Home > Travel > Pondicherry – Short Weekend Break from Bangalore

Pondicherry – Short Weekend Break from Bangalore


October 2nd – a very wrong day to visit Pondy…that is what most of my friends told me. Why? Because, Pondy in known for cheap booze and Oct 2nd happens to be a dry day!! But, despite all the warnings, I decided to tread on.

For booking the accommodation, I decided to research on the net. A lot of reading later, I came to the conclusion that there are either very expensive resorts with good reviews or a lot of other resorts with mixed reviews. A lot of reading, and I still could not decide. At that right moment, Tata decided to send me an offer for Ginger hotels and the deal was sealed. The reason for finalizing on Ginger…a good deal and the conviction that things could not be that bad with a national chain.

We left Bangalore at 5 in the morning. I used the above route for my journey. Our first break was just after Hosur. There was a A2B just 20 mins from Hosur where we had stopped for our morning coffee. There were a few other cars which had stopped along with us. Only after getting out did we realize that the place was not open. The people were waiting for the restaurant to open and sip the first coffee that rolls off the kitchen! Not wanting to delay our journey, we gave the coffee a pass and opted for a morning round of Appy Fizz!

The drive till Krishnagiri was a breeze. From Krishnagiri, we branched off to NH-66. NH-66 till Thiruvannamalai (TVM) is a bumpy ride. There are lot of potholes on the stretch. One needs to keep their eyes open for potential axle breakers. The road though is very very scenic. The entire stretch is covered with trees on both the sides of the road. A welcome sight to the Bangalorean!

There are hardly any places where one can take a break in between. No decent petrol pumps also. We had planned to stop at Hotel Auro Asha for breakfast. I came to know of Auro Asha from a blog I read. I had almost triangulated the position of the hotel based on the description on the blog. In order to not miss the place, I had entered the place on the Google Maps app on my phone. Even with all those precautions, I missed the place! I finally stopped at some small time vegetarian store in TVM for breakfast. A simple Tam veg breakfast.

The rest of the journey was a little better. After Tindivanam the roads became wider, but the road quality still is nothing compared to the Bangalore – Krishnagiri stretch. Post Tindivanam, the roads again become 4 lane. And, it was a pleasure to drive through them again. The happy me managed to go till 160 on that stretch πŸ™‚

A word of caution: even though the road is a 4 lane and there is a huge divider on the road, there are people who take the wrong side of the road and try to drive into you. You need to keep you eyes open for such creeps on this stretch.

A little more on that stretch and we finally reached the gates which welcome us to Pondicherry.Β 10.30 am and we were at the front desk of Ginger. I was expecting problems because of the early check in, but thanks to the professional staff as the hotel, we were settled in the room in no time. The room is basic and functional. Nothing to rave about, but nothing to complain about either. A decent place for the price that they ask.

There is nothing much to do in Pondy. Most of the places on the tourist map are over rated. Auroville is for people who are interested in the concept. For others like me, Auroville is a big giant golden ball which can be seen from a distance! Auro beach is sand beach close to Auroville. Clean when compared to the beaches in India, but very very crowded. The Promenade and the rocky beach is a nice walk. Walking though the quaint French quarters is also a good way to spend time.

We spent time primarily trying out restaurants serving different food! Satsanga is a nice place for breakfast. Skip the pancakes here. The chocolate pancakes that we got was a Dosa with a banana and chocolate sauce filling. A total put off. I can make better pancakes at home!

Baker Street – A bakery on Bussy street is a must visit. We liked the place so much that we went there 3 times during our 28 hours in Pondy. The spread there is fantastic. The snacks and desserts are simply out of the world. The place also offers a lunch buffet with salad, a few snacks and desserts for 400 bucks, which I think is totally worth it. I loved the place so much that I don’t mind going back to Pondy for another croissant!

We tried La Pizzeria, which serves brick oven fired Pizza. The roof top setting is great for a relaxed lunch. Appachi is a restaurant suggested by the folks at Ginger for good South Indian food. The place is tough to find especially since it does not have a single signboard in English. But, our perseverance paid off in the end and we did manage to have lunch from Appachi. I can vouch that the sea food there was awesome. Another place worth trying.

Pondy has some great shopping streets which have a pretty good variety. Girls would especially love shopping on Mission Street. You get good stuff off the street at unbelievable prices. Vendors are not that pushy and aggressive. Avoid MG road for shopping. It is like a crowded KR Market.

We left back to Bangalore at around 3pm. Highlights:
– Travel time was 8 hours because of heavy rains.
– Fell victim to the pot holes on the stretch between TVM and Krishnagiri that I mentioned in the beginning of the post. My bumper was damaged and had to get it repaired in Bangalore.
– Finally found Hotel Auro Asha. It is a good place for breakfast while onroute to Pondy. The place is just at the beginning of TVM and is on the right side of the road while going towards Pondy.

All in all Pondy is a good place for a 2 day weekend trip from Bangalore. Life is slow and tends to have its own charm. Go with no expectations and you will be happier. But, anything beyond 2 days and I am sure you will be bored to death!!

 

The Final Count On the Tripmeter

The Final Count On the Tripmeter

 

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  1. Bijoy
    October 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Didnt try cycling, i think thats the best thing to do in Pondy, wander around in cycles πŸ™‚

  2. October 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Dude,

    Thank you very much..It’s very informative

    Thanks

  3. October 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

    @Bigjoy: What makes you think that I will leave a no effort car and opt for a cycle?!!?
    @Naveen: My pleasure

    • Bijoy
      October 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Ha ha.. I wonder why after all!

  4. October 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    From the first look it doesn’t excite much. I would still go there for the sake of seeing a new place πŸ™‚

    • October 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      @Jerry: Totally agree…The only reason Pondy is popular is because it is a short drive from Bangalore/Chennai πŸ™‚

  5. manan
    October 13, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Nice one dude….160Kmph…which car man?
    totally agree… Pondy is a 2 day place..anything more that tht is not worth.
    Did u tried Le Cafe on the promenade (its a cafe)..very nice food and its open 24 hrs…

    • October 13, 2010 at 8:52 am

      @Manan: Got a 1.3L Getz. I did see Le Cafe… never knew that it was open 24hrs…Being October 2nd and Le Cafe being just next to the Gandhi’s statue, it was very very crowded. Did not feel like going in there…next time πŸ™‚

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