Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pondicherry - How it went on

Pondicherry is a very pleasant place to walk. But make sure that it is not in the months of March to May that you are visiting for the sun will kill you with its heat. You will get motorised two-wheelers or bicycles for hire to make your memories fast forward.

The normal tourists visit from Chennai through road taking the ECR road which itself is scenic. On the way there are some tourist spots such as Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram.

If you are wishing for an offbeat travel take the train, but be advised that it takes too much time in travel. I planned for a train journey from Bangalore. There is a comfortable 3-tier AC train (Garib Rath 2255) from Yeshwantpur Junction to Pondicherry. It leaves Yeshwantpur at 11:15pm and reaches Pondicherry at 9:40am. Though the train takes lot of time to reach the short distance it allows you to sleep peacefully. Don't worry you can still cover Pondicherry in a day. :)

After that I was planning to take a bike for travelling, but did not work out well as I could not freshen up in time and did not get to know the directions. From the Govt. Guest house nearby the Railway station got the Pondicherry Tourist map with places marked in it.

With the help of that we first planned to goto Aurobindo Ashram. Walked till the beach and slowly walked and enjoyed the little bristling rain. Reached the Gandhi Statue and walked past Manakula Vinayagar Temple and finally reached Aurobindo Ashram and it was about time to close for lunch. But I was lucky enough to visit the tomb of Sri Aurobindo and Mother. It was such a peaceful atmosphere that I wanted to stay in the place for some more time. 

Our plans went on from there to visit the Beach once more where we visited the Freedom Memorial Stone sculptures. Briefly walked in the Beach. Also walked past French War Memorial. Then walked through Bharati Park and Aayi Mandapam to reach Botanical Garden. It was a mild disappointment as it was closed due to rains. I wonder why in the earth you close a Botanical Garden for rains.

From there I hired an auto(tuk-tuk) to Auroville where we where video-briefed about the Matri Mandir. Then we got free pass for visiting Matri Mandir from Viewing Point. The entry inside Matri Mandir was restricted as it was a peaceful and meditation only point. It is not a tourist spot.

Then returned from Auroville to again walk past some shops, and reached the beach. A long walk through the Promenage (now a hotel) and the beach made the end to my Pondicherry trip. I had the return ticket to Bangalore (Yeshwantpur) in the same (Garib Rath-2256) at 10pm. 

Though this was a very brief visit of Pondicherry I wish to come back some day and freely enjoy the French Architectural buildings and Auroville beach among some other spots.

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