Pondicherry : A Weekend Getaway
January 1, 1970
KickStart the excitement !
Me and my girlgang from school were on a hunt for places to visit for a weekend getaway. As it was our first trip , we chose Pondicherry, India, to be our abode for 2 days and one night. We started from Bangalore on friday night by SRS travels sleeper bus around 10PM. We reached Pondicherry around 6AM on Saturday morning. It was a quick journey and we were very excited to explore what the city had in store for us!
Importance of choice of hotel check-in !
We checked in at Hotel Sai Ram , which was situated very close to the Pondicherry bus station. We chose that as it was close to almost all the places in Pondi except Auroville. We decided to rent vehicles to start our tour in the city which would cost us 300 rupees per day. It was quite reasonable and cost effective. We headed to auroville on Saturday morning from our hotel. With the help of GPS navigation, we located the nearest eatery to us, Hot Chips Veg Restaurent, Anna Salai. We had a quick and sumptuous breakfast which consisted of plain utthappam, onion utthappam and poori sabzi. The food was yummy and made us energized for the adventure to begin.
Auroville : City of Dawn
Auroville Matri mandir was around 12 kms from Anna Salai. It took us around 45 minutes to reach the place. The place had beautiful gardens where we clicked beautiful pictures . The fresh breeze almost nullified the scorching heat . The entry to Matri Mandir was free and we attended a 10-15 minutes screening of the significance of Auroville. It was truly inspiring and gave us an insight about the sophisticated architecture of the Matri Mandir. The ideology behind the construction was just so amazing. We did not have the chance to meditate inside the Matri Mandir as we found out that the slots have to be booked 15-20 days prior visit. So, the next time we visit this place, we know what to book in advance for! We all caught a glimpse of Matri Mandir from the view point which was almost 3 km walk from the entrance . The view of the Matri Mandir was just amazing! We stayed there till almost 11 30 AM and headed back towards the entrance. There is a shuttle that drops visitors till the entrance from half way between the Matri Mandir and the entrance. We caught that bus , luckily in sync with our plan to reach Auroville bakery and Farm Fresh cafe in Auroville for lunch.
The Auroville bakery was famous for their French delicacies . We tried tea cake, raisin croissant and the mandatory choco walnut brownie! I must say, we were high on the baked beauties! We had Italian cuisine for lunch at Farm Fresh cafe and I would rate 4 out of 5 for taste, ambience and cost. After a heavy lunch , we headed towards Anna Salai and stopped at Auro beach to relax and enjoy the mid day sun . We headed back to our hotel around 2 30 PM and freshened up. We got ready by 3 PM and rode towards Chunnambar boat house which was almost 6 km from our stay.
Chunnambar Boat House
We reached the Chunnambar Boat House around 3 30 PM and booked our slots for the 4 PM ferry that would take us to the Paradise beach . The ferry ride lasted for 10 minutes and we wandered in the beach for almost an hour before we got back to the boat house.
The paradise beach was heavenly! There were numerous games on the beach sands that would give you the right adrenaline rush , like zorbing , zipline trampoline and kayaking. The beach sand was white in colour and warm ; the colour of the sand being the specialty of this place. The gushing waves and the sun was the therapy we just needed ! This was what we craved for!
The zipline trampoline was my favourite among the games that were present there and I had an immediate feeling of satisfaction once it was done. I was flying high in the air and my mind was dancing to it’s own tunes that got made up everytime i jumped high! The time there was just too beautiful and we cherish it the most as we got to see the beautiful sunset. We got back to our stay around 6 30 PM and headed to the holy Sacred Heart of Basilica church for the evening prayers. It was so calm and serene and freed our minds. After spending some time in the church, we visited the famous Vinayagar temple to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. The temple was very beautiful and the sculptures of the different avatars of Lord Ganesha were just so realistic and beautiful.
We had chocolate milkshake and buttermilk for dinner. The heavy lunch and the picturesque sunset had filled our tummies and minds right. We slept the night out and dreamt of the places we would explore the next day.
Pondicherry City Tour
Our idea was to finish sightseeing the farthest places first. We followed the same thing for the second day as well and decided to visit the Promenade beach first to catch the sunrise. The Promenade beach was also called the Rock beach due to the presence of huge rocks along the beach sands. The beach was so beautiful and the breeze, cool and refreshing. 7 AM was the best time to visit the beach after all!
We had our breakfast at White town, at a place called Cafe des Arts, which totally justified it’s name! The food was just so yummy. We next visited the Pondicherry museum which had the description and antiques of the French civilizations. The entry fee for this place was just 10 rupees. There were antique weapons , furniture and other items which showcased the history of the city. After visiting the museum, we visited the Aurobindo ashram to meditate for sometime. The ashram was peaceful. It soothed our mind and calmed our soul. Our next stop was the Pondicherry light house. We could not enjoy the city view from the top of the light house as there was some repair work going on when we visited.
We then visited the French colony and clicked loads of amazing pictures! This place is a must visit and the main attraction in the city.
We finally visited the botanical garden and got nostalgic as we enjoyed the toy train rides and the aquarium . It was almost 6 30 PM while we got back to our stay . We freshened up and shopped at the MG Road and bought souvenirs for family and friends from there.
I will cherish this trip forever as it was my first trip with my girl gang. Definitely, the city of Dreams fulfilled all our dreams!