- It’s been an year since I went to Goa (This year’s Goa trip is pending!)
- I got a lot of time to explore the place and experiment in my newfound passion for photography in Pondy.
Lesson from the trip: The next place you visit is always better than the last place you visited (or the last time you visited the same place)!(considering you return home alive)
Pondy (a.k.a Puducherry, Pondicherry)
It all started when a friend of mine came to my cubicle (yes, in office) and said “My roommate wants to do a trip to Pondy”, I asked “When?” and he said “Now!”.
It was a Friday evening, 6:30, and that’s how our Pondy trip started. I went home, packed my stuff, picked up my camera and we were off. In my friend’s couple-of-weeks old Swift diesel!
The route we took
Oh!, the Chennai traffic. By the time we got out of Chennai, it was 8:30 PM. We ordered dinner at Dominoes and had it in the car.The route is pasted above, but if for some reason it doesn’t load, use this link.
Due to the car being new and we driving it at night, we took our time to reach Pondy. The pace increased as soon as we heard from a friend of mine that the bars close (Ya, they close!! even at Pondy) by 11:00 PM. We reached there by 10:50 and the guys were able get some bottles before the shutter was down.
We checked into a hotel called Surya International – NOT GOOD. They charged INR 1650 for double-bed room with an extra bed (for three of us) and the place was crap! Since it was late, we decided to bunk there.
We put our stuff in the hotel and went to the – where else? – beach, at midnight. I was clicking snaps and friends were holding a bottle each and walking on the beach. Cops!! They said we can’t be at the beach from 12 to 6. So we walked to Le Cafe! YAY. That heritage place is open the whole night!
But we guys were really tired and took a long, peaceful, awesome walk back to the car. By the time we reached our hotel, it was 1:30. We ordered something to eat and slept off by 2 AM.
The best places
Some noise… getting louder. “what, where am I??” thinking that while I got up. Barely awake, switched off the alarm and got out of the bed. It was 5AM. I was determined to get the sunrise and the beautiful Pondy pier! Got up, took the car keys, drove to the beach road (just take any road east in Pondy, you are most probably going to end up at the beach) (Photos)
It was beautiful, was just about dawn. Parked the car at the end of the beach road (the end that’s near the Secretariat building) and walked all the way to the pier. Took some shots while waiting for the sun to rise. It got brighter, more brighter and some more and then I realized it’s too cloudy and sun is almost pretty much up and I am not gonna be able to photograph the sunrise.
The Drive around the city
I had a map of Pondy printed out the previous day. I wanted to photograph the French architecture and the old buildings. I drove through almost every street in the French part of Pondy. Such a serene, amazing drive (not to be compared to the awesome ghat roads we drove through during the Goa road trip, different experience!). Took photos as I went through the quiet roads, past the colorful walls, past the beautiful old building, past the cyclists, past the Rue Saint Louis.
If you were to ever go to Pondy, just take that walk through those streets and believe me, you don’t need any ashram to attain peace.
By the time I was done with all this, I had lost track of time and it was 10 AM. I called my friends who were still sleeping in the hotel. They had gotten up and I went back to the hotel, freshened up, checked out and we guys headed to Chunnambar boat house. We went to the beach by car. Being from Chennai, that beach didn’t quite interest us guys.
We left from the simmering heat of the beach in 15 minutes and headed back to Chennai!
It was 12:30 PM, Saturday, by the time we exited Pondy.
Yes, I know I haven’t seen all the “tourist” place in Pondy. I am planning another trip and will try to cover more “tourist” places and blog on that later.
All the Pondy photo are available here.