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Travel Point…. Experience Corner….. down the lane of Memories


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A quickie with Pune : Fun, Food and Frolic

This was a weekend trip to attend Sunburn 2018 on 29th of December. The line up was pretty awesome. Don Diablo, Vini Vici, Hugel, Nucleya and Ingrosso-Axwell all at the same place on the same day and at the same time. But the sunburn management team has went to dogs and had tried every possible way to ruin such an awesome event. From place location to Food counters and beverage counters, everything was as shitty as it could have been possible. If things goes like this, there might not be anymore sunburns after 2-3 years. Well this blog is not to whine. Overall the fireworks, stage set up combined with the electric performance was worth the effort.

Next day, I had my return bus at 8 PM and all my friends left to their respective location in the morning. So I had the entire day to explore Pune a bit. This being first leisurely trip to Pune, there was lot to cover. Initially I thought of going for Paragliding at Kamshet or visiting Pawna lake or Lohagad fort. But that being located little far from the central city dropped the plan. And decided to visit the near by points only.

The journey started with Shaniwar wada. Nothing much to see here, but couple of spots are good for photography. Entry fee for Indians is INR 25 and for foreigners INR 300. Early morning, the crowd was not that much. On a chilled morning, just sat in the sun and baked the warmth for sometime.

Then moved to Dagadusheth Halwai Ganpati temple. The temple though is bit small in size, but is extremely well-organized. Shoes and luggage can be kept outside at the counters free of cost. The statue of Shri Ganesh shines in the golden radiation of holyness and wisdom. After offering my prayers, I stumbled upon ‘Joshi Badewale’. From the look, it looked like a old and good store. I did try the famous Bada Pav there and moved to Aga Khan Palace.

Being within the city limit, all the destinations were easily accessible through uber cabs. The entry fee os INR 25 for Indians. At Aga Khan Palace, there is also the samadhi of Kasturba(Mahatma Gandhi’s wife) and a part of Gandhiji’s wife. And the entire palace has turned to a museum of Gandhiji and Kasturba. I clicked some pics and the killed some time on its lush green garden. The garden is well maintained and an excellent place for photography.

Next destinations was Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. The entry fee is INR 50. For mobile photography they charge additional INR 100 and for DSLR INR 200. For the first time, I was glad that I didn’t bring the DSLR. But it is worth it. They have done quite some set up for photography. The museu2 has two wings. In Wing A, four floors and in Wing B three floors are decorated with quite a number of items and quite colorfully. The lightings and the presentation of the displayed items is at its best. They have different section at each of the floors. from utensils to musical instruments to clothes and lot more. It is worth a one time visit. I had planned my travel destinations as above because I had to return to Swargate to catch the bus. This museum is a stone’s throw away from Shaniwar wada. So someone may cover with that too.

It was almost 6 PM and I was looking to have some goodfood. Then google suggested me one and only one place: The goodluck cafe. It was only 2lm from the museum. While going though the revirws, I was afraid I might not get a table. But luckily, I got one. It is famous for Maskaa Bun and tea. I tried Mutton soup and Bhuna Chicken. The taste was worth the visit and ended the day with a happy tummy.

It was time to catch the bus and end the quick tour. There are lot of other options nearby Pune which can be explored with some more time in hand e.g. Mahabaleswar, Matheran Lonavala etc.


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Mangalore, Udupi and a tiny heaven called ‘Bengre’

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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” :Jacques Cousteau

This was a pretty short trip. I’ll also keep the content as short as the trip. One Friday out of the blue, four free souls: Sidharth, Arpit, Manish & myself decided to embark upon a one-day weekend getaway to Mangalore. Mangalore is at a distance of around 350km from Bangalore (Whitefield) which is approx.. 7 hr drive(without traffic). 

We started around 1am. The road till Hassan was  excellent and totally straight forward. The traffic were very less in this route, hardly a few buses. Seeing at the long stretched straight roads, scenes from fast and furious were flashing in our mind, but alas! We didn’t have any Nitro Booster and it was a mere 1000cc engine. We reached Hassan(which was the mid-point of our trip) in around 3 hr and took a quick tea-break.  The captaincy of the wheel moved from Sidharth to Arpit. As it was a sleepless ride, so the captains were having tough time behind the wheels. But the evergreen songs inside the car let the wheels rolling. We crossed the western ghat by 6am and took another quick tea-break.

We reached Mangalore around 8:30am, had breakfast on the way and directly moved to Tannirbhavi Beach. Before going to the main beach, we went to the end of the road where the backwater joins the Arabian Sea. But it was disappointing. Only piles of garbage were there. On can spot a number of peacocks though, but most of them have been faded.

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Then we turned back and went to the beach. We entered the beach just by the side of the park. (There is a parking lot just at the initial stretch of the road. Don’t go there. The best is little further. So keep the wheel rolling until you see a entrance gate and some shops at the right side of you.)

The beach was pretty clean and the white sand on the beach was just adding icing on the cake. There was an on-going pre-wedding phootshoot. We just sat on one of those chairs and soaked the beauty with morning chillness. Horse riding was also available at the beach. We clicked some photos and moved to Panambur beach.

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Panambur beach is just 7km away from the earlier one.  This was a busier beach, but lot of water sport activities options was there. In INR 700, they were offering  a package of Banana Ride, Speed Motor-Boat ride and a 10-mins boat ride in the coastal area. Th beach was little deep and unsafe though for a bath. But as we had decided of going to Udupi, hence we moved ahead.

In 1 hr, we reached Udupi around 12 noon. We first moved to Malpe beach and the Sea-Walk by its side. Here also lots of water activities are available: Para-sailing, Speed-boat etc. There is a St. Mary’s island here which is easily accessible. But considering our limited time, we had to forego that and moved to the best location of the trip: Bengre-Udupi.

Bengre is one of those hidden gems and truly a heaven on earth. One side of the village is Sea and the other side is surrounded by river. Thanks to Manish, we found this heaven on earth. He, being a localite, knew the in-and-out of the place. It is around 10km away from Malpe beach.  The serenity and peaceful atmosphere of the village is out-of the world. The area was in the form of a Delta surrounded by rows of Coconut trees.

Finally, we settled at this place and explored the surroundings. Manish just knew the perfect place for the Non-vegetarians and took us there. This place is also famous for taddi(a local form of mild alcohol). We found a spot just by the side of the beach and relished freshly cooked Squid-rings, Prawn-Pakodas and fish-fry with a smooth taste of taddi(some also call Som-rass). Then after a while, we moved to the river mouth, set-up the party there right on the beach inside the water. We just strolled and rolled there till the evening and enjoyed the magnificent view. There was also an Allapuzah style boat which was giving a touch of Kerala to the venue and another boat that was catching fish just beside us. One side where the river was flowing into the sea was bit deep, whereas the other side it was only knee-deep. It was kind of a premium private beach with 360 degree splendid view. Initially, we were the only four at that side of the beach, but then around evening a few other people joined us. We clicked couple of pics and started our return journey.

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We started around 4:30pm and reached Bangalore back around 2am. The entire trip was indeed like a roller-coaster ride. To sum up, we covered 930km+ in 25 hr with four pit-stops: Tannirbhavi Beach, Panambur Beach, Malpe Beach and Bengre-Udupi. The route we covered: Bangalore – Mangalore- Udupi – Mangalore – Bangalore. On the same day, the captains of the trip had tamed western ghat twice that too both the times at night. Wasn’t this truly amazing! Hats off to Sidharth and Arpit. Though it was little hectic, but it was worth it. Not a single person had slept in those 25 hrs of journey.  The view of the marvelous Bengre-Udupi just washed away our sleep somehow.

Here is a small video capturing the beauty of it… [Source: Vyoma Aerospace]

Tips:

  • Plan a two day trip to the place which is perfect. First go to Mangalore. Enjoy the beach and water-sports and in the evening move to Udupi. Enjoy Sun-set there. If possible, do campfire at night by the side of the beach. Next day go to Malpe beach and St. Mary’s island and then return back Bangalore.
  • Going to the river-mouth at Bengre is a must.  
  • Mangaladevi temple, Sultan battery and NITK beaches are other important tourist points of Mangalore.
  • Agumbe is near-by only. With one more day, Agumbe can also be covered.

Figures:

  • Total Cost per head(inclusive all): 2000 INR (with four persons w/o stay)
  • Total KM: 930 km
  • Total Time: 25 hr
  • Total toll-cost(two way): 500 INR

Do not forget to share it with your wanderlust friends 🙂 Happy travelling 🙂


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Chikmagalur : A Perfect Weekend Getaway

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“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”  -Robert Louis Stevenson

Chikmagalur is one of the top weekend destinations from Bangalore, though it is still away from the lime light. The hill station is famous for coffee plantation, greenery and a number of waterfalls. On one weekend we, a group of five friends: Abinash, Ritesh, Britto, Prabina and I decided to explore this beautiful place. Abinash has a Grand i10 and Britto is a self-proclaimed F1 racer :p So ‘how to reach’ wasn’t a hassle at all this time 😀

How to Reach Chikmagalur:

It is around 250 km away from Bangalore and is a 4-hour journey. The road is pretty good for most of the part. A number of state-run and private buses ply to the place. The nearest railway station is Kadur which is 40 km away. The best option is to hire a cab. Now a lot of options are there: Ola Outstation, Goibibo Cab, MMT Cab service etc. If you have  a car, you can even hire only a driver and go. DriveU, Hire4Drive, ezidrive, Zuber are a few driver hiring sites. We decided to make it a self-drive road trip to reap the most out of it. We started from Bangalore around 4:30 AM.

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A dam we came across on the way

Where to Stay:

A lot of options are available depending of budget, luxury and experience. Zostel Chikmagalur is one of the top choices in terms of budget and experience. But we decided to  go beyond that and to choose the best in terms of experience. We had booked our stay at Forest Homestay – Maradi(Aldur). It is 27km away from the main city Chikmagalur, and exists among dense forest and coffee plantation. A few of my friends had been here last year and had shared their experience with me. If you want a serene and out of the world experience, then this is the place. Apart from Airtel, you hardly will get any network here. So like literally out of the hustle bustle of busy life.

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For booking, you can check online on Goibibo or you can contact directly at below mentioned no. (Nuthan: 9449175960, Omar Homestay Advisor : 9538280008. This is just for reference purpose only.) They charge by person basis which includes Stay(Cottage or Tent), Food(Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks & Dinner : Both Veg and Non-Veg), welcome drink, one morning trek, night campfire and a few other engaging activities. Additionally, you can inform them for additional snacks: Chicken(400 per KG), Fish(500 per KG), Mutton (600 per KG). This includes making and service charge. Even home made wine is available on chargeable basis(Figwine: INR 500 per bottle, rest: INR 250 per bottle). They have made provisions to play badminton, cricket, carom, rifle-shooting and Bow & Arrow. Visit their official site for details.

Mulyangiri:

It is around 23 km away from Chikmagalur. We reached Chikmagalur around 9:30 AM and our check-in time at hotel was 12 noon. So though we had planned to go here the next day, we went the same day after having some breakfast at Chikmagalur.

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On the way to Mulyangiri

The last stretch of the road was bit bumpy and narrow; but we had Captain Britto at our side. We never hesitated to stop n click on the way. We reached around 11 AM at Mulyangiri peak. The weather was pleasing, neither cloudy nor sunny. There is a temple on the Mulyangiri peak which is a 15-20 mins climb. The route is smooth and there are stairs till the top. The view from up there was magnificent. There was greenery everywhere, till the eyes could see. We enjoyed the beauty for sometime and started our journey to the home-stay around 12 noon.

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We had to again comeback to Chikmagalur and to take a different route for the Homestay. The last 4km of the road to the homestay was really in bad shape. But they were repairing that. Hopefully, in a few months, that will be fine. The Homestay was at the remotest corner of the forest and the road ends there only. We reached the homestay around 1:15 PM. We were taken to our cottage which was 100m away from the parking area. We were greeted with welcome drinks: Mango and Lemon drinks. After a long travel, it was the best one could get in that dense forest. The location of the homestay was just perfect like a single cottage in the middle of the forest and coffee garden. As it was Friday, there was no one apart from us. So the entire place was ours to enjoy.

Though everyone was damn tired, two had directly come from Chennai and almost everyone had 1 to 2 hrs of sleep last night; still everyone could have been found at the badminton ground.

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And the irony was I had fever the previous day, but it all vanished once we reached Chikmagalur 🙂 We played for around half an hour and then asked for the lunch. After getting refreshed, we came to dining table. Thank god, they had  a geyser there. The lunch was delicious, as we were all non-vegetarians; they had made two chicken dishes. All the dish was cooked in local malada style with a flavour of their speciality. After a sumptuous lunch, we were supposed to go to Shankar falls which was  nearby only. But due to some reasons, it was closed those days. So we decided to pay a visit to a nearby pond(they call it lake :p) after a short break.

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Coffee

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Spiders were ruling the spot!

Around 3:30 PM, we started for the pond. They provided life jackets to everyone for the safety. It was just a 5 min walk from the cottage. But when we reached the pond, we were disappointed. The water wasn’t that clean and it was a small one. Noone was ready to take a plunge in that. Then the staff members jumped in and cleaned the water a bit. Prabina and Britto finally took a plunge. I didn’t risk it as I was out of fever just a few hrs back 😀 And it wasn’t that tempting also.

Then we came back to the cottage and played some games. Some were busy with badminton and a few other with the rifle and bow n arrow.

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Around 5PM ,we started for the sunset point. It was a 15 mins walk from the cottage. The place was awesome. Peace and calmness was in the air. The forest was surround us and a huge mountain at our back. And the sun in its golden glory descending below the horizon. We sat there for quite sometime and enjoyed the golden touch of nature to the fullest. We clicked some awesome sunset pics and made our way to the homestay. It was pitch dark by the time we were returning.

We took a short break and then had snacks: pakoda and fresh filter coffee. After  a while, we lighted up the campfire and started the forest party. We had ordered for pepper-chicken, chicken kabab, chilly chicken and fish fries. They kept bringing one by one and under that almost full-moon night, beside the campfire ; we continued our party. It wasn’t that cold that evening, but it was pleasant weather. The babbling sound of the nearby waterstream was overpowering the powerful of bass of our Bluetooth speaker. It was dense forest around us, but there were two dogs with us all the time. They were just lying beside us and were enjoying the chicken bones. The party went on till late night, then we had our dinner and went back to bed.

Next morning, we had to wake up at 6 am to go on a nearby trek. Britto literally dragged me down out of the bed to wake me up. By 6:30 AM, everyone was all set for the trek. It was 7 km up and down. Though I had done a couple of treks earlier, this was different. Though this was short, but was full of surprises. The route went through the dense forest and to the top of a mountain. There was a butterball there and one could see the surrounding area clearly from up above. The place was a bliss.

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After a tiring, but refreshing trek

We clicked some pics and came back.

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Breakfast was ready by the time we reached the cottage. We packed our bags and did some more shooting before we checked out. The staff member Uday was very courteous. The stay was extremely pleasant.

Jhari Falls:

We then drove to Jhari Falls.which is 48 km away from the homestay and in the same Mulyangiri route. But what we didn’t know that there was a walking distance of around 3km before you reach the waterfall. As it was a Saturday, the waterfall was heavily crowded. This is also called the milky waterfall as the splash of water almost looks white as milk.

Baba Budangiri:

It was just 8 km from Jhari Falls. The weather was cloudy and chilly that day. There is a temple of Baba Budangiri there. There is also a waterfall 3km away and a lake around 4km away from the temple. But as we had less time, we stopped at a nice location, enjoyed the weather a bit and started our return journey.

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A few other points of interest are : Kudremukh, Hebbe Falls etc

It was  a perfect road trip and  a must try with friends if you are nearby Bangalore.

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The Ride, The Riders and the Clicker (Behind the Lense)

Tips:

  • Make sure you don’t have any booze with you when you are going to Mulyangiri. There is a check post before that.
  • On the way to homestay, you’ll find one booze shop at Aldur market and one at Chikmagalur.
  • Take a Bluetooth woofer with you.
  • Take a pair of shoes if you are going for trekking.

 

Reference: Forest Homestay

 


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Mahabalipuram : An Archaeological Brilliance !

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“For me archaeology is not a source of illustrations for written texts, but an independent source of historical information, with no less value and importance, sometimes more importance, that the written sources.” ― Michael Rostovtzeff

Mahabalipuram is one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai, of course after Pondicherry. But it is perfect for a single day outing. It is situated just around 60km away from Chennai and is famous for its archaeological brilliance. It’s also known as Mamallapuram, so don’t get confused.

How to Reach:

Bike:

If you have got a bike, then you shouldn’t worry about the transport part at all. If not, you can rent one. There are plenty of options available at Chennai (Chennaibikerental, Rentrip, Wheelonstreet etc.) . An Avenger will cost you around INR 750 per day and a RE around INR 1000. The road is best for a bike trip spread alongside the Bay of Bengal (East Coast Road). The road runs parallel to the coast of Bay of Bengal making it a scenic driveway, although you will not see the sea until the last few miles.

Car:

If you have access to a car, that’s ice on cake. This route is part of the road to Pondicherry which is listed as Top 10 road trips to take in India. Car rentals (Zoomcar/Myles) are also available at Chennai. You can also go for a cab or Ola/Uber outstation.

Bus:

The cheapest way to travel is by bus. A lot of private buses or MTC buses ply to Mahabalipuram(Mamallapuram). You can catch one from CMBT bus stop(Z568C route) or from Adyar(Bus no 599, 588, 589). I took the MTC Bus-599 and it took my around one and half hour to reach there, but the cost was just INR 30 🙂

There are a few options on the way to Mahabalipuram; like Crocodile Park, off-road riding, Tiger cave. If you are taking the bus option, you might have to miss this. If you’re boarding the bus at Adyar and planning to have lunch, then Top See Restaurant is a good budget hotel.

Things to Do:

Shore Temple:

(Entry fee INR 30 for Indians)

The temple is located just a stone’s throw away from the bus stop and just by the side of the coromandel coast. A pile of rocks has been put to protect the temple against the waves of the Bay of Bengal. The place is full of archaeological marvelous and lush greenery. One could just sit on that lush green grass and behold the architectural beauty for hours.  It is an excellent spot to try out some photography skills.

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The Shore Temple

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Beach:

The beach area though is not huge, but always adds flavor to the trip. A lot of handicraft and other small shops can be found on the way to the beach. The part of the beach near those rocks is somewhat clean, the further you go, the dirtier it gets. A lot of beach resorts are also there. If you’re planning for a night stay, then there are plenty of options.

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Pancha Rathas:

(Entry fee INR 30 for Indians, INR 25 for Videocam)

This is the 2nd best archaeological marvelous at Mahaballipuram or may be the best. There are five(Pancha) stone chariots(Rathas); each of different size and architectural magnificence. Again a heaven for a photographer.  It is just 1km away from the Shore temple.

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Light House:

(Entry fee INR 10 for Indians, INR 30 for Camera)

There are two light houses: one that used to be, one that is. The view from the light house is breathtaking, but you’ll have to climb all those narrow stairs to the top. If anyone likes rock climbing, then it is a heaven for him/her. There are so many climbable rocks here that you just can jump n hop around.  There are a lot of options to hang out here, you just need to explore.

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Towards the end of the day, dark clouds started hovering across the blue sky and it started raining. That just made the trip splendidly beautiful when the dust on greenery washed away.

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Krishna’s Butterball:

It is a gigantic rock stock to the hill. It seems as if just one push will make it roll. An awesome spot for some creative photography.

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Arjuna’s penance and Tiger cave are a few other interest points.

People here are great with stone carving and making stone sculptures. By the side of the road from Pancha Rathas to Lighthouse, you’ll see a number of sculptures and show-pieces.

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Four to five hours is enough to explore the surroundings. The entry to lighthouse closes around 5:30 PM, so plan accordingly. I embarked upon the same bus at around 6 PM for my journey back to Chennai and reached Adyar in 2 hrs.


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Pondicherry: A refreshing weekend getaway

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“Live in the sunshine, Swim in the sea, Drink the wild air !” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My recent relocation to Chennai might give me the opportunity to explore the south, in a thorough manner. What better place can there be to start the journey than Pondicherry (Puducherry). Earlier I had been to south just once covering Cochin – Munnar – Alleppy – Kanyakumari – Rameswaram. There is a lot more to explore here. This was a short trip to the colorful city of beach, booze and bread !

How to reach Pondicherry (from Chennai):

There are various ways available to reach this lively destination. Some significant ways are cab or rented bikes. This is one of the top routes in India for road trip as the highway just runs by the side of the east coast(ECR). We were a group of six friends : Arpit, Prabina, Abhishek, Britto, Navya and myself. Britto being a localite took the charge and planned it. Here as language is a little barrier, so having a localite by your side can save much hassle. A lot of govt/private AC/Non-AC buses ply to Pondicherry. We had to catch a bus from Koyembeddu bus stop, but by mistake we(Arpit & Me) entered a wrong bus-stop in Uber that left us around 3km away from the actual bus-stop. And the bus was just about to leave. As a result, we could have been found running in and out Koyembeddu bus stop with a pic of bus’s number(TN01-AN1539 – see I still remember :p) in our hand. Finally, we boarded the AC govt. bus (fare INR 170 per head) from CMBT bus stop around 7 AM and reached Pondicherry around 10AM.

Bikes : best way to explore Pondicherry

We then directly moved to a bike rental provider(Vijat Arya 2 wheeler rental service) nearby. The owner briefed us on the sightseeing options there at Pondicherry, famous food joints to try out and basic traffic rules. We were reminded to be careful of the one-way routes there. The charge was around INR 400 per day per bike(Activa/Vespa) with min 2 days hire. We moved to our hotel(Hotel Corbelli, located around central market) and after a short refreshment , the journey started.

Paradise Beach:

Paradise beach was our first destination which is the top tourist spot at Puducherry. The last mile to Paradise is to be travelled by boat (to-fro ticket price INR 200 pax).

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One can travel there between 9AM – 5PM as the last boat leaves at 5PM. We reached Paradise beach around noon and the sun was at its peak.

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The sands on the beach had absorbed enough heat by then to roast our foot. Without any further delay, we jumped into the waving water of Bay of Bengal. The beach was extremely clean and well-maintained, but there was nothing available except coconut water 😦 After some 2 hours of gruesome face-to-face with the salty tides, we decided to return. The pointed shells on the beach had injured all of us by then in some way or other.

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After this salty bath, there is a rain-dance facility also available to refresh at a cost of INR 50. Then we returned by boat to the entry point.

At this point, there was just one thing in everyone’s mind : Food. We went to ‘Hot Breads’which was just beside our hotel and had a sumptuous meal of Pizza & Pasta. The food was good and cheap (as tax levied).

Rock Beach:

After a short rest at our room, we moved to Rock beach through the French colony which was just 1km away. The place is well-structured and maintained. This was an Indianized version of Dubai’s famous JBR(Jumeirah beach walk). The road was broad and only walkers were allowed after 5PM. One can sit there on those rocks and watch the sea splashing onto those black rocks leaving a few droplets on your face. The atmosphere there was just serene. There is a small fast-food market there just near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. We tried some Masala Pani Poori, Chat and some fruit salad out of the vast options available there. There is a café (Le Café) just by the sea-side which remains open(not in reality) for 24 hours. A nice place to try some french drinks, coffees or shakes. After chilling there for some more time, we returned to the hotel. The dinner party went on till 2AM at our room and everyone except two went to bed shortly. Prabina and I decided to pay a visit to the Rock beach.

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The beach was deserted, a but a few group were there; some sitting & gossiping, some lying just in wait of the sunrise and a few other in their deep sleep on the benches. The atmosphere couldn’t be explained in words, but can only be experienced: the tune of gushing sea water doing away with the quietness of the surrounding. After enjoying the soft breeze to the core of our heart, we returned to hotel with a hope of getting a glimpse of the sunrise next morning.

Auroville:

I guess that was some high hope :p We woke up around 9AM in the morning. We moved to Shri Aurobindo Ashram first. Then we moved to Auroville. It is a whole world in itself. After watching the short video, we walked till Auroville view point and clicked some pics.

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Shri Aurobindo Ashram

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Auroville

There was a lake around 8km away. We had planned to cover that too. The last 2km was a real pain. With road work under progress, there were only boulder s on the road. But after this when we reached the lake, it was disappointing. It was like a left-out lake due to lack of maintenance.

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We rode back to main city. After enquiring, we got to know there was just one AC bus yet to leave, but all the seats were already booked. The cab was too costly for a one way ride. There were some private AC buses in the evening, but the price was nearly 3 times. Luckily, we came across a bus which had come from Dingul and was on its way to Chennai. Three went to book the seats and the rest went to return the bikes. To utter dismay, the lock of the bikes was found stuck and couldn’t be opened. There were a wallet and some luggage in that. As it was a Sunday, so the repairing shops were also closed. We were running out of time. The bus was about to leave in 10 mins(at 3PM) and there we were, stuck with a lock. Then in desperation, we pulled the seat up and Britto slipped his hands into it and dragged the wallet and other stuffs out. The rental operator was kind enough not to charge for that. We literally run to the bus stop where the bus was on the verge of leaving. Some were even limping with their injured legs. With the grace of Almighty, We boarded the bus at the eleventh hour and that was the end of this awesome and happening journey.

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The Group

Some Other Sightseeing Options:

  • Basilica Church
  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral
  • Arikmedu
  • Museum
  • French War Memorial

Some food joints to try:

  • Café Xtecy – for wood fired Pizza
  • Le café- for some soft drinks
  • Hot Breads- for authenticate French bread, Pizza & Pasta

PS: And there is one thing very cheap at Pondicherry, need I mention: p

Tips:

  • Protect your foot at Paradise beach from the sharp shells. If possible, take some band-aid’s with you.
  • Booze is not available at Paradise beach anymore, neither you are allowed to take any. Plan accordingly.
  • Be careful of the one-way routes and don’t park your vehicle near Rock beach side after 5PM.
  • Take a soap/Shampoo to paradise beach if you are planning to take a dip in the water.
  • For rented bikes, go to Vijay Arya if you haven’t researched properly.
  • To visit the inner sanctum of Auroville, apply for pass prior to 2-3 days of the visiting day.