I’m absolutely delighted to share all the experiences of my trip. I was in Puducherry last week and all I could think in my mind was that how much fun would it be to tell you everything in each and every detail. Pondicherry has been a French colony up till 1954, and the French have left bistro’s, French street names, French food, French looking police uniforms and an entire area of chic colonial houses.
I had been waiting for this trip for a longtime. Booking everything 3 months before even the trip begins and having that much patience is not something everyone has. I don’t have that patience. Really. Reaching Puducherry gives you a sense of peace because it’s really different from the place you live. You just get to see all kinds of people. People riding bicycles, selling tea-pots, doing yoga near the beach. Architecture in Pondicherry is very classic and gives you feel of French culture. French quarter/colony is also majorly divided in two parts, grey-white building area which belongs to Aurobindo Asharam and yellow colored building having French Architecture influence. After spending good time in French colony, I decided to have lunch in Le Café. Before entering into this Café, I had gone through many reviews and searched about its history and background. I paid for a cup of coffee and sandwiches and enjoyed eating in the outer sea-side table, in company of rising and falling sea waves and rejuvenating cool breeze. Le Café is a 24 hour restaurant so you are always welcome to come and enjoy the sea breeze. They serve really good sandwiches and their grilled chicken sandwich is a must try.
24 hour café.
I spend rest of the evening on Promenade road. This road is closed for vehicle from 6.30 PM to 7.30 AM. Local and travelers can enjoy the walk along seashore in evening as well as in early morning. A lot of food stalls are available but we didn’t try much. I saw French War Memorial which is close to Gandhi statue. It is very simple and beautiful war memorial for French soldiers who laid down their lives, for their country during the First World War. It looks more beautiful at night. Unfortunately entry is restricted. For Dinner I went to famous pizza restaurant Café Xtasy. They have around 74 types of pizza considering veg and non-veg items. Sizes of pizzas are also larger than what you get in brand pizza chain. Our day 1 ends with delicious dinner.
Looks Like Marine Drive
The Next Day, I shortlisted some places to visit. Pondicherry’s other claim to fame is its connection with Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, deferentially known as the Mother, who evolved a new system of spiritual thought here. The grey-and-white building of the Aurobindo Ashram houses the duo’s samadhi. Inside, the atmosphere is quiet, orderly and reverential. If you’re intrigued, Auroville, the utopian, self-contained township founded by the Mother to promote ‘human unity,’ and now home to an international community of followers, is a short drive away. In sharp contrast to the pristine order of Aurobindo Ashram, the Manakula Vinagayar Temple across the road is full of colour and chaos. The only temple in the French Quarter, it is dedicated to Ganesha, and built in the typical Dravidian style of architecture with a towering gopuram (gateway) embellished with colourful carvings. Photography is prohibited in that ashram. Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter, a poet, philosopher and yogi. In 1926 he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which he led together which his French wife, called the Mother. Today, the ashram is a large institution, providing many charitable benefits to the area including free medical facilities. The main thing in the ashram is a complete method of Yoga, developed by Sri Aurobindo. It claims that this method of yoga would transform human nature to divine life.
No Pictures Except Just This Board.
My next destination was Nehru Street, a place where you get all the local stuff of Puducherry. This turns out to be a very inviting shopping area (together with Mission Street and MG Road) which can only be described as a blend of Indian bazaar meets western style stalls and neon-lit shops. It’s crowded with people and the all colours of attractive fabrics and clothes, scents and noises are overwhelming. It’s lovely to walk around and it’s wise to bring only a certain amount of money. Otherwise you’ll spend too much, that’s for sure, it all looks absolutely beautiful! I honestly had to buy a loaf of bread, butter,tomatoes and a cucumber. There are times when the buffet dinner in your hotel is so expensive that you feel like it’s just better to buy something from a supermarket. Last but not the least, to make the most of my 2nd day I decided to head to Paradise beach. Puducherry Beaches are unique in its beauty and have lots of people strolling on the corridors and pavements on the beach almost throughout the years. It’s one of the most cleanest beaches in Puducherry. There is boat ride available. The cost per head is INR 200. The beach is really well maintained and it won’t leave you disappointed. I honestly found Paradise beach to be better than all other beaches. Some of other amazing beaches in Puducherry are Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach, Quiet Beach, Reppo Beach.
Yellow And Green Bananas.
Last day, I was heading towards Mahabalipuram to see Krishna’s Butter Ball. Yeah, you heard it right. Krishna’s Butterball is a curious tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram, a town about 60 km south of Chennai famous for its stone carvings. The “butterball” is a giant balancing rock, 5 meters in diameter, perched on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics. In Hindu mythology Lord Krishna had an insatiable appetite for butter, and as a child, would often sneak a handful from his mother’s butter jar. Situated on a hill slope near the Ganesh Ratha this massive natural rock boulder is attributed to a bolus of butter the young Krishna would steal. The rock’s awkward position makes it quite popular with locals and tourists alike as it makes for an interesting backdrop for some whacky photographs. It’s a common sight to see visitors placing hands under the stone posing for pictures, which looks as though they are holding it up. The rock provides welcome shade if you dare to sit underneath it, and local kids have discovered that the slippery nearby hillside also makes a great natural slide. Mahabalipuram is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
Just Won’t Move.