Tag Archives: Beach

Visit to the Aurobindo Ashram

I cannot recall when I first visited the Aurobindo Ashram. I was aware that both my parents were staunch believers of the Mother and I vaguely recall having visited the Ashram to learn eye exercises. We used to visit Pondicherry at least once every year for a really loong time. This was my first trip where the objective was not to only visit the Ashram. The Ashram is quite close to the beach road but it took us forever to find the place. When we managed to find the place, I found that it had not changed much and suddenly I had tears in my eyes. It was weird. I was probably feeling overwhelmed ’bout visiting one of the places of my childhood memories. Everything seemed exactly the same. The Ashram has the samadhis of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Cameras are not allowed inside the Ashram and so this is the only picture we could take of the Ashram. I did not want to spend too much time inside and so we left.

As I mentioned earlier, all the streets have French names that are very difficult to pronounce. While there are sign boards all over the place, they are not really tourist-friendly. Of course, it is a small place and after doing multiple chakkars, you will be back right where you started. Also, remember ask natives of Pondicherry ’bout the place you want to visit because almost every third person you see on the road is a tourist. Of course, if you can speak Tamil, half your battle is already won.

What a hectic day. We were very tired and headed back to the resort. We thought it may be a good idea to visit the beach attached to the resort. We changed and went out to the beach and spent exactly 5 minutes when the security guard told us to get back. According to him, some bad elements usually come out to the beach after 7 pm and they did not want any folks who stay at the resort to be embarrassed. Though shocked, we returned to our room. What an end to a nice day!


Mangalore – Udipi – Day 4

After an amazingly hectic Day 3 – I was dying for a break – but today was the day we were going to Udipi and so let me not think ’bout the break. Today was also the day we realized that our budget for the trip was shot 😦 Everytime we ate at the restuarant – we compared the prices with our Bengaluru prices and smiled. However, eating out everyday can mess up ur budget and we found that out while writing the accounts for the last 3 days.

Day 4
After having messed the Panamboor beach visit, I was eager to make amends by suggesting that we go there in the morning before we check out of the hotel and proceed to Udipi. dscf1106The Arien was amazed, I can tell you – he had been sure I would say “Lets laze the morning away’ – Thats why I like to be unpredictable – it works everytime 😀 So we started for the Panamboor beach – I thought I knew the way but I was mistaken and the person whom we asked said that we were on the right track – though both of us felt otherwise.
Anyways, we lost a lot of time going towards Ullal beach and then we had to turn around and head towards Panamboor. These things are pretty nornal when you travel to a place you have not been to but Arien was cheesed off. He wanted to kick the guy whom we had asked 😀
We finally reached the Panamboor Beach which has a board, well hidden by trees that says “Welcome to Mangala” – Ob. the “ore” pronounced “oor” was added a lot later. Mangalore was originally called Mangala – Hmmm.  Must tell Mangala that. 😛
While I pointed this out, the Arien was more intent on reaching the beach and ’bout the loss of time and growled in response. As usual, it was pretty warm by the time we reached the beach. dscf1111We walked around the beach enjoying the breeze, waves as we walked the length of the beach.
There were not too many folks out and it looked lovely. It was sunny and so we tried to protect ourselves from the sun’s rays using a colorful floral umbrella that looked totally out of place in the Arien’s hands 😀 
We collected quite a few shells as we walked along the beach – I saw that some of these shells kinda disappeared into the sand after the wave went back – we also saw a dead star fish – it was black on one side.
As it started getting sunnier, I suggested moving back to the Hotel, checking out and get started on the journey to Udipi – which was readily agreed to by the Arien – I guess the sun killed his enthu.
We ate at a local resturant for budget reasons and moved towards Udipi. On our way, we passed Suratkal – did not have time to see the Suratkal beach and so we sped on. The resort was 20 km shy of Udipi. I was hoping we would not lose our way once again.  Thankfully, we did not. The first sight of the resort was heartening. We felt that this part of the  trip would probably be sooper – in fact, better than what it was earlier. Well, that was before we saw our rooms 😦
Well, for now, we were absolutely thrilled 🙂 The beach was 5 mts away and looked awesome. Of course, the first thing I noticed was that it was a coconut grove and not palm as specified – well, that kinda bugged me – anyways- we spoke to the person-in-charge and went to check out the room. We had the beeegest shock. It could have been a HomeStay – def not a resort.
On Day 3, we had checked out the Summer Sands resort which was simbly funtastic and they were charging the same as Paradise Isles and we felt that since our trips were not the “Lets stay in the room and watch TV” types – so we felt – y waste the amount. That was a mistake. 😦
Anyways, the Arien was terribly cheesed off – not that I was happy but whats the point in getting upset – either we decide to move out or we stay and if we are staying – it is better to find sm reason to b happy. I am not usually like this … So it was a welcome change. 😀 Anyways, the beach was 5 mts away and so we need not get so bugged ’bout the staying arrangements – was wht I decided.
We felt like some rest – and thot it wud be a gud idea to rest a bit – we were asleep in 5 mts – Arien was snoring away and we actually awoke 2.5 hrs later – I guess we did not know how tired we were. 😀

Mangalore – Day3 – Contd.

The plan was to make the Arien feel that a holiday was indeed happening 🙂 Well, after the breakfast and shower, I managed not to utter the horrid words “Can we take a break now?” and instead said “Letz gooo.”
Day 3 Contd
The first stop was at the Aloysius Chapel. This was quite close to the Periera’s Hotel and it brought an angry frown to the Arien’s face and I burst out laughing. I really wish I had a snap of that place. The Aloysius chapel was an amazing piece of art. The paintings or rather frescoes were xtremely lovely and as we tried to take a picture – someone shooed us away and asked us not to take any snaps. dscf1029
We managed to take a few snaps. This is a close-up of one of the various paintings on the ceiling.
The next stop was the Sultan’s batherry – which was surprisingly spelt as Battery. Yup 🙂

I could not figure out what this place would be like from the name. It felt like we were driving forever – I was worried we were lost yet again but thankfully we were not. 
When we reached, we were in for another shock – it was like a stone structure that had no meaning.
It had been used by the sultan to protect and watch his land from intruders. This is a picture of the space where the soldiers could place two guns and shoot at intruders. Otherwise, honestly, there was really nothing to see. Plus, we reached at 1 and it was really hot. We saw a young couple – looking very much in lowe – heading towards the boat and thought why not… there was a ferry that would take us to a beach on the other side for Rs.3 each. I thought the amount was hilarious and so we paid Rs.12 for a round-trip for both of us.  

 The first thing you notice as you get off the boat is that the beach seems secluded and we realized that we had actually reached the lovers rendezvous. The whole place was crawling with 16 somethings – shyly looking at each other. It was kinda Ohmygoodness :O

We had reached the virgin beach, TaneerBhavi Beach. There was absolutely no shelter after we crossed the small clearing that was filled with trees. Young couples sat in the clearing and whiled away their time while the two of us walked on the beach – Madness – us and the birds were the only living beings on the beach. Yuppp – Oh ya, let me not forget the one couple that was as mad as us and braved the sun. However, they were braving the sun for an entirely different reason (for a cootchie-coo) – we suddenly felt so old 😦
Anyways, after spending ’bout an hour in the hot sun – we decided we must get back – we still

 had to visit the NisargaDhaama. On our way back, there was a chuntu church and we saw these cute puppies sleeping – they looked so cute inspite of the heat. 
As we took the snap, they woke up and posed for us. This was almost like peekaboo – only with puppies 🙂 They were choo teeny – they look awfully huge in the picture – thts jes the Zoom 😀
They were ready to follow us and we did not have any snax with us – plus we were going to turn cranky b’cos of the heat, no food (lunch-time had come and gone), no water either. We sat down under a makeshift hut and waited for the ferry to return and pick us up. I was totally down and out and we still had the Nisargadhaama to visit.
I was hoping the Arien would decide that we had enough for the day – but the Arien is true to his type and so after we reached the Sultan Batherry – we had lunch and proceeded to Nisargadhaama. That will be part of another post – Yup Day 3 was indeed hectic. 😀

Mangalore – Day 3

Surprise of surprises – I woke up early (7:30 -Ahem!!). To make up for yesterday’s flop show I came up with a soooper plan of visiting a beach in the morning and most of the other sightseeing spots after 11. Sulky Arien was still not convinced that I would implement the plan…. anyways thats how Day 3 started.

Day 3
The first visit for the day was to the Ullal beach that had been re-christened Someshwar beach.

It was lovely in the morning. I cannot get over
the first sighting of the beach. There was a temple (Someshwar, after which the beach was named) atop a hillock and by the side was a road that led to the beach. This photo was taken
from there. The sulky Arien’s sulk disappeared and he was soon all smiles. He actually complimented me on my plan to visit the beach in the morning. The waves were aplenty and all over there were warnings ’bout swimming in the beach. We were not planning on swimming anyways and so it didn’t matter 🙂
Did I tell you that there was almost nobody else at the beach? Well, I guess if you live next to a beach – it loses some of its charm and ppl don’t flock to it.

Of course, that makes it great for us but I was pretty surprised all the same. Thats a picture of our footprints on the sand. As you can see we were the only ones on the beach. The beach was clean and did not have plastic and a lot of all the stuff you usually have come to expect on a beach.
If you have been to the Marina beach, in Chennai, in the evening – you are likely to find zillion ppl on the beach jostling to find a spot near the best spot (which does not exist), stalls selling Chilli bhajjis, fish fries, Bhel puri, etc. etc. etc and a lot of yelling and screaming. Panamboor was kinda like that but the stalls were not on the beach. Well, I haven’t been to the Marina beach in some time and so maybe things have changed… Maybe.
Anyways, back to the Ullal-alias-Someshwar beach… as we walked, we saw a fisherman throwing his net to catch some fishes.

The waves were quite high here and atop another hillock we saw a man meditating. While we were distracted by the fisherman’s catch, the meditating man left and we found that it was getting pretty warm.
I proposed moving back to the hotel as we had a full day ahead and we were already wet to the knees 🙂 We went back to the hotel to have a quick shower and breakfast and then move to the other tourist spots of Mangalore.
The plan was to go to the Sultan Batherri and Nisarga Dhaama – I was reminded of the trip to Mysore’s Nisarga Dhaama. Hmmm… I hoped that it was a good place to visit.