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Old 14th September 2010, 13:59   #1
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Default Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010

After a really long break from long drives, we finally made it to pondicherry!
The minute my wife confirmed that she has got Friday and Saturday off, I started looking for places where we could go. And pondicherry it was! Since this was our second trip to pondi, we decided to not to waste our time on the usual tourist places (read Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Promanade Beach). Someone suggested Pichavaram forests. A quick google search reveled that it indeed is a good place to visit, so we added pichavaram forests to our list as well.

We started from bangalore at 1.30pm (you see, I did not have a holiday on friday )

Had our lunch at A2B krishnagiri, and reached pondicherry at 8.45 pm. Roads between krishnagiri and tiruvannamalai are still in bad shape, with a few pot holes here and there, but with lots of rough surfaces.

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-img_7113.jpg
A rainbow arc!


We initially thought of having our dinner at The Promanade hotel, but there roof top restaurant was closed due to rains and only thing available was buffet dinner and that too had a wait time of 45 mins. We decided to first check in into our guest house and then go to some other place for dinner. Our guest house, Lescale, was located on Dumas Street, which is the street, next to the beach road. So it was not sea facing, but the beach was about 50-100 mts from the guest house.
It was only when we stepped out for dinner (at 10pm) that we realized that Pondicherry sleeps at 11! After being denied entry into couple of cafes (reason being that they were closing in another 30 mins) we finally managed to get some good food at some unknown cafe.

By the time we finished our dinner, it looked like we were the only people awake in pondi! Anyway, we went for a midnight walk on the beach road, had a cup of coffee at the only open cafe (govt run) and called it a way at 1 past midnight!

Next day after eating our hearts out at Hot breads, we went to Paradise Beach.
Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-img_7118.jpg
On our way to Paradise Beach!

This place is about 3 kms from Pondicherry and we need to take a boat ride(costing Rs75 per head) through the backwaters to reach it. We stayed there until 2pm.
Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-img_7161.jpg
On the beach


Came back to pondicherry to have our lunch at Don Giovanni. But they were out of lunch! So finally had an icecream lunch at richi-rich nearby and came back to our guest house for a nice nap.

Later in the evening, we went down to Mission street for some shopping. We again decided to give Don Giovanni another try but once again we were late and they were out of food (at 10pm). So finally had dinner at Saravana Bhavan and closed our day with another round of icecreams at richi-rich

Next day, we started for Pichavaram. This place is about 70kms from Pondicherry on the highway for Chidambaram. We need to take a left turn, about 5 kms before Chidambaram.

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-img_7223.jpg
On our way to Pichavaram.

We reached the boat house at about 9am. Luckily for us, the place was open and there was no crowd.
There are multiple options for boat rides. We took the 2 hrs speed boat option that will allow us a visit to the beach as well (along with a ride into the world's 2nd largest mangrove forests). This was an 8 seater boat and costed us 2k.

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04227.jpg
On our way to boat.


We felt this was a high price to pay just to have a look at some beach, but believe me it was money well spent!
Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04244.jpg
Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04258.jpg
Prawns being caught

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04377.jpg

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Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04279.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04285.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04287.jpg
The pristine beach

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04329.jpg
We did leave our footmarks behind.

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04359.jpg
Crabs..for lunch??

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04366.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04369.jpg
Aftermath of Tsunami.

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04242.jpg
Mangrove forests from far away

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04257.jpg
Entering them now!

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Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04481.jpg

After finishing our awesome boat ride through the forests, we decided to return to pondicherry to have lunch at Rendezvous. Food was good and quite cheap.

We started from Pondicherry at 3pm and reached back home at 10pm.

Overall a weekend well spent!

Regards,

Last edited by amohit : 14th September 2010 at 14:00.
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Old 14th September 2010, 14:03   #2
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Wow, Thanks Amohit; Now I know what we missed on our last long weekend. We were planning to ride to Chidambaram & Pichchavaram last weekend, but then we turned our rides to different direction.

At the blink of next long weekend opportunity, I'll make a point to ride there!!!

Appreciate if you could post a few more pics on the mangroove forest. Tks.
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Old 14th September 2010, 14:53   #3
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Nice pics amohit. Been wanting to do Pichavaram for long time now. Let the monsoon seasons get over, will be heading over there
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Old 14th September 2010, 15:07   #4
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Great for a long weekend Mohit! Happy to see the same team (remember our Goa trip?) again, thats the bond of friendship. My regards to all. Mangroves look fascinating, share more and more snaps .
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Old 14th September 2010, 15:14   #5
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Great pics and a well written log-loved the pics, been down to Pondi last year never knew there were so many places to see in the vicinity. How was the weather during your visit?
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Old 14th September 2010, 15:50   #6
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Nice mangroves! Its in my to-go-to list. Plan to cover it with Tranquebar.
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Old 14th September 2010, 16:08   #7
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amohit, from your travelogue, it seems like the long weekend was well spent! Could you share more details about the guest house, Lescale.

We were in Pondicherry last weekend too and found that beach (in front of the Parliament) was quite littered .
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Old 14th September 2010, 17:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Great for a long weekend Mohit! Happy to see the same team (remember our Goa trip?) again, thats the bond of friendship. My regards to all.
Goa was one of the best trips Jacob! and yeah...same group...12 years now


Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
How was the weather during your visit?
Afternoons were hot. Evenings were wet. Mornings/Nights were cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushikr View Post
Could you share more details about the guest house, Lescale.
We booked it through namastay.in. The owner's name is Nicholas and his contact number is 9345854445. We got it for 1100 per room, but were told by them that the prices will soon be revised up to 1900/-.

Some more pics of the mangroves.
Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04448.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04425.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04436.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04443.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04451.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04461.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04464.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04465.jpg

Pondicherry and Pichavaram Forest trip-Sep 10, 2010-dsc04476.jpg


Regards,
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Old 14th September 2010, 17:45   #9
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Nice bunch of pictures there Mohit, Pichavaram looks like a "should do" when I visit Pondicherry next, nice to see unpopulated and clean beaches in Pondicherry.
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Old 14th September 2010, 17:49   #10
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We missed going to Pichhavaram when we visited Mahabalipuram & Tranquebar last month.

@Luke : I agree w.r.t "should do" aspect. when ?

@Lalu : Where are you ?, it appears we missed a good deal when we decided to give a slip to Pichhavaram due to bad roads .
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Old 14th September 2010, 20:10   #11
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@ Starvegabond
Quote:
@Luke : I agree w.r.t "should do" aspect. when ?
Whenever you and Lalu don't sneak off behind our backs on a trip
Sorry Mohit, to hijack your thread.
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:01   #12
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@ amohit : The write up is nice and crispy. The pictures are awesome, I reallly liked the boating pictures. You must have had a real good time while boating. Thanks for sharing info about this place.
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:44   #13
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Sorry Mohit
Have to reply to this one

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
@Luke : I agree w.r.t "should do" aspect. when ?

@Lalu : Where are you ?, it appears we missed a good deal when we decided to give a slip to Pichhavaram due to bad roads .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
@ Starvegabond

Whenever you and Lalu don't sneak off behind our backs on a trip
Sorry Mohit, to hijack your thread.


Luke its a deal. You plan this and hijack us for this trip.
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:48   #14
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Awesome pics and nice write up. Had not heard of this place before so good you made me aware one more place to visit when in Pondi.

And its a serious handicap that the city shuts shop very early. For people like me who have a late dinner, i found it difficult and had to stock fruits etc to help tide the night.
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Old 15th September 2010, 09:53   #15
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Fantastic place! Was planning to hit Pondy in Novemeber. Was wondering what else to combine it with. Pichavaram looks like THE sweet pill. Thanks for the lovely pictures. Post more when you can.

BH.
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