Pondicherry

Dated – April, 2011

Elections in Tamil Nadu. Two long peaceful days stretching ahead of us and we were without a plan. They say the best trips happen without a plan to constrain them. So S and I woke up at a very lazy hour, threw in a few things and dragged ourselves to one of our favourite places for lunch. The idea was to reach Pondicherry somehow and then well..just reach I guess.

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Lunch at Cornucopia. Also, my first click with the D90.

Stuffed with some lip-smackin’ food and siesta on our minds, we reached the bus stop. The one thing I really like about Chennai is excellent public transport. Rarely any creeps and mostly a lot of welcome space. So we made ourselves comfortable for a 3 hour long journey. Me with a book and sunshine with music. I would recommend this mode of transport for those who are not too bent on luxury. For those who own a car and those with some extra cash to spend, you can avoid. 🙂 The way to Pondicherry is extremely scenic. That and music on the pod, a good book and my favourite company for the roads – it all adds up well.

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From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth – Worth a Read

I have been to Pondicherry many-a-times, and each time was for a different reason. Some I could tell you, some I can’t. 😉 This time there was none. We checked into the Park Guest House managed by Aurobindo Ashram. If you get a place here, there’s really nowhere else that you should bother to stay. For an extremely moderate amount, you get a sea facing room with a balcony and a view to die for. You can walk your way to most places as it is bang on the beach road.

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Park Guest House – Aurobindo Ashram
One of the most distinct things that one notices about Pondicherry is the French architecture and the colours! Houses are painted a shade of yellow that just drives away the blues in you. Inspite of the sun, we walked around on the roads the next day. I saw the colours through my camera’s lenses and S, through her uber cool tinted shades. 😉
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One of the better discoveries this time was Du Parc, this quaint little hotel/restaurant where we stopped for dinner. Low expectations always breeds great results :-). Nicest biryani I’ve had in a very long time! Apart from food, delved in the usual roadside shopping and the customary visit to Hidesign and Casablanca. To shield us from the glaring sun, we took a breather at Le Cafe`, this 24 hour coffee shop. This too is worth a visit, just for experience’ sake.
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It was a day spent doing nothing in particular. We sat where we felt like it. Ate whenever we saw something that got us drooling. Slept till snooze was not necessary. Walked till we got a tan. I was like a trigger happy kid who kept shooting at whatever fancied my eyesight (I am hinting at my camera). Talked about random trivia. Or just stared at the sea in complete silence. Some days are just perfect 🙂
Details –
Park Guest House,
Managed by Aurobindo Ashram
Non AC room – Rs. 600
They don’t take phone bookings or online reservations and have a curfew of 10:30 pm. From bus stop, auto should charge 30 bucks to take you there.
Travel – Ac volvos which charge Rs. 170. Or non ac ones which charge around Rs. 55.
Update – Later on, we started frequenting this place called Villa Bayoud on the beach road. They have this room upstairs with a huge sea facing balcony and two connected rooms. Priced at INR 2,500 for a room, it is fairly expensive but quite worth it.
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Villa Bayoud

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