Pondicherry in August: A beautiful mélange of Contemporary India and Classical France

 

The glistening August pours had invaded our minds. The ?vacations? (the way MBA's quote a 4 day break as) were bustling ahead and our bags were packed.

?Heading where to??, we asked each other.

After a series of discussions, ?Pondicherry it is? was put up over the social platforms from our ends.
A weekend getaway, a much needed break awaited us! Yes, we were exhilarating and thus began the best excursion of mine till date.

It all started on a brisk evening, the traveller jolted its horns..loading our bags, we started off. A good 14 hour Bus journey compiled itself with an evening, which to be honest, was unforgettable. The woofer buzzing out songs from the latest play-list paved way for a beautiful ride ahead.
(Road Taken ? Hyderabad to Pondicherry ; 800 kms via Tirupati)

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The road less traveled ? Invigorating

DAY 1 :

The morning was welcomed by chilly droplets making each sleepy face light up ecstatically. This was followed by a quick tit-bit breakfast at a local Dhaba joint nearby. On the way to Pondicherry, one will come across various eateries that can help him quench his hungry tides. The breakfast was purely South Indian, unmistakably.

What lay ahead was the driver losing out on the way, which delayed the arrival by a couple of hours. :P But it didn't matter much in the end. Finally, when a few wrong turns were undone, there we were- after an enormous wait, embracing the beautiful mix of heritage, spirituality and natural beauty. The Bay of Bengal awaited us!

Dipping and merrily enjoying the mystic waves of the Auro Beach marked our first evening in this former French colony of South India.

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Good evening Pondicherry

To our jubilation, the Guest House which we inhabited, was situated at the opposite front of Auro beach. *Total Bliss*
Retiring for the night with a grin all over, we were all pepped up to explore in detail, the Indo-French amalgamation next morning.

DAY 2 :

The onset gave us a beautiful morning, the sun was still resting its base, paving way for a breezy start. We decided to explore the street food around! Hunting places, we land up at Georgia, the famous pizza joint of Pondicherry. The food was decently priced, leaving us with a handsome budget to gorge on.

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Pizza's straight from the open oven, Happiness :)

Pondicherry's claim to fame is also its connection with Sri Aurobindo who evolved a new system of spiritual thought here. The grey-and-white building of the Aurobindo Ashram houses the Samadhi. Inside, the atmosphere is quiet, orderly and reverential.

The saintly gesture of visiting the famous Manakula temple in Pondicherry was heavenly.  This Hindu temple is of great significance in the lives of the people residing there. Crafted with the rich Dravidian style architecture, this ancient temple is on a must-visit list.

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One is welcomed inside this auspicious abode by an Elephant considered to be the descendant to Lord Shiva

Coming to Pondicherry and not gorging on the French cuisine? Not happening ;-)

After hours of strolling the streets and deserted lanes, Hotel Rendezvous greeted us with one of my finest dines of all time. If you can afford one tad high budgeted dinner, then Rendezvous is the place for you. Though the Sea Food was the limelight of the night, the vegetarian cuisines were thoroughly enjoyed as well.

The night walk post dinner at the Rock Beach was much of a necessity. Amidst the cool breeze and the sound of the waves, there went off clicks and flashes of our cameras, capturing every detailed memory of our travel diary!

DAY 3 :

One can describe serenity with the sunrise at Auro Beach. With friends by your side and a wandering mind, the sunrise at 5 AM came across as a delight. This one memory is something which just cannot be put to words. :)

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Sunrise, as experienced from the terrace of the Guest House

 

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To the beautiful beach morning, Cheers!

This being our last day in Pondicherry; had to be exquisite!

The day kick started with the local street shopping. From the antiques to the beads, from the stones, to the handicrafts, this French colony encompassed all.

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A bit of bargaining here, a handful of pick-ups there

What mesmerized me were the locals. Such happy faces, with a gleeful smile, they welcomed us all. Our journey to the Paradise Beach followed suit. This beach is away from the hustle bustle of the town. Since it is situated on a deserted island, one needs to reach this destination through the ferry rides.

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The boat which would take us to our destination!

The sun-kissed ?Paradise? was mesmerizing. Its pristine water brought out the child in us. There were small shacks on the beach, allowing quick-bites to the travelers around. Paradise Beach being one of the most spotted tourist attractions, is taken special care of by the Pondicherry Police. There are guards allotted at small distances to ensure safety and cleanliness of the surrounding.

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A Paradise in itself

August is the most suited time to visit Pondicherry, the monsoons are almost subsiding and the weather Gods give us relief from the scorching sun.

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The travelogue thus ended, with Pondicherry giving us the most beautiful memories of all times!

We decided to make the return journey that evening.
The best part about this city is that it gives one a nice high to explore the well crafted streets on foot. It has found a delicate balance between its past and the present, and is a great example of an old city reinventing itself as a modern-day travel destination.

Pondicherry still echoes in our hearts, soothing our minds, invoking our periodical revisits with a walk down the memory lane!  It is definitely a place that I intend to visit again.

 

 

 
 

This post was published by Vidisha Dalmia

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