Tag Archives: Pondicherry

Chunambar

First off, the Arien did not believe that there was a place called Chunambar in Pondicherry. Now, I had researched this on the Internet and was a little Grr.. when he kept scoffing everytime¬†I said we ought to visit Chunambar. Finally, he relented but we were unable to find the place ūüė¶¬†Both of us were ready to give up when someone told us that we had been driving past the place for a while now. Grrr..

We purchased the tickets to get on the boat that would take us to Chunambar. It seemed like an island. I was wearing one of those sandal-type footwear and the moment we hit the beach sand РI was yelling and jumping as the hot sand was painful on my feet. The Arien was wearing shoes and so was grinning at my predicament. I was not too amused. I rushed ahead to find some shade and found to my suprise that almost all the huts (Ok РShacks) were occupied or reserved. To add to this, we saw folks carrying banana leaves and basket loads of food. We were the only folks who were struggling to find a shack and did not have a picnic basket. It was a very warm day and I could feel the sand on my feet and it was not pleasant. The Arien was not amused when we reached an almost empty shack only to be told by an old lady that the boys were out swimming and would be back soon and so we should find another shack. Grr..

This trip was a total disaster. We waited for the boat so we could get back. I am sure that it was a right place, wrong time issue for us. I am sure it is a lovely place to visit. On our way back, we saw this huge boat and wished we had taken that. We may have enjoyed the trip better.

Sight-seeing on Pondicherry Beach Road

The first place we visited was the beach. While I had been to Pondicherry umpteen times, I did not recall how we reached the beach at all and so I was no help at all to the Arien, who was equally clueless. Anyway, we got lost a couple of times but we reached the beach only to find that the beach road is usually off-limits for vehicles in the evening on some days. We finally found a place to park and walked back. The beach was crowded and we walked from one end to the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the other end. There were quite a few foreigners, either strolling on the beach with kids in tow, or running (exercising). The Arien waited till most of the folks were either too far away or were nearer the beach before he took this lovely shot of the beach road. It was quite warm and so Ice-cream break banta hai.

As we walked, eating the fast-melting ice-cream, and wiping the perspiration beads off our face, neck, etc. – we realized how much we love the Bangalore climate. In August, Pondicherry was quite warm, so warm that my ice-cream melted and fell down while I was eating it :O

As we continued our walk, we came across  the French War memorial, on the left.  I was very sure that the Aurobindo ashram was closeby. I could recall that part vividly. But, I was not sure which one of the gullies would lead us to the ashram and did not want to take chances. 

We also saw the Church of the Lady of our Angels. Some construction work was in progress. The Arien took multiple pictures of both. We reached the statue of Ghandiji and started walking back. A cool breeze was coming up and we were totally enjoying the walk. The Arien of course, was busy shooting pics.

It was almost the second time we were walking past the Le Cafe` and though I was not hungry, it looked quite inviting. I mean, I could easily see myself sitting there everyday. The Arien meanwhile wanted a shot of the Le Cafe` without ppl around. I thought that it was an imposs task but the optimist that the Arien is, we kept walking. 

It was quite late when he finally noticed that there was no one around Le Cafe` and took a picture just as the old man got out of the cafe and walked away. The Arien was not sure if he shd laugh or cry.  Soon, a lot of ppl were walking past the cafe and I cajoled the Arien to let it go. This was still Day 1 Рwe had at least 2 more days to go. He finally agreed and we moved on.

It was a lovely day and our holiday had just started. We drove back to the resort, after one wrong turn that made us go around the place once again! I was glad that it was only once. Well, if he had listened to me the first time, we would have reached the resort ūüėÄ The Arien picked up some of the stuff he wanted and so was glad that we had lost our way!

The Beach Resort

By the time we reached the resort it was after¬†2 pm.¬†I got out of the car into¬†the¬†blistering heat and walked into the chaos that was the Reception of the resort.¬†Both the Arien and self were¬†zapped. Someone walked up and¬†asked us¬†to be seated in the already crowded reception area.¬†I wanted to be in¬†our room asap.¬†The Arien went to speak to the resort manager ’bout our booking. It was warm. I felt beads of perspiration running down my face. The month was August and it was very very warm. After 25 solid minutes of waiting, staring at other guests, offering awkward smiles at strangers,¬†gawk at amazingly bad-behaved kids and their indifferent parents – we¬†were finally escorted to our room.¬†

The room was a welcome sight and so was the fan and AC. I told the Arien that I did not want to step out at all ūüôā He wiped the perspiration from his face before replying that this was the relaxing holiday tht I shd get ready so we do not miss out on anything. Blaaaah ūüė¶ I asked him to take the pics of the room – I knew tht it wud give me ample time to get ready ūüėÄ And that was when I had my biggest shock.

The bathroom had a transparent door on the other side! I thot that maybe it was a glass door where you cud not see in from outside.¬†I requested¬†the Arien to go outside to¬†verify the same.¬† The glass was transparent and he cud see me as clearly as I could see him!! I was ready to vacate immediately. Who in his right senses would build a bathroom like that?? I was tense and the Arien knew tht his holiday was likely to die a quick death and he called the manager. Apparently, this was something of an attraction at this resort!! I totally failed to understand it.¬†While the Arien laughed – I was tense. He asked them for newspapers which we planned to cellotape¬†to the glass door but it never arrived. The Arien kept on and on ’bout how the wall was so high that no one could really see in.¬† The Arien made two more calls and then gave up. There were simply toooo many ppl that they absolutely had no time to respond to our queries after informing us that that was the main attraction and acting as if we were slightly looony. Grrr…

I got ready. By the time I was ready, I felt as if a million folks had been watching me get ready. I’m a lil hyper that way ūüôā The Arien meanwhile¬†was all set to visit the sights of Pondicherry and had packed his camera and¬†a small towel in the¬†travel backpack. The towel was thanks to the awfully warm weather. Who would have thought it would be so warm in August? Not us – I wud have def cancelled the trip if I had known¬†Pondy wud b this hot ūüė¶¬†

I wanted to visit the Aurobindo Ashram. The Arien wanted to check out the beach. There was so much to do and see¬†tht there was really no time to crib ’bout the room or the bath room or the lack of room service. The holiday has officially begun. Yeah!!

A Sudden Trip to Pondicherry

I have not been to Pondicherry in almost 10 years and so when the Arien suggested a holiday there РI was def. interested. Because it was a sudden trip, we just had time to apply for leave the day before and we were off. The senior Arien was a lil peeved that we had not asked him Рwhich was a first. Usually, he has some excuse whenever we ask him to join us. Anyway, we were at Sri Krishna Inn,  having our breakfast and so there was no way, we could return.

It was supposed to be a loong drive. It was to take us 8 hours to reach pondicherry but we found a lot of different routes online that informed us that it was barely a 5 hour journey. Now, thats always heartening to know before a trip. The route we took was:

Bangalore — Hosur — Thiruvannamalai —¬†Dindivanam — Pondicherry.¬†

We got lost in Thiruvannamalai.¬†We stopped at a nice restuarant, there, for juice which¬†cost us 90 bucks each.¬†¬†The Arien grumbled about the price¬†but I happily ignored him¬†because the restroom facilities at the hotel was great. We were there before 12 and so it was not even lunch hour.¬†We were delayed because of the break and also because we got lost. Of course, the Arien insisted that we were late only because of the unnecessary juice. Grrr…

It was a lil past lunch time when we reached the Annamalai International Restuarant at Pondicherry. The Arien did not want to have lunch here but I insisted yet again.¬†He is the more practical person amongst the two of us and¬†what he says is always logical but on a holiday – I insist that we leave the practical side at home ūüôā The lunch was good – ambience great and the Arien relaxed. He was soon shooting pictures of the restuarant. It had a renaissance theme and a lot of these murals all over the place. As we were leaving, we enquired ’bout dinner and lunch options and we were happy with what they had to offer though I was sure that the Arien would not at all agree to having any meal here – after today. Grrr..

We also found out that the resort that the Arien had happily booked us into was not in Pondicherry at all. It was actually around 20 kms away from Pondicherry. This did not bode well at all and I was worried that the Arien was going to get all cranky soon but surprisingly he kept his cool. Anyway, we reached our resort around 2 pm and what a welcome we got!!