Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Kerala, Periyar Wildlife Reserves Tour to Kerala

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Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Kerala, Periyar Wildlife Reserves Tour to Kerala

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Pondicherry Travel Guide|Travel guide for pondicherry

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit our website. Based in Pondicherrry in India, we were providing services in, hospitality industry.Pondicherry Fairs and Festivals,fairs and festivals of pondicherry,Fair and festivals in Pondicherry,Fairs And Festivals in India We had the pleasure of arranging tour packages,holidays,vacations and room reservation services to Indian and foreign Nationals in Tamilnadu. Hope we will have the pleasure to get a chance to serve you also. We remain committed to serve you better " memorable holidays in Pondicherry ".

Area : 32 sq km
Population : 401,000
Main Languages : Tamil, English & French

East Coastal Region of India

PondicherryThough nothing can really prepare you for the unusual and somewhat outlandish jumble that is Pondicherry, one has to aver that the East Coast Highway that connects Pondicherry to busy Chennai, is a nice ‘unwinding do’. The superb highway stretches along the Coromandel Coast and takes you through the suburban chic farmhouses of Chennai’s elite – built way too close to the coast to pay much heed to ‘silly little creatures’ like the olive Ridley turtle. The road then goes through the pretty touristy town of Mamallapuram, with its line of ‘solely for the white backpacker’ Kashmiri ‘emporiums’, lined with kurtas (long-sleeved Indian shirt) and T-shirts printed with the omnipresent, psychedelic ‘Om’, that one has yet to see across the chest of an average god-fearing Indian. Pondicherry Fairs and Festivals,fairs and festivals of pondicherry,Fair and festivals in Pondicherry,Fairs And Festivals in India Then through cashew nut groves and tiny villages that skirt paddy fields and coconut trees, you travel along salt-processing fields to gradually meet Pondicherry. The familiar unsavoury smells of a typical Indian bus stand, and Pondicherry being no exception, will jolt you out of your bus and bundle you into an auto-rikshaw in no time – unless of course you decide to assert your right, ignore the cheesy ‘bonjour madame/ monsieur’, refer to your handy guidebook and wrangle for the right price…

¤ History

Anyway, on to more pleasant things and some good old-fashioned information – Pondicherry was occupied by the French in 1674. Apart from a brief period of dominion by the Dutch from 1693 to 1699, and later in 1761 by the British, the region remained under French rule till as late as 1954, after which the area became a part of the Indian Union.

The town still retains a distinctive French flavour with its red bonnet police force and the sprinkling of some beautiful colonial buildings. Pondicherry has a French Conciliate, a French Research Institute and a French Lycée or school, all of which are run by the French government. Pondicherry University also has some exchange programmes with a number of universities in France, the University of Rennes being one of them. Hence Pondicherry has a certain French population along with a sizeable number of Franco-Pondicherrians who had fought for the French during the World Wars.

¤ Attractions of The Place

Aurobindo Ashram
Pondicherry ShoresAnother well-known name associated with the town is that of the Aurobindo Ashram, the brainchild of the Bengali revolutionary and philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh and his ardent disciple Mirra Alfassa, popularly known as ‘The Mother’, who took over from Aurobindo after his death in 1950.

Founded in 1926, the Ashram is based on his philosophy of a harmonious community and draws a constant stream of visitors travel across the globe to India. You could visit the Ashram Centre at Rue de la Marine, which has the samadhi (tomb) of the philosopher and his living quarters amidst a pretty little garden of orchids and a variety of other flowers. The International Centre which occasionally screens a film, and the Library are just across the road. Pondicherry Fairs and Festivals,fairs and festivals of pondicherry,Fair and festivals in Pondicherry,Fairs And Festivals in India You can also visit the Ashram’s Hand Made Paper Factory outlet to pick up some excellent paper and diaries.

Not all seems fine between the Ashram and the locals. Perhaps the malaise stems from the fact that the affluent Ashram is mainly run by people from outside Pondicherry with a majority of Bengalis and Oriyas, and the Ashram, as an institution, seems to do little in terms of charity. Also, the nicest places in Pondicherry belong to the Ashram, and outsiders including the locals are strictly off-limits.

Auroville Village
Auroville – the International Village is situated amongst cultivated stretches of cashew nut plantations interspersed with wilderness, at a distance of about 6km from the town. The settlement is elaborated around the Matri Mandir or ‘the temple of the Mother’ which has sporadically been under construction for several years now.
However, the white marble meditation chamber is now complete and contains a beautiful crystal on which the sun’s rays fall through a strategically installed mirror.

The foundation of Auroville was laid in 1968, with the aim to concretise the Mother’s dream of creating a settlement where people would live in peace, their colour, creed and nationality notwithstanding. The settlement drew a large number of people who travel across the continents, especially Europe, many of whom still continue to live in Auroville.

¤ The People

Pondicherry cathedral The community has well over a 1000 inhabitants, two thirds of whom are foreigners. They are a self-contained community and their settlements are spread across 20 acres of land.
Their work, especially in the area of alternative development, architecture, agriculture and tree planting, is without doubt praiseworthy. They also create an impressive range of handicrafts that can be seen at the boutique in the Visitors Centre. Do glance through their fine range of postcards on India.

A certain digression from the key philosophy of Auroville seems to be palpable, especially with the second generation Aurovillians stung with a certain sense of restless bohemia. Ironically, most of the manual labour in Auroville is assured by the Tamilian villagers living around these settlements. Undoubtedly, the Mother’s death in 1973 has left a spiritual and directional lacuna which is yet to be filled, and Auroville very much remains what it started out as – an experiment.
It would be interesting to see where it goes from here. One must stress upon the fact that Auroville is not a tourist spot, but if you are genuinely interested in knowing more about it then take a travel trip to Auroville and spend stay for few more days, you will not be discouraged by your decision.

¤ Auroville - Natural Therapy Centre

Auroville owns an interesting natural therapy centre called Quiet on the beach. It is believed that Quiet is built on a stretch of blessed land, where the Mother is said to have experienced a tremendous flow of positive energy. The centre was also named by her. Well, even if you do not swear by natural healing, you could try living here as it’s a very fine place to stay, and one of the few places in the country that is actually aptly named.

If interested, you could try some of their excellent massages and baths, or meditate and exercise while Roberta Flack sings ‘The first time ever I saw your face’. This is also one of the few places where a baby can be delivered in water – said to be one of the least painful processes of delivering a child. Quiet also has an able doctor who practises homeopathy and comes here a couple of times every week. If want to travel to this place for medical treatment then advanced booking is recommended as Quiet is chockablock, especially during the winter months.

¤ Restaurants

Hey, before one forgets, when in town, don’t miss pigging out in fine restaurants like Le Club, Satsanga, Rendezvous, Le Terrace, Sea Gulls, Surguru and the highway shack-restaurant called Riaaz. The Riaaz has a lot of ambience, and you can spend hours here playing chess, carom board or the guitar.
You could also try chatting with Riaaz – the owner, cook and waiter of the restaurant, who is actually quite an interesting character. A few miles down the road is the little shack called Puru’s owned by the ever-smiling Purus who serves the best fish curry in town.

¤ French Influence

Auro BeachThe little town of Pondicherry has so much more than the slightly overrated French influence, the Aurobindo Ashram and the pleasant promenade, that it might surprise you. There is no point in even trying to describe what this little 32sq km town is all about. Maybe it’s the bizarre ethnic mix of people from across the world coupled with a large Tamilian population.
Its typical, covered South Indian markets with colourful wizened old women poring over baskets of snaking jasmine strands, and the rows of folks selling coconut, banana, tapioca and ribbons – all adding their own sing-song marketing strategy to the ever-present din.

Maybe it’s the unfathomable canvas of a myriad communities that have remained insular at a certain level of existence. The black and white burkha (a veil) clad Muslim women with their hardworking menfolk, who still make a living out of their artistic genes, supply Pondicherry with woodwork that varies from carved furniture to obscure sculptures, to chilams (a hollow tapering object, made of clay, wood or stone, used for smoking).

¤ Cultural Life

Pondicherry’s cultural life is inversely proportionate to its size. The town is abuzz with concerts, films and the welcome madness of psychedelia trance with a fair share of herbs thrown in. It is almost impossible to capture the essence of Pondicherry in one-liner nutshells. It could be the fisherfolk who get their uncensored version of Baywatch on Auro Beach as they see a deluge of bikini-clad bodies and still go back home sozzled to the bone, and like their ancestors, claim their conjugal rights of sex and wife beating. Or, the bearded Dominque Baba with his little house built on stilts overlooking a coconut garden with a Shivalinga (Shiva’s symbolic phallus) and the sea, where he dances all day long in blissful isolation.

It could well be the heady amalgam of a large student population, as Pondicherry has one of the best schools of medicine in the country – Jipmer, and the Pondicherry University is known to be the place where computer geeks, management nerds and budding ecologists and travellers throw in their lot. Maybe it’s the gossipy, hoity-toity and opulent French society, part of which lives in sprawling grand villas, or their happy-go-lucky party-hopping other half, ‘stirred and shaken’ with a constant influx of travellers, rastafarians, musicians and half-baked philosophers that make Pondicherry the heady blend that it is.

Curiously, Pondicherry is a town of extremes with loads of shiny happy people and cheap booze, the highest per capita income and the highest suicide rate in the country! Befittingly there seems little method in the madness that is Pondicherry.



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