I embarked on yet another train journey within two weeks of traveling to Kerala in 2010. This time it was on Lallu's Garib Rath. One has to pay for the blankets and pillows and there are 3 sleepers on the side also. Other than these differences, the poor man's chariot is like any other train in India.
My destination this time was Puducherry (Pondicherry) .Did you know Puducherry consists of four non-contiguous regions: Puducherry, Karaikal, and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea.This place still retains its evidence of French History. Though i had visited this place about 12 years ago, I was keen on rediscovering the place and its french cuisine.
As this was more of hang out with friends and sight see trip, I chose ginger. For the uninitiated traveler, ginger is an affordable, very clean option for budget travelers by Tata.This place was indeed all it promises to be.
As suggested by all travel shows/book, we started our weekend by visiting Auroville which is about 15kms from Puducherry.As one week prior reservation is required, I could not visit the inside of Matri Mandir.Instead I had to walk 1 km back and forth to view the meditation hall from a distance.
I would say skip it and just head out for the beach. The closest from Auroville was of course the Auro Beach. A dirty crowded expanse of a beach. But that didn’t dither us from revisiting the place next morning and enjoying the waters
Puducherry has Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a museum in an old French villa, rocky beach with chow patty hangover, some French heritage buildings and of course churches and temples. We did the tourist route with just one thing in mind: we needed to head out to paradise beach as soon as possible
Paradise beach was the cherry on the cake. We had to take a 15 minute boat ride to reach this estuary. The beach is clean, the waves just right, not very crowded as access is limited and best part is there are change rooms. I loved this place.
Yes, It was worth visiting Puducherry for a quick weekend break!
Location: Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
Date of travel: September 2010
Tip: Avoid taking the private travel buses as they are pathetic. Stick to Ksrtc.
Must do: lounge around in Paradise Beach
First: Experience the nature's phenomenon at the mouth of estuary