Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th August 2010, 11:23   #76
BHPian
 
SafeDrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 411
Thanked: 47 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
I thought you were a seinfeld fan when you entered a coffee shop and enjoyed doing nothing.
Wasn't that Friends? Which episode of Sienfeld would that be?

By the way, we always do that. We sit for hours in a coffee shop just talking or reading (with one coffee) and you should see the stares that come our way occassionaly from the staff.

Last edited by SafeDrive : 4th August 2010 at 11:24.
SafeDrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th August 2010, 11:34   #77
MX6
Senior - BHPian
 
MX6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Posts: 2,882
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Seinfeld is about "Nothing". That's the essence of seinfeld. About nothing.
And they meet at the coffee shop too (apart from Jerry's house).
MX6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th August 2010, 11:53   #78
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default From Le Cafe to Rendezvous

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
I thought you were a seinfeld fan when you entered a coffee shop and enjoyed doing nothing.
oooh! woh! so you can see non seinfeld fans can also enjoy doing nothing and if it's pondicherry it has to be:
Name:  logo.jpg
Views: 1828
Size:  7.8 KB

After sampling of Le Cafe in lunch, we decided to head for Rendezvous for dinner. We did visit a church in between, will post later with photos.

Per Lonely Planet
Quote:
The food here is regarded by many locals and expats as the best in town. Served rooftop or in AC comfort, the menu includes French classics like bouillabaisse, quiches and coq au vin, along with burgers, pizzas, Indian and Chinese. Wine as well as beer is served.
We took the seat in the rooftop (the ac was not working, or not on due to lesser number of people), the ambience is nothing special - cane furnitures, table covers and cushions are not uniform, etc. etc. - you got it. But the food - what a gastronome's delight it is.

Going by the LP, we ordered bouillabaisse - the seafood soup. My earlier experiences was white / clear base, but this was yellow base. But the hot soupd really tasted well. Now for the main course, parents stuck to the Indian. I asked the waiter what the quiche is? But with his response, I was not able to make out, whether it was a meal in itself. So we ordered a 'mushroom and prawn quiche', 'coq au vin' (chicken in wine sauce) and a 'chicken a la kiev'. After getting the food, we realised it was one too many for two person. Finished as much as possible, and shamelessly asked to pack the remaining, too good to be left. I ordered a 'thiramisu' to complete the course.

Though priced on a higher side, I guess it is absolutely worth a try.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th August 2010, 22:59   #79
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Just after the lunch, we went to the Sacred Heart Church - an impressive sight with its Gothic architecture, stained glass and striking brown and white colours.

I guess the following pictures are self explanatory:
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1355.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1356.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1357.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1359.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1360.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1362.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1365.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1363c.jpg

Sacred Heart Church also featured in the stamp from Indian Post
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1366.jpg

The church is very near to the Pondicherry railway station
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1354.jpg

Coming next is Auroville and the journey back. Apart from other tidbits.

Last edited by arindamray : 4th August 2010 at 23:05.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th August 2010, 23:44   #80
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Auroville

We had a prior appointment for concentration at Matrimandir, and asked to report there by 9:00 am.

Please note that for going inside the Matrimandir one has to call up their number between 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. I tried first for Sunday, and got to know it is already full and thus was forced to book on Monday.

With the roads not marked it took us a while asking direction in each junction after taking the turn off from ECR, we reached the visitor center gate around 10 minutes late. Mom and Dad were rushed to the room where video show giving the overview of Matrimandir for the people going inside (as the children are not allowed, myself and wife opted out). We waited in the cool shades and baby had her breakfast over there playing with the grass.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1382.jpg

I took this time to take some random shots of the buildings around.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1379c.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1380c.jpg

After some time the group of people who opted for meditation were taken to Matrmandir. Next the counters for the visitor center opens where the information on Matrimandir can be seen. From there free pass for an outer view of the Matrimandir is also given. We took the pass for us and then saw the a short video clip (mandatory for the visitors) and it gives a good introduction to Matrimandir. It also has a book shop attached, I had a good time browsing through it and picked up a book on Matrimandir.

The dream which gave birth to Auroville
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1387.jpg

Auroville's master plan (sorry I could not capture the whole of it)
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1385.jpg
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 00:09   #81
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Info on Auroville

I kept on taking pictures of the plaques at display to have the information, but later found that not of them in focus properly - I have a old canon PS. May be I should have put on macro mode.

However I am loading them here, for you to read if possible.

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1388.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1389.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1390.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1391.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1392.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1393.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1394.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1395.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1396.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1397.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1398.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1399.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1400.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1401.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1402.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1403.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1404.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1405.jpg
I seriously wish the pictures would have come out better.

Some information from the book I bought -

"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 creed, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity" - Mother

Matrimandir is the soul of Auroville.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1421a.jpg

The four pillars are four aspects: South - Maheshwari, North - Mahakali, East - Mahalakshmi, West - Mahasaraswti.

The Matrimandir has a inner chamber and 12 more mediation rooms. There is a crystal at the center of the inner chamber on which the sunlight falls from a opening at the top.

Some trivia
Sphere: 36 m dia, 29 m height
Inner Chamber: 24 m dia, 15.2 m height at the center
Crystal: 0.7 m dia
Petals: at 6.5 m height extending to a 49 m radius
Foundations: 10 m below ground level
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 00:41   #82
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Matrimandir

After gathering the information we proceeded to the viewing point. It is a km and half from the visitor center, for people with difficulty a battery operated van is there to drop. With the kid in tow, we were given that facility.

From the place we got dropped, still a walk to be taken, past the banyan tree, which is the geographical center of Auroville.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1410c.jpg

There is a plaque at the viewing point describing the banyan tree.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1415.jpg

Next we caught the glimpse the amphitheater behind the trees.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1413.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1414.jpg

A little further ahead the Matrimandir showed up
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1425.jpg

A up close view
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1411.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1416.jpg

The twelve gardens denoting Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony and Perfection are still work in progress.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1417.jpg

Before leaving took the customary 'we were here' shots
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1423a.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1424a.jpg

On the way back took the EV again, and after reaching the visitor center, saw that my parents were not back yet, checked couple of shops there and once they are back we headed back.

On the way back we took the other route and come onto NH66. If you look at the map Auroville is in between ECR and NH66, and can be approached both way. However the turn off from NH66 is not at all marked and can easily be missed (currently a toll plaza is being constructed on NH66 just before the turn off if you are going from Pondicherry side).
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 09:27   #83
BHPian
 
SafeDrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 411
Thanked: 47 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Seinfeld is about "Nothing". That's the essence of seinfeld. About nothing.
And they meet at the coffee shop too (apart from Jerry's house).
My mistake MX6. Just realized what u were referring to
SafeDrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 11:07   #84
Team-BHP Support
 
ampere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15,601
Thanked: 8,592 Times
Default

Nice shots. Comprehensive indeed.
ampere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 15:03   #85
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice shots. Comprehensive indeed.
Thanks Ampere, tried to give the informational tidbits so that most of the things can be found in one thread.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 15:46   #86
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Hotel Mass - the lowlight of the trip

Till now, we were talking about things going well on the trip; let's take a pause and spell out what didn't go well and our accomodation in Pondicherry definitely tops the list.

We tried various hotels recommended here, with St James Court beach resort being the first choice. Most of them were full and others didn't meet our budget. So we went through MakeMyTrip to find out that rooms are available at Hotel Mass. Quickly checked back in TBHP and found that is also in the suggestion list - so gone ahead and booked it. With Rs 2100/- per double bed room (including breakfast) and 15% discount, I thought it to be a decent deal.

On reaching the Hotel Mass Pondicherry, we were told our rooms (as I have booked through makemytrip) in the adjoining building. And the upkeepment of the rooms in that building does not measure up to the standard.

I also find Hotel Mass advertising the rooms at a rate of Rs 999/-, big banners in front of hotel and also at the toll plaza on ECR. I checked with unsuspecting sales manager in the night, that which room those would be, and he indicated the rooms in the adjoining building and he said he can work out further 10% discount.

Think of it, I almost paid double the amount for booking through the MMT, and I have called up immediately MMT, and the call center agent kept on telling that can't happen and asked me to get in writing from hotel that the roome rent so and so. Any reasoning with him, about why the hotel at all would be interested in doing so, went into deaf ear. I am still pursuing with MMT this matter over the mail, and without satisfactory answer till now - but that may be a discussion in other thread.

So not being able to reason it out with MMT, I tried my luck directly with hotel knowing fully well that my chances are slim as I have not paid directly to them. The Sales Manager getting the background - pointed out though the rooms are same, there are differences -
a) complimentary breakfast
b) service (with Rs 999/- room, the room services are on low priority; we don't think we got any good service either. Once we wanted the menu card to order dinner, that didn't arrive in 15 minutes, and we were forced to listen to menu and decide on the order on the fly)
c) mini bar facility not available (we have not used that any way)
d) room service to be paid during check-out (for rs 999/- you have to pay at once).

Do you think this justifies the price difference of 900/- and 1800/-?

I am still pursuing with MMT this matter over the mail, and without satisfactory answer till now - but that may be a discussion in other thread.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 22:31   #87
Joy
BHPian
 
Joy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 305
Thanked: 25 Times
Default

Arindam, sorry to hear about your ordeal. I think, in India most of the online sites are looting the customers except some airlines. IMHO, this is just because our legal system is a total farce. Even if you lodge a complaint, it will take so long that either you will loose interest in pursuing the case or you will be harassed to no end. Either way you are the loser.

I think you will never receive any satisfactory answer, they (big companies) know the twists and turns of legal system much better than us.

Feels sad that such a wonderful journey had a bitter side too. Anyway, cheer up, man.
Joy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 22:58   #88
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Yes, first evening/night in Pondicherry I was bit down, but then thought not to let this incidence spoil rest of my vacation. And I took it up only after coming back from vacation.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 23:06   #89
MX6
Senior - BHPian
 
MX6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Posts: 2,882
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Don't let a few 100 bucks spoil your mood. Next time check with the pondicherry kings (Laluks / Starvega) for acco .
I never book online in India. I need to go and physically inspect the room and the toilet before I drop an advance in any place. It has its disadvatages. If I reach at odd hours, then the search can be very troublesome to family. But I have one more advantage. I can manage in some 8 - 9 languages. So most places in India is like a home to me.
MX6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th August 2010, 23:31   #90
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
I can manage in some 8 - 9 languages.
You never cease to amaze me.
With kid, for the first time, I thought it is better to book and go. Or put it the other way, better half was not willing to go without confirmed booking
arindamray 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
Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry : A Recall dhanushmenon Travelogues 31 7th September 2013 13:15
ICE'd my Linea after a long 2 years wait - Infinity sub added. coolboy007 In-Car Entertainment 26 18th March 2013 17:38
Civved : Yercaud via Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry laluks Travelogues 112 13th September 2012 08:44
Hyd-Dodaballapur-Vellore-Pondicherry-Mahabalipuram-Hyd Trip plan prabingade Route / Travel Queries 10 20th December 2010 12:48


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:53.

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