After a full week’s planning to hire a self-drive car and head out for a road trip, we finally ended up booking a train ticket to Pondicherry.
I had recently bought a recording device to record my travel tales on the go so that I find it easy to accumulate it in a blog. I tried it a few times, but I find it better to write it down in Google Keep and then later decorate it into a blog post.
Basic Travel Details
- Journey Time : Train (10-11 hrs), Bus (7-8 hrs)
- Approximate Budget : 3-4K (max)
- Where to Stay : Prefer staying at a beach side hut, it is cheaper and far more exciting
- Mode of Transport in Pondicherry : Auto-Rickshaws are very costly. Hire a bike or an activa*
About the Trip
We boarded the Puducherry Express (16573) at about 9:45PM (about 30mins late from its scheduled departure). The weather here in Bangalore had started to get overcast and a heavy rainfall was evident.
We reached Pondicherry at 8 in the morning. I had expected much more out of this famous town, but at the first glance, it seemed to be a regular town. The same heat, humidity, chaos, and mundane life. We hired an activa from Vijay Arya (google it and you’ll find the best reviews) and then headed straight to Suruguru to have Pondy’s finest south-Indian dishes.
We stopped by the Auroville Bakery to have a chocolate croissant. I have had better croissants , but this one was fresh and sweet. We then started out for Auroville Visitor Centre. It is a different township made for divine life and mindful living. I kind of hate such establishments but I could sense the sincerity in the devotees, and so I would prefer not to make an uninformed statement. In order to break away from the scorching sun, we decided to watch the 10min introduction video about the place. We then soon left for our guest house.
There are not many things to do in Pondicherry itself. So we decided to set on a food trail and try all the recommended food & ice cream joints in the city. Our first stop was this tiny little pasta bar called The Pasta Bar Vento in the White Town. They have wide cushions, wooden chairs, muted colors, wallpapers and a colorful bar. It is a must-go for pasta lovers! And if you happen to go there, don’t miss out the Zuka Chocolate, which is right across the street. They have some damn delicious chocolates!
Having filled out tummies, we headed out for the most famous beach – Rock Beach. We parked our vehicles and set out on a trail to find the much famous french buildings. After much exploring and dodging the occasional showers we reached the bright yellow promenade of the french embassy. And how could we miss the customary Pondy picture here!
Strolling down on these peaceful roads and sitting on the rocky beach and listening to the thunderous splashes of the sea was one of the most memorable part of the trip. Don’t miss this experience when you are in Pondy. As it is said, weather in Pondy can change in an instant. The sky transformed to what I call doomsday and it was like some of the scenes from any apocalyptic movies.
The beach was full of people from all walks of the life. Young lovers, married couples, families with toddlers, drunk mallus and traditional families. This is something which I have always loved about the Indian culture. All people coming together to enjoy the nature’s beauty. We had our dinner at Cafe Extasi. It is a good pizza joint where they cook pizzas in a wooden oven.
Fortunately and unexpectedly I had an amazing sleep. I woke up at 6:45 to realize I missed the sunrise by 15mins. Then for the next two hours, I just sat in our hut, looking at the wide expanse of sea and contemplating. It was a good hour of thinking and solitude. After having a cold breakfast, we headed out for Paradise Island. With the uncanny sun upon us, we sat on a motor boat cruising at a thrilling speed of 5km/hr through the backwaters. It was nothing extraordinary so we came back quickly, had a heavy lunch at Suruguru and two full cups of ice cream at GTM. Now Gelateria Montecatini Terme or GTM, is a stupendo fantabulously fantastical ice cream joint. Where in the world can we have a gelato in 40Rs?
Finally, after returning our activa we boarded the bus to Bangalore in the afternoon. Another end to an amazing weekend.