This weekend was great. I went to Pondicherry to explore the beauty of this French Colony in India.
A short intro on Pondicherry
About 160 kms south of the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It is situated on the Coromandel Coast of India. It’s a place that has witnessed many fierce battle between the British and the French. Pondicherry remained the Capital Of French India until the Cessation Treaty of Territories that was signed between India and France in 1956. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. Pondicherry is bound on the east by the Bay of Bengal. The origin of Pondicherry go back as far as Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. A roman settlement existed near Pondicherry some 2000 years ago is proved by an excavation around the city. What attracts most travellers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the City of Dawn known as Auroville, 10 kms away. The Ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926, which has given Pondicherry an added international reputation. The Ashram, a unique place of cross cultural habitation combines yoga and modern science with a stress on improving the quality of life in all its aspects. French is still widely spoken, and the seaside villas and the cobbled streets are more reminiscent of an old and laid back town in the south of France than a city in present day India.
Easy for a weekend Trip
If you would like to do a quick weekend trip to Pondicherry from Bangalore, the best thing to do is, fly to Chennai on friday evening which only takes like 40 minutes and then you can board a cab or board a bus to pondicherry. By cab, its 2hrs 30 minutes drive and bus takes 3hrs 20mts to reach Pondicherry. When we reached Chennai, we took a bus to Pondicherry. It was tiring though, but was fun. We had booked a French guest house (Patricia`s Guest house, Rue FranÃ§ois Martin) which is so different from our normal Indian guest houses.
Take a look of the Guest house where I stayed:
That is how the interior looks like when you get inside the main door. Bedroom looks like this:
There is a garden outside where you can relax and enjoy yourself:
The next day me and my friend Stefanie (from Germany) had our French breakfast “Croissant (French Patisserie) and Baguette (French Bread)”
After the delicious breakfast we went for sight seeing and it was really refreshing. Check out some of the snaps taken while moving around.
It was sunny and by afternoon, we got tired and had some French sea food. It was yummy!!!!
After lunch, we went to some art gallery and then later went to one of our friends house – an Indo-French family, who were really sweet and later we had dinner with them. In between, we went to beach, but since the waves were rough, we couldn’t get into the water.
Next day we went for some shopping, site seeing, Mathri Mandir and had more of sea food for lunch and later in the evening, took a cab to Chennai.
On the way to Chennai, we stopped at Mahabalipuram, had some delicious sea food and checked out the sculptures and carvings on the rocks. We couldn’t check everything since we were late and the gates were closed. Somehow we managed to get inside but we were locked in and later we had to jump over the gate to get outside.
Finally, we reached Chennai and had dinner at Residency Tower and left to Bangalore by next day morning flight. Though it was a quick weekend tour, I felt like I spent a week long holiday. What I liked the most are the French buildings and its interiors. Overall, it was a great weekend.