Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th October 2008, 09:56   #16
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

Abhi, one can roll about in the sea at the Repo beach, which is also called the Auroville beach, if i am right. However, the place is infested with what i call the 'chaddi-brigade'. When with family, the sight of overacting that some people resort to is repulsive.

We did find a rather private spot further up the beach road. It is actually the place from where the fishermen go out to sea with their boats. There is no crowd here, and save for some of the kids of the local inhabitants, its rather empty. Pics of the same coming up soon.

Meanwhile, here is a sample of this place we discovered.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2999.jpg
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 11:02   #17
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default Day 1

It was past noon by the time we awoke from our slumber. It has been a while since i had my trysts with the sun which was shining in all its glory. That the room was air-conditioned was a blessing. Had a shower and then decided to explore places nearby.

This is my second visit to Pondicherry. The previous visit was during my college days, over a 3 hour journey. Then, we were a bunch of college kids with little money to spend and so spent whatever little we had on exploring places and on food. That was one such trip. Now, all of us are decently settled in terms of jobs and lead good lifestyles, with no major complaints. Visiting this place once again brought the memories rushing in, as i indulged in reminiscence.

Coming back to the topic; Dadu had provided me with a Pondy tourist guide, which proved quite helpful. Among the first places we decided to visit was Auroville.

Quote:
HISTORY :
Auroville was envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities,faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. It is an attempt to realize a new society as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Nearly people from 35 countries are living here to realize on human unity and transformation of consciousness.

Auroville information centre and Matri Mandir [Meditation hall with world’s biggest man- made crystal ball] are the places open to most of the visitors. It offers less to see and lots to experience.
The last line from the quote above couldnt have been more apt. For someone like me who isnt too drawn to all this meditation thingy, there wasnt much to do or experience at Auroville. The only matter of interest was the Matri Mandir, to visit or view which one needed to procure a pass. To avail of this pass, one has to subject oneself to a 10 minute video of Auroville and what it envisages. Following this, the pass is issued. One then has to walk about a kilometre and a half before one gets to see the Matri Mandir. Shining in its golden armour, it certainly is a sight to behold.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2757.jpg
The Matri Mandir

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2744.jpg
Cactus at Auroville

Name:  IMG_2749.jpg
Views: 3790
Size:  112.3 KB

When i had visited Auroville about 7 years back, it was possible to visit the inside of the Matri Mandir and see the crystal ball along with those meditating. The interiors are decked in white, and there is a ramp along which one walks to see the crystal ball. I thought i would be able to show my wife this spectacle, but was informed that post 2004, they have restricted the general public from visiting inside. Apparently, the boisterous crowd proved to be a distraction to those in meditation.

Name:  IMG_2746.jpg
Views: 3406
Size:  93.4 KB
The Banyan tree supposed to be the geographical centre of Auroville

Name:  IMG_2758.jpg
Views: 3247
Size:  47.8 KB
Solar panels used to generate solar electricity

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2760.jpg
The information centre and boutique at Auroville

We thereby restricted ourselves to the customary tourist snaps of the place and then decided to head back. Under the hot sun, the walk back to the information centre was going to be a pain. We decided to avail of the Bijlee services to get back. The Bijlee is actually an electric version of the 7 seater tuk-tuks which we commonly see. The driver initially didnt allow us on board saying we needed a special pass and so on. I insisted my wife be given a drop, while i would walk back. Later, wifey informed me that along the way he had picked up other people who had no pass to even speak of.

Had some lime juice from the cafe near the information centre and browsed through the boutique. Loads of overpriced stuff there, IMO.
Feeling slightly better from the lime juice we just had, we were back in our car driving back.

Dropped by a bakery we spotted along the way, and bought some pastries and something they called 'Marbel Biscuits'. Didnt taste as great as i expected, but nevertheless.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2761.jpg

Decided to check out the Repo beach as it was nearby Auroville. Repo beach was famous for having a divide where foreigners and Indians were to be on either side of the divide. This beach is also featured in the Hindi film 'Jism' which was shot in Pondicherry.

This time around when I reached there, the rope which signifies the divide was still there, although there werent any foreigners around. There were a couple of families who had crossed over, and were trying to enjoy themselves in the waters away from the 'chaddi-crowd', some of whom were constantly overacting in the waters.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2769.jpg
Shadow Art

I didnt like the overall setup of the beach which was crowded, and after some time headed back to the Promenade or Beach Road, where our hotel is located. Once back, rested a while and then decided to take a walk along the promenade.
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 11:39   #18
Senior - BHPian
 
suman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 4,589
Thanked: 257 Times
Default

Hmmm, nice, very nice, didn't know you had a "hidden" writer's streak in you Benny Boy!

Eagerly waiting the rest of the travelogue & pics
Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
However, the place is infested with what i call the 'chaddi-brigade'. When with family, the sight of overacting that some people resort to is repulsive.
Nice description. LOL
suman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 12:17   #19
Senior - BHPian
 
MaserQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,156
Thanked: 51 Times
Default

Very good read benny. Keep it coming!
MaserQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 13:04   #20
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

Quote:
PROMENADE
The 1.5 km long promenade running along the beach is the pride of Pondicherry. On the sea front are several landmarks: the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Jeanne d'Arc and Dupleix, the elegant War Memorial raised by the French, the heritage building "Mairie", the 27m tall old lighthouse, the circular shaped two-storied structures on either side of Gandhi Thidal.
Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2870.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2972.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2973.jpg

The Promenade is amongst my most favourite of places in Pondy. In the mornings, the place is teeming with people jogging, walking, just sitting around and even students studying, not to forget tourists like us out to enjoy the place and the general sense of serenity. In the evenings, you have the usual couples, families with kids, and hawkers selling their wares. It just feels like one big party.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2908.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2869.jpg
A school, i think along the Beach Road

There are many benches and small bamboo huts along the stretch for people to just sit and chat, and watch the world go by. That feeling of having the sea breeze hit your face, with the sound of waves lashing against the rocks is to be felt to be enjoyed. One gets the feeling that you can do this all day, and yet not feel bored.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2789.jpg
Students studying

During the evenings, the cops are lenient and allow traffic to be parked along the roadside, so one can just enjoy the place and not be bothered with having to fend for a parking spot. This overall nature of the traffic cops impressed me a lot with even parking by the roadside not being treated as a crime so long as traffic flow is not affected. Sadly, thats not the case here in Bangalore.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2868.jpg

We noticed a fairly large gethering, and the oh-so-familiar camera crane. It was a movie shooting in progress. Quizzing someone from the crew, we later came to know it was for a Tamil movie, and Rajan P Dev (villian in Malayalam movies) was in the process of enacting out a scene.

Name:  IMG_2771.jpg
Views: 3059
Size:  57.1 KB

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2772.jpg

Whiled around for a while, and then proceeded to enjoy the waves and their constant tickling of the rocks lined along the shore.

I slipped back into my thoughts.. This is the life. Laze around, nothing to do, no deadlines to meet, no customers to please.. your loved one by your side...it just goes on. You cant help but think, if only life was so simple. My thoughts were interrupted by the pesky mobile phone. "Life time free credit card, saar.... platinum. Interested?".

Okie, i overacted on the last bit. Nothing of the sort happened.

To be continued.
Attached Thumbnails
Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2860.jpg  

benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 14:23   #21
BHPian
 
Jammy70's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 147
Thanked: 10 Times
Default

Ben,

Lovely, just brilliant!

Keep it flowing...

Cheers,
Jammy70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 15:20   #22
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Hmmm, nice, very nice, didn't know you had a "hidden" writer's streak in you Benny Boy!

Eagerly waiting the rest of the travelogue & pics
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaserQ View Post
Very good read benny. Keep it coming!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammy70 View Post
Ben,

Lovely, just brilliant!

Keep it flowing...

Cheers,
Thanks Suman, MaserQ and Jammy. Keep visiting this thread.

Here are some pics which i wasnt able to post with the earlier set.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2799.jpg
Pondicherry coastline pic

Name:  IMG_2909.jpg
Views: 2919
Size:  29.0 KB
Sunset

Name:  IMG_2912.jpg
Views: 2853
Size:  13.2 KB
Lighthouse along the beach road

Name:  IMG_2927.jpg
Views: 2866
Size:  28.2 KB
Looks like fishermen out at sea

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2933.jpg
Birds flying in arrow formation

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_3084.jpg
The 'Marbel biscuits'
Attached Thumbnails
Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2896.jpg  

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2895.jpg  


Last edited by benbsb29 : 14th October 2008 at 15:22.
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2008, 15:48   #23
Senior - BHPian
 
esteem_lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Madras/Py
Posts: 7,554
Thanked: 445 Times
Default

Good one benny. Seems like you had the perfect getaway from the bores of city life. Looking forward to more pictures & story on this thread.
esteem_lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2008, 23:14   #24
Senior - BHPian
 
sammyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Gurgaon/Doon
Posts: 1,738
Thanked: 338 Times
Default

Benny boy is on a roll Awesome travelogue bro . Been wanting to visit Pondy ever since we came here but somehow never got around to it. Will surely do that once I am back from my diwali break .
Lovely pics and narration Benny, you should do it more often.
sammyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 12:26   #25
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Good one benny. Seems like you had the perfect getaway from the bores of city life. Looking forward to more pictures & story on this thread.
John, perfect, it was. It had been a long time since we had a vacation to ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Benny boy is on a roll Awesome travelogue bro . Been wanting to visit Pondy ever since we came here but somehow never got around to it. Will surely do that once I am back from my diwali break .
Lovely pics and narration Benny, you should do it more often.
Samarth, Pondy is a great destination to just chill around. I was amazed at how cheap petrol was at Rs.48.XX per litre. When you add the booze to the equation, suddenly it looks even more enticing.

Shall get around to writing more, when i start visiting more places.
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 13:06   #26
Senior - BHPian
 
rjstyles69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bengalooru..
Posts: 4,345
Thanked: 789 Times
Default

Benny time to step outta a Pondy now and tell us the experience.
rjstyles69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 13:27   #27
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Benny time to step outta a Pondy now and tell us the experience.
Riju, got suddenly busy at work, and some of it carries over to home as well. Havent had the time to put in further. Will take a day or two.
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 14:01   #28
Senior - BHPian
 
esteem_lover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Madras/Py
Posts: 7,554
Thanked: 445 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
John, perfect, it was. It had been a long time since we had a vacation to ourselves.
Well, you better have some more getaways in the immediate future before you get all tied up in nappies et al.
esteem_lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 20:20   #29
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

DAY 2

Lost in the maze of city life, one tends to lose perspective of the simpler things in life, and the joy which one can derive from these. It takes a period of unwinding to jolt these feelings back on track. Thats exactly what we planned to do on Day 2.

Hit the bed early with the intention of waking up early the following morning, to beat the red hot ball of fire before it occupied its rightful place in the sky. I woke up at 5AM, and peeped out from the balcony. We were on time. Quickly completed the morning chores and slipped out of the hotel towards the promenade.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2784.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2785.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2787.jpg

Quite early in the morning, and the place was already abuzz with activity! Looks like there are quite a few who have taken to this cat and mouse game with the sun. Found ourselves a perfect perch to marvel at an occurrence we have so come to take for granted. Looking around, we werent the only ones. Quite a few tourists armed with their lenses stood poised to aim and shoot. Probably feeling shy from all the attention, the sun took its time in coming out. When it finally began its ascent, the papparazzi had started clicking.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2806.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2811.jpg

Lessons in General Science about the earth's rotation and revolution etc began to play themselves in my brain. Decided to ignore the theory and enjoy the practicality of it, as the scene unfolded before my eyes. Its not that i have never seen the sun rising, but i had never actually cared, or given it it's due share of importance. This was special... special indeed!
As the rays from the sun began to throw their colors on the sea, the potpourri of colors was surreal.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2815.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2830.jpg


Click! Click! went the cameras, as everyone experienced the simple pleasures of a sunrise. Soon there were the yoga brigade who started out with their motions and suryanamaskaras.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2846.jpg

As the sun took its place in the sky, the light was soon blinding and the temperature started rising. As if to retaliate, the sweat glands started pumping out beads of sweat. It was soon time to get going. Had a cup of tea which was sold to us in a disposable cup by a vendor on a bicycle. Along with the tea came his request. "Sir, please dispose these in a dustbin, and do not litter". I was impressed.

Headed to the car, and decided to explore the streets of Pondy for a place to breakfast. A few junctions and turns later, we spotted this place, called the Hindu Modern Cafe. The reasoning behind the name we didnt want to know, but we were treated to a sumptuous breakfast. The dosas here were crispy and delicious, so much that they were worth a repeat.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2875.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2855.jpg  

benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2008, 20:37   #30
Team-BHP Support
 
benbsb29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 8,018
Thanked: 3,468 Times
Default

The tourist guide mentioned a church called the Sacred Heart church, which we decided to visit post breakfast.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2876.jpg

Located opposite the Pondicherry railway station, The Sacred-Heart Church, stands out as an oriental specimen of Gothic splendour. It contains rare and beautiful stained glass panels depicting saints, and events from the life of Christ.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2888.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2883.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2881.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2885.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2890.jpg

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2889.jpg

For lunch, we checked out some of the restaurants located along the south boulevard, before deciding on one called 'La Terrasse Restaurant'.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2905.jpg

A thatched roof and a quaint ambience marked this place. The place was pretty crowded, being thronged by both foreigners and tourists. Going through the menu, i was stunned at some of the prices! They were very reasonable to say the least. Ordered fried fish n chips along with prawn fried rice. It was very filling, and we left quite satisfied.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2899.jpg

Headed back to the hotel for an afternoon siesta to be followed by the usual strolling about on the promenade scheduled for the evening.
There was a handicrafts exhibition opposite to the Gandhi statue, which we checked out. Picked up some memorablia from here for the trip. While loitering about the beach saw what was an interesting sight.

Gave Time a Break : Trip to Pondicherry-img_2907.jpg

No, thats not a porcupine, but mangoes cut in a similar fashion. Five bucks for a couple of slices sprinkled with chilli, made for a good snack.


As we looked around, we felt relaxed. However, the realization that tomorrow we were to bid adieu to this wonderful place was beginning to have its effect upon us. I let out a sigh, and decided to enjoy whatever was remaining of this day.

To be Continued.
benbsb29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pondichery meet Jun-Jul 2011: Another attempt to give time a break supremeBaleno The Team-BHP Meet Section 86 10th July 2011 13:27
Giving time yet another break - The next Chennai TBHP-drive to Pondy. Firm up dates. supremeBaleno The Team-BHP Meet Section 171 23rd September 2009 10:11
2 Day Trip where time takes a break-Pondicherry madaboutCARS Travelogues 5 16th October 2008 22:26
The "Rendez-vouz at Pondichery" meet. Giving time a break. supremeBaleno The Team-BHP Meet Section 405 5th September 2008 17:18
Pondicherry: Give time a BREAK! romyeo4u Travelogues 16 13th May 2008 02:30


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 00:58.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks