Hi there guys,
I am here to bore you again. Only this time it will be details from my recent travel to Pondicherry during the long weekend that happened because of the Republic day holiday. We (By we I mean my roommate Betty and I), being the lazy bees we are, didn’t plan anything until the 23rd. Undecided on where to go, we weighed our options. I had a friends’ wedding in Kerela which did seem lucrative but driving down for a trip seemed to catch my attention more. So finally we chose Pondy (Pondicherry). Well, I would like to name the theme of this travel as “ In quest of the unknown” . The reason for this being we hadn’t decided on anything except the destination, no hotels booked, no tourist places had been earmarked and restaurants – no clue at all about the ones in Pondy.
So come Friday, 26th we started off in the morning at around 8 o clock, and head towards the toll gate, Google maps being our savior (or not!!). We were on a really well-maintained highway until Google told us to change our routes as the one we were traveling on was a longer route. In a bid to save time and reach there faster, we blindly followed our beloved google maps. I followed the route of Bangalore-Hosur-Thiruvanamalai-Pondicherry. For all types of drivers – amateurs or experienced. Do not take this route. Extremely ill-maintained and filled with potholes. As soon as you speed up, you will be faced with broken roads or small towns and your effective speed reduces. The best route is the Bangalore- Vellore-Pondicherry route which has a great view as well as amazing driving experience.
Well Sorry, I deviated a little (like I did with the google maps). We reached Pondy around 5:15 pm in the evening. Like I had already mentioned, no hotel to crash. We had done some research on hotels in Pondy but none of them were available currently. Where do we go now? We stopped at multiple hotels and all were full owing to the long weekend. We entered Auroville and started finding guesthouses. We had hotels at some distances and we started getting worried since none of them were available. Finally, we stopped at a very pretty looking place called Green Heritage which also had a restaurant attached in its premises. Already prepared for a No we went in. Luckily there was a room available in a cottage. It was beautiful (pictures below) and the beds were in 2 tiers. The only catch was it was available only for that night, to be vacated by 12 pm the next afternoon. So another mad hunt would ensue the next day. Finally parked the car in their slots and went to freshen up. The rooms were cozy and very well maintained. Changed and headed for dinner at Tanto’s.
Tantos’s was one amazing place, after waiting for an eternity we got a seat. We ordered a Tandoor pizza and Blue Goat cheese Ravioli in mixed sauce (since we couldn’t decide red or white). The ravioli was simply amazing. Our friends had also come to Pondicherry, we met them at a restaurant by the sea and later came back and slept off in our cozy beds.
The next day breakfast was at a small restaurant inside our hotel called the Food and Wood. We headed to Matri Mandir (the golden dome, where most people click their DPs…. Like us!).
It was a fairly long walk (around 1.5 km) which took up the better part of the day. Pit stop at Auroville shops for dress and jewelry shopping. Famished, we started off towards the French town, in search of food and accommodation. Our first stop was Café Des arts which were the top recommended restaurant, but hey everybody has Google. We couldn’t manage a seat. We roamed about and reached Villa Krish for lunch. Well, I might say I’m glad we came here. We ordered Tiger Prawns here which is the best dish of the trip. Ended with pasta and dessert, we headed off to find our second nights’ stay.
Again after a lot of searches, we found a 1 seater room and adjusted with another mattress. (Of course, you cant be lucky all the days!). The food, travel, and drinks had gotten us super tired and we crashed. After a good sleep, we dressed up pretty for the dinner and headed off. Again we wanted to go to Villa Helena, but we landed up in LBB Lounge. Betty ordered a steal and I order Blue Cheese Gnocchi. Well yeah Like I said the theme was the quest for the unknown! The food there wasn’t as satisfactory. We headed off to Paradise beach after dinner, sadly it does remain isolated late in the evenings so we couldn’t stop there and came to our very own Rock Beach, the sea breeze and the splattering of waves was peaceful. Took us away from the hectic lifestyles we live in. Ending the day with this and came back over to rest.
What we thought was going to be the least eventful day turned out to be the most eventful one. We packed up and headed for breakfast. Again Café des arts disappointed us so we went to Artika Café and Gallery and ate a proper French breakfast consisting of Croissants, Crepes, Fruits, and Juices. Tummy full, we headed to the beach to click pictures. Artika café is a very pretty place to click pictures as well. After sitting on the beach for a while we headed to the Basilica of the Sacred hearts of Jesus. Betty wanted to go there and we decided to fulfill all our wishes. We then headed out to go to the very famous bakery – Auroville Bakery where we would meet our friends and help them shop for their friends and fiances’. We bought beautiful shawls, dresses, jewelry. My favorite – Turquoise jewelry. Do pick one up in case you visit Auroville.
And we ended it off with a nice lunch at Café Xtasi with Pizza, Fish fingers and a lot of coke.
Heading back, we took the Vellore- Bangalore road and that was one smooth drive we had! Read on for more details on stays and foods to eat at Pondicherry. More coming soon.