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Old 6th August 2010, 00:18   #91
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Default The journey back

Though our booking slip said, 12:00 noon checkout; took advantage of hotel policy of 24 hour checkout, to return late from Auroville. On the way back we tried the NH 66. On NH66 we took wrong turn and were proceeding towards tindivanam instead of pondicherry, but corrected course quickly. We also lost our way twice (first time we were right, but thought otherwise) just entering Pondicherry but still took less time compared to onward journey to Auroville.

Once in hotel, it is the bath and lunch time for baby, my mom and wife busy with that, while me and dad went into packing the things. 1:30 pm we check-out from the room, load the luggage in the car, hand over the keys to reception and settle ourselves in the restaurant. I request reception to prepare the bill and lunch bill we will pay separately. We ordered the food, and by the time it arrives, the check-out bill is prepared and I settle the same. Lunch was very light affair keeping in my journey ahead (plus last nights heavy dinner still lingering) - rice, dal, frech fries, chicken curry.

After finishing the lunch, with heavy heart (as well as with heavy stomach) we bade good bye to Pondicherry - the clock showed 2:30. We took a last shot of a police station just opposite to our hotel, apparently housed in a old french style house.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1430.jpg

We retraced our path to NH66, and I made sure that I do a tankful before leaving Pondicherry (Diesel price Rs 38.89/-). After around 5 km from Pondicherry border, 4 laning of the road is going on till Tindivanam, but its not complete and thus have numerous diversions, most portions up and down merged in the single road, and all - however the surface is good.

But the same cannot be said about the rest of the NH66. It is full of potholes, the max strech without pothole may last max for one km. With safari I faced difficulty in negotiating them, imagine the plight with hatchback or sedans. My suggestion would be to take ECR and NH46.

I was dreading doing it after sundown, with oncoming vehicles blinding me. But as my daughter became cranky, we had to take two breaks, which meant I could not avoid that. We did not take any other food/tea break and reached Krishnagiri at 7:30 pm and home around 9:15 pm.

Here is the log of the return journey:
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-pondicherrybangalore_log.jpg

Last edited by arindamray : 6th August 2010 at 00:29.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:21   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
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.

You can say that. I have lost count how many times I've been to Pondy.
I stay at my sister in laws place at Pondy always.

Annamalai is my favourite to stay with in the city though. Good food, Good rooms. Last stayed there in 2008. Dont know now.

But about online stuff, I never had any issues till now. Must watch out now

Last edited by laluks : 6th August 2010 at 11:23.
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Old 6th August 2010, 15:13   #93
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post

You can say that. I have lost count how many times I've been to Pondy.
I stay at my sister in laws place at Pondy always.

Annamalai is my favourite to stay with in the city though. Good food, Good rooms. Last stayed there in 2008. Dont know now.

But about online stuff, I never had any issues till now. Must watch out now
There are mostly no issues online. If the online guys is an agent, then you can smell some problem. But the online portal of the hotel themselves is not an issue.
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Old 6th August 2010, 19:16   #94
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Hi Arindam

That is a great trip you had, I would certainly use the details shared by you when i plan my pondicherry trip. Thanks for sharing.

Once again your doll is very cute. i am sure you will take good care of her.

Rated the thread 5 star.
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Old 6th August 2010, 22:34   #95
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Thanks Star for 5 star rating. Even Joy said earlier that he has given 5 star. But I am not been able to see that in the forum. Don't know what is the issue :(

I will be putting a little more information, which I could not/did not cover, that may also help others.
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Old 6th August 2010, 23:47   #96
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Hi Arindamray,
You have given some great pictures. The great banyan and the Matri Mandir. Matri Mandir from the different angle.The scanned pages of the book.We appreciate for the trouble you have taken.
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Old 8th August 2010, 22:54   #97
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Default Some suggestions - Mahabalipuram

If you can manage your time well and/or have more time at hand, you may visit the following places while going to / when you are there in Mahabalipuram.

a) Kanchipuram - On the way from Bangalore to Mahabalipuram, around 60 km before. It was the capital of the Pallava dynasty, and have few beautiful temples - Vaikuntha Perumal, Kailasnatha, Ekambareshwar, Varadhraj, Kamakshi Amman.

b) Thirukkalukundram - Again on the way and 14 km before Mahabalipuram, is known for its ancient Shiva temple. It is situated on top of Vedagiri hill, 160 mts high. Just before noon every day, two eagles stop at the temple (legend says from Varanasi, 2000 km away) and are fed by the temple priest.

c) Tiger Caves and other monuments - 4 km north of Mahabalipuram through ECR, there are few more monumnets from Pallava era including Tiger Caves.

For the people interested in bird watching (the feathered kind ), there is bird sanctuary in Vedanthangal (53 kms away).
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Old 9th August 2010, 00:12   #98
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Arindam,

I had driven to Tiruvannamalai early this year. After visiting temple, having lunch we went all the way till TIndivanam (for another temple visit). My experience was that on this whole route first set of about 30-40km (between Krishnagiri till Chengam) was bad. Rest route looked pretty doable. May be it has gone worse.
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Old 9th August 2010, 00:26   #99
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Default Some suggestions - Pondicherry

Visit the churches - we have only visited the Sacred Heart. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception located in Mission St was completed in 1791.

An image from the net


The Notre Dame de Anges on Dumas St, we took a glimpse from Beach Road but didn't go inside.

Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple - MX6 already given the background.

For the hotels - pick-up either the beach resorts (little north or south of Pondicherry), or hotels near the area of interest (beach road and surrounding areas).

Aurobindo Ashram also provide guest houses which are decent and value for money, but then one has to follow the rules and regulations like entering the guest house before 10:30 pm. If you need the numbers (they do not have central reservation, and each guest house do their booking directly), please PM me.
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Old 9th August 2010, 00:30   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navan49 View Post
Hi Arindamray,
You have given some great pictures. The great banyan and the Matri Mandir. Matri Mandir from the different angle.The scanned pages of the book.We appreciate for the trouble you have taken.
Thanks Navan for your words of appreciation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Arindam,
I had driven to Tiruvannamalai early this year. After visiting temple, having lunch we went all the way till TIndivanam (for another temple visit). My experience was that on this whole route first set of about 30-40km (between Krishnagiri till Chengam) was bad. Rest route looked pretty doable. May be it has gone worse.
I guess so. I almost got a headache dodging those potholes. The surface was not bad as such, but potholes were aplenty.
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Old 9th August 2010, 13:55   #101
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Default Relive the memories

@Arimdam Da

I did the same trip in June this year with my wife and 5 year old daughter.
Sorry to hear about your experience with the Hotels around.
But I opted to stay at the Auroville guesthouses and to say the least it was one of the best decisions I made, I was staying at the Atithi Guest house very close to the matri mandir. The acco was basic but clean and the best part is that there was no AC and TV. I loved my time there.

P.S. - The accomodation at the Auroville guest houses have to be done in advance on the net, current booking not allowed . So don't expect to get accomodation at the guest houses by turning up, you won't be allowed even if there are no guests in the guest house. This is my experience.

:: Staying among Aurovilians ::

Da, with your permission can I put up some of my pondicherry/Auroville pictures in your thread ?

Cheers
MP
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Old 9th August 2010, 14:59   #102
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@MP - though were aware of Aurobindo ashram guest houses in Pondicherry, didn't know the auroville one. thanks for sharing.

and please go ahead and post the pictures, you never need a permission for doing so.
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:32   #103
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Default Thank you Arindamda

Thank you Da, here are some of my pictures.

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-108.jpg

My Ride

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-117.jpg

My Princess

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-227.jpg

Vailankanni

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-239.jpg

View of my ride from the hotel room.

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-297.jpg

Atithi Griha guest house

Last edited by mayurpalav : 9th August 2010 at 15:37.
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:45   #104
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Default And some more

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-400.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-401.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-402.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-300.jpg

After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-south-252.jpg
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:58   #105
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Are those avenues on the Pondicherry-Velankanni route?
Is it the same that Riju was talking about?
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