Aug

I woke up early and decided to explore Gaias Garden, took some snaps and washed the car a bit.

Exploring The Garden
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Optra ready for the Return
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By 8.30 am the guys in the resort started calling about what to do next, told them to join us in Auroville and have a look around and we headed for breakfast to Aurolec a cafeteria.

Aurelec
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Lotus @ Aurelec
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Lukeskywalker and Wife
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The guys somehow missed the turn into Auroville and ended up in Pondicherry, meanwhile the ladies of my group wanted to do some last minute shopping and this made the guys wait for us at Pondicherry close to an hour, finally they decided to continue ahead and go to Chunnambar, I told them that would try and join them there directly. But once we entered Pondycherry city limits, the ladies again wanted to explore the supposedly famed Sunday Bazaar, we went looking for it and ended in a place that resembled Chickpet in Bangalore.

Views of the Sunday Bazaar
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Colourful Display
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So we found this nice shopping centre called Casa Blanca and hung around in airconditioned comfort till lunch time, this place also had a Pizza Corner so we decided to lunch on Pizzas. Rajan called me telling that they were done with Chunnambar and would be starting back to Bangalore via Cuddalore post lunch. We then decided that we will try and meet at Tiruvannamalai if we manage to reach around the same time.
3 PM saw us starting off from Pondicherry and we took the same route back, drove the 100 odd kilometres to Tiruvannamalai and find out that the Bangalore boys are also close by, we met up just outside town for a 'chai' break. Here even the two Elantras which had lagged behind at Chunnambar rejoined us.

The Bangalore Cars
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Can I offroad on this ?? (Khan_Sultan)
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The Ladies @ Tea
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This turned out to be like a meet within a meet, small discussions, photo sessions and general chit chat about the previous day's events etc.

Patchyboy, Khan_Sultan, VJ_Maverick and Lukeskywalker
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The Famous Tamilnadu "Metre" Coffee
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The informal 'Meet'
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The Gang
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From left to right,
Friend of Brraj, Elantra member, Brraj, Vj_Maverick and wife, Mrs and Mr. Khan_Sultan, Lukeskywalker and wife, Lukeskywalker's relatives, Patchyboy and wife, 3 friends of Brraj.

We then started off in a 6 car convoy with Rajan's Palio leading the way and all of us following him.

Ginjee Fort
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We again regrouped at the toll plaza at Krishnagiri where the Elantras decided to head off, we too decided to have a quick rest room stop and head back home. Hosur at 7.30 Pm, we halted to say our goodbyes and we headed back our separate ways.
We stopped at Hotel Tamilnadu in Hosur for dinner and then headed back home, reached home at about 11 PM after a nice holiday.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:39   #7
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Great travelogue and wonderful snaps there hari.

Missed yummy stuffs of german bakery .

by the way with cowboy hat you look young .
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:41   #8
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Great! Seems you had real good time in Pondy. Nice to hear.
Yes, the NH207 is far far better than the Bommanahalli, Chanasandra routes.

The Optra is good in a shiny RED Should we transfer the title from Srinivas to yours? Lol.

Quote:
by the way with cowboy hat you look young
So you mean to say he is old

Last edited by mjothi : 2nd September 2008 at 14:45.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 15:15   #9
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Nice Pics there Hari and somehow you tend to capture the final lot of team bhpians with families and friends always and definitely you are qualified for cowboy westerns as the hat suits you to perfection.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 16:44   #10
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Nice report and good pics Hari. Where are the Chennai bhpians?
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Old 2nd September 2008, 17:25   #11
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Great pictures Hari. It was a very good drive back from Pondi.

Cheers,

Rajan
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Old 2nd September 2008, 17:30   #12
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@ Snaronikar
Quote:
Nice report and good pics Hari. Where are the Chennai bhpians?
I hardly spent time with them at the meet, so did not have much time to click snaps of everyone.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 17:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VJ_MAVRICK View Post
definitely you are qualified for cowboy westerns as the hat suits you to perfection.
I agree !! Must say Hari, you have an excellent getup with the hat on. Try it out occasionally when you go to your farm, it is awesome.

Abhi
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Old 2nd September 2008, 20:03   #14
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suprising how no one bought the rs.35 dvds. Tic-Tac is one famous shop that used to sell. ( not sure if they are still around after torrents got everyones attention )
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Old 2nd September 2008, 20:07   #15
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Lukeskywalker:
I'm living in Chennai for almost 10 years and I never visited Pondy. I always thought its a place for weekend parties. Looking at these pictures, I decided to visit Pondy.

Simple and nice writeup!

Regards
Mahesh S
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