Saturday, February 2, 2013

Trip to Pudhucherry (Pondicherry) from Bangalore

     This is about a 2 days trip that me with my family made early Jan '13. We've been looking for a nice location for a 2 days trip. After much debate on choosing among Chikmagaluru, Coorg and Pudhucherry, zeroed in on Pudhucherry hoping that the weather would be pleasant in Jan, in the otherwise hot Union Territory. Pudhucherry is the new name for erstwhile Pondicherry.

  The shortest distance to Pondicherry from Bangalore is approximately 311 kms
  Bangalore --> Hosur --> Krishnagiri --> Thiruvannamalai --> Tindivanam--> Pudhucherry.

However, a lot of forums/discussion in the internet advised that the route from Krishnagiri to Tindivanam is really really bad and suggested this alternate route.

 Bangalore --Hosur --> Krishnagiri -->Vellore --> Tindivanam -->Puducherry  (Recommended)

   The total distance of this route comes around 366kms (google maps) which is longer that the previous route by 50 kms. But, trust me, you can reach Pudhucherry faster in this route and it's highly recommended for medium to low slung cars. We took this route.

     We started around 6 in the morning. Provided the time of the day, there was no worry about the maddening city traffic and we managed to reach Krishnagiri around 7:30 am. . You can take a break at any good restaurants before Krishnagiri like "Ghar Dhaba" or "Shree Krishna Inn". We continued towards Vellore and reached Vellore by 9 AM. Had our breakfast at Saravana Bhavan (I highly recommend this hotel for authentic Tamil Nadu style veg food). The road till Vellore is a smooth 6 lane national highway.

     You gotta pay more attention to stick to your route from Vellore as the road from Vellore till Tindivanam is just 2 lane (oncoming traffic) with lot of diversions.

Vellore -->Arni --> Gingee (outer) --> Tindivanam -->Pudhucherry

 The road till Gingee, though two lane was newly laid and was free from pot holes. However, the condition started to get worse after Gingee. The whole stretch from Gingee to Tindivanam is horrible. You could hardly see a stretch of good road. It took more that a hour to cover just 25 Kms. However, the route from Tindivanam to Pudhucherry is a 6 lane highway again. It was 2 PM when we checked-in at our hotel.

Somewhere between Gingee and Arni

Accomodation At Pudhucherry
     There are a lot of Home Stays, especially those in French Style in Pudhucherry. A few of them are along the beach road, overlooking the beach. They may be very hot during the day, but evenings are just great ! Generally the home stays on the French Quarter are preferred.

    After a short nap at the hotel, we headed towards the Beach (or Pondicherry Beach) in the evening. I couldn't believe Pudhucherry traffic is 10 folds Bangalore traffic. Looks like Two wheelers got the right of way there and they are literally everywhere. Only consolation is that all tourist places are pretty close to each other can be reached in minutes.

The beach was just awesome. The beach road was well maintained and is usually closed for public traffic between 6PM and 7 AM (or so). That makes it an awesome place to hangout at the evenings. This beach road is a must visit place in Pondicherry and houses most of the tourist attractions namely

  • French War Memorial
  • Gandhi Statue
  • The French Consulate
  • Old light house.

At the Pondicherry Beach

The War Memorial


You could just walk around the French quarter to explore places and feel the sense of Pondicherry. Other prominent attractions in the Frech quarter include Aurobindo Ashram and Vinayagar Temple.

In front of the Ashram

Shot at the entrance of Vinayagar Temple

At Stalls near the temple

Just another colonial street.

A home stay at Francois Martin Street.

There's also another beach named the Auro Beach, located at the outskirts of Pondicherry on the ECR road. This beach is quite isolated and lacks security or other basic amenities. I was advised by the hotel staff not to go to this beach in the dark as it might be infested with anti social elements.
               People come to this beach to swim and play as it is not possible in the main Pondicherry beach due to the concrete structures raised to prevent seepage. We too had a good time there.

That's me and my kiddo.

On our return, we followed the same route and also visited the "The Golden Temple" at Vellore on our way back. Wait for my next blog for my experience of "The Golden Temple".

            Though we missed quite a few attractions, we had a wonderful time at Pondicherry. I'd say three days are just enough to explore the whole of Pondicherry. It's really worth every penny, visiting this place.

More interesting travelogues to come.
Watch Out !!

Ram Kishore K

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- Ram Kishore K