Pondicherry & Mahabalipuram

I will start 2014 with travelogue – my short trip to Pondicherry & Mahabalipuram..Like most of my trips it was planned just few days before we started trip. Suresh my team mate from Hyderabad was coming to Bangalore and we decided to visit Coorg during weekends. I have been there before and my intention has been always visit new and unexplored places. Then I asked Gaurav and Umesh to join, they both promptly agreed but suggested to travel Pondicherry. For me it was again the re-visit, but when I started looking around Pondicherry in google map. I found Mahabalipuram, just 90 km from Pondicherry, Unesco world heritage site and the pictures on google images were exciting. Mahabalipuram is famous for its rock carvings, monolithic sculptures and famous shore temple. Then this trip plan got bit twisted and Mahabalipuram was added to this trip.

Getting train or bus tickets from Bangalore to Pondicherry was not an issue. But I made it bit difficult by planning it so late. One day I checked train ticket availability and 112 was available. I thought of booking next day and when I checked it again it was WL. Same with the return train. Next option was bus ticket booking and it was very difficult to choose right and comfortable bus. It was year end, holiday season and most of my preferable buses were full. Finally got 4 sleeper seats in Indira Bus travel. Started from 10:30 pm on Friday night. Bus was good and found It comfortable, the only problem with sleeper coaches is, if road is not good, you will have to suffer, and that happened after 3-4 hrs.

Early morning we reached Pondicherry bus stand. Had tea and decided to go Beach road first just 2.5 km from bus stand. We four squeezed in an auto. Gaurav preferred to sit with driver in front.  Near Arvindo Ashram we hired two bikes and then we started our journey to serenity beach, which was 9 km from beach road. I had already booked Nature Loft Resort near serenity beach. Check in timing was 12 pm but we decided to reach there early.  I tried calling the numbers provided to me but no response. So we reached there directly. Resort was completely mess when reached. There was one group and had party last night, so all the beer bottles, plates. Hotel was nice but yet again not exactly what it looked in its website pictures.

WP_000102 DSCN0159
They took some time to prepare our room. It was cottage. As soon as I entered I saw one double bed and I said this room is only for 2 but I booked for 4. Then they pointed out one ladder and above that another bed for 2. They have experimented with an idea of a loft under thatched roofs in the upper floors.

After having bath and breakfast, time to explore city. I switched on Nokia map and set the direction for Auroville. Which was 3 km from resort. But we took some wrong turns and ended up riding another 4 – 5km. After using another GPS (General Public Service), by asking people for direction, we reached Auroville also known as City of Dawn.

The main attraction was the big dome. Its known as The Matrimandir and built for practitioners of yoga, situated at the centre of Auroville. This dome is covered by golden discs and reflects sunlight. Unfortunately, outsiders can only see this dome from outside viewing area and you will get chance to enter in the dome with a prior booking (2-3 days in advance). Auroville also is known for its experimental architecture. The township has some interestingly designed buildings. The entire town has been shaped like a galaxy and most houses have arches, curves and domes as part of their exterior.
DSCN0285  DSCN0260

We left Auroville around 3 and we all were hungry. Next destination was Beach road, a long stretch of road with the Bay of Bengal on one side and restaurants, hotels, and the Aurbindo ashram to the other. We found one sea view restaurant there Seagulls. Food was ok ok but the view was excellent, the atmosphere and sea waves.

DSCN0312 DSCN0369 DSCN0360

Le’café has been my favourite place in Pondicherry, When last time I visited Pondicherry, way back in 2008 and now..nothing is changed..the perfect time to visit it is in the evenings. Open 24 hours of the day, Le Café is a great place to be, if you are in good mood. Just sit back, order café latte, relax and listen to the waves crash against the rocks.

For next morning I planned to wake up early and visit the serenity beach, which was just a minute walk from resort to see sunrise. Around 4AM I woke up because of some sound outside of the cottage and then I couldnot sleep, I was keep watching my mobile for time. 5:30 I was ready to see sunrise. Suresh and Umesh also woke up and we three reached the beach. I was surprised to see many people over there and then realized I was not the only person in this world to wake up early and see sunrise ;-)
DSCN0498 DSCN0501 DSCN0510

We came back from beach, had bath, tea, breakfast and then checked out from resort. Manager was good and he agreed to take care of our bags there till the evening.

Our next destination was Mahabalipuram, small town in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu, 90 km from Pondicherry. Can be reached via beautiful and scenic ECR (East Cost Road). We enjoyed the driving there. Bay of Bengal at your right side and then you will see some big lakes at left side. Road was excellent and we reached Mahabalipuram within 2 hrs. The first place we visited was Panch Ratha (Five Chariot) All these five Ratha’s are carved out of single stone and are named after five Pandava’s. Weather was hot, humid and place was crowded. We quickly saw all the chariots, clicked few pictures and left the place.

DSCN0547 DSCN0545

Just a km from Panch Ratcha is the Shore temple. UNESCO world heritage site. Before visiting Mahabalipuram, as usual I was looking for more information about this town in internet.It is believed that there were seven magnificent temples what are known as the seven pagodas, built near the sea shore, today only one stands there, others believed to be submerged under the sea. Shore temple area was well maintained and is fenced surroundings. It’s just few meters from sea shore. The temple is surrounded by a stone wall on which a stone carved in “Cow” shape is placed.

DSCN0586 DSCN0590

In between Panch Ratha and Shore temple, there is one cave and lighthouse. We didn’t visit those places and left the town.


We were back to ECR again, found one good restaurant and ordered chettinad meal, hot, spicy but tasty. By the time we reached Pondicherry again, it was 5.30. Visited Auro beach, spent half an hour there and then back to our fav place Le’café in beach road, ordered the same café latte but this time mood was different. We all were sad, as trip was going to end. All of us were quite, tired and no mood in talking. After spending hour, we left the café , reached our hotel, collected our bag, returned bikes and reached bus stand to catch our return bus to Bangalore.

1 comment:

  1. Looking for best holiday destination to spend this summer? Then, Pondicherry will be the ideal place to spend your vacation in splendid way. Check tour2pondy for hotels in Pondicherry and Beach Resorts in Pondicherry.