It was nice 2 days in Pondicherry and still a lot of the places were unexplored. This was the last day of our trip so I got up early to take some sunrise shots and to have a view of the dawn at Auroville beach. We were staying so close to the Auroville beach but were still unable to get up early morning on the last two days. But, I made it on the third day and equipped with my camera, I and Lucky rushed to the beach at round 5.30 am. I turned on my camera and started clicking. After clicking for about 10-15 times when we saw the photos they were amazing. It includes some of my best shots till date. Check out this picture, isn’t it amazing?
So the hard work paid off finally. Then, I kept my camera down and went into the water. The water was cold but it was great experience getting into the sea. Later, I took some more shots of the Auroville beach:
For more photos of Auroville beach, click here
After that we went to the room and got ready for Auroville. No, thats not the beach I am talking about. Auroville, the city of dawn is a modern city created some distance away from the place where we were staying. It is actually a universal town where a person from any place of the world is able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The city is still under construction. When we reached there I was speechless to see the beauty of the Auroville Ashram, small garden on the sides of the entrance accompanied by tall trees:
For more photos of Auroville, click here
Inside the Ashram there was a model for the city that needs to be constructed, a library having the literature and few shops. The shops mainly contained the handcrafted goods like candles, leather items, wood items, etc. They also have some T-shirts and all. I wasn’t interested as they were a bit costly as compared to the items available elsewhere in the city. However, Lucky bought a T-shirt and a leather hair band. There was a small self-service restaurant from where we had some coffee and vegetable puffs. On the other side of the Ashram there was a hall that was having the pictures of the future city. Then we moved to see Matrimandir. It is about a couple of kilometers from the Ashram and you need to go over there by walking. The name Matrimandir means literally Temple of the Mother. It is actually in the shape of a golden sphere just near to the amphitheatre. It was still under construction at that time:
The area was covered with trees and there were 12 gardens surrounding Matrimandir. After construction I feel there will be a huge rush of people who would be willing to stay in the future city. For more photos of Matrimandir, click here. After having a nice time in Auroville we decided to go back to Pondicherry to see the Botanical garden. It was half an hour drive to the Botanical garden. It is located at the southern entrance of city bus stand. The garden has good collection of plants from all over the world and it was stared by C.S. Perrotet:
It was also having an aquarium but it was closed at that time. The garden is huge, it covers about 22 acres of land. Inside the garden we found a tunnel for children’s train, but we couldn’t find the train though. The most eye catching thing in the garden were these huge trees, these were probably the tallest trees I have ever seen:
While returning we saw a fountain with the statues of two fighting bulls:
For more photos of Botanical garden, click here
Our next spot was the beach road. We had been there on Day 1 but I wanted to take some more photos. On the way to the beach road we found this amazingly beautiful church, called as Sacred Heart Church:
For more photos of Sacred Heart Church, click here
We arrived at the beach road a.k.a Goubert Avenue. Actually this is the most happening place of Pondicherry. You can find the famous Promenade hotel over here. In the middle of the beach road there is a Gandhi Statue:
Thats the beach road on the left side and on the middle is the pavement for walking:
In this photo you can see the statue of Dupleix on the beach road, a tribute to Francois Dupeix whose able governorship came to an end in 1754:
For more photos of the Beach Road, click here
After taking the photos of the beach road we had lunch at a nearby restaurant. After lunch we decided to go to the last spot Arikamedu. Arikamedu is an ancient Roman trade center 4 kms. south of Pondicherry on the right bank of Ariyankuppam river. It is actually an archaeological site and many people in Pondicherry also don’t know about it. We had a hard time searching for that place. Finally we located that and found the remains of the buildings:
The whole area is covered with trees and it is a beautiful place. For more photos of Arikamedu, click here. It was 4 pm and we were still having time as we needed to catch the bus back to bangalore at 9 pm. So, we thought of going once again to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The Ashram wasn’t open at that time and we were just roaming near the ashram. Just near to the ashram we found a temple Manakula Vinayagar Temple. There was an elephant just near to the temple entrance and it was highly trained. If someone offers a coin or something to the elephant, he takes that and blesses him with his trunk. Check this out, my brother is blessed by the elephant:
For more photos of Manakula Vinayagar Temple, click here.
Near to the temple there were many shops and we purchased some beautiful white shells (shankh). They were having shells from Rs. 20 to 2,000 but I took the 20 rupee one 🙂 . Nearby to the ashram a man was selling sandalwood prayer beads (chandan ki mala). I asked him how much that costs and he told 3 for Rs. 100. I told him I could give him Rs. 50. Finally he agreed for Rs. 60. Surprisingly those were the original sandalwood beads. Sandalwood is a high quality expensive wood and getting that for a nice price was pretty cool. The fragrance of the malas was amazing and I still have the malas and it smells the same. After our little shopping we thought of going back to the Guesthouse, as it was getting dark. After half an hour drive we reached Auroville and packed our bags and all. I paid the bills to the owner and returned the bikes. I thanked him for his suggestions during the trip. He is a nice guy and helped a lot telling me about the places to visit and how to get there. If you have any plans to go to Pondicherry, then take down the name of the Guesthouse its Amsa Guesthouse and you can ask anyone about that in Auroville. If you want his contact number just email me.
We took a bus from Auroville to the Pondicherry bus stand. There was no Airavath this time for the return trip. Actually the tickets were not available for Airavath so I took it for a normal bus. The return trip was not as good and the bus finally breakdown in bangalore. But that was near to my place and we took an auto to reach home. Pondicherry trip was a wonderful trip and seriously I wasn’t feeling like coming back. I reckon that it is one of the best trips I ever had. When we discuss the time we enjoyed the most the name Pondicherry just pops out and a sentence comes into mind, which was written, on a board in Pondicherry “Give time a break”.