Life through pinhole

My journey through life.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chennai... Mahabalipuram... Pondicherry

I know that many of you may not like the idea to go to Chennai and have a blast over some long weekend.
I am writing about our Chennai trip (Aug 2004) after around 3-4 years. Now i don't have complete records for this trip. So it is important to have everything documented :) ok enough of policy "Gyan".
I guess it was month of August. Kudos... it was 4-6 sep 2004. Thanks to digital photographs from Anand. I had recently joined ST Microelectronics in Bangalore. All know bachelor's life :) The life was very cool i must say. we used to find some new places around Bengaluru to explore on weekends. sometimes new hotel for having breakfast / lunch / dinner. And then for that we had to do some homework :) yes, reading reviews about places. shortlisting and then preparation and planning.

So on one such weekend i don't know how this thought came to my mind that I should visit Chennai. i went ahead and did booking for the bus to Chennai through some agent (i think SM travels?) on airport road. just for myself! i don't mind going to any place alone to enjoy its beauty:) then i called Anand and asked him whether he would be interested for Chennai tour. he was reluctant saying it might be very hot over there. i said come on, lets go.... he agreed. he also loves traveling. we had many such trips i will write about those in coming days. :) i went back to the travel agent and had one more booking done.

Ok... here i must tell you an interesting thing about Bangalore shop boards. here are some examples:
Yes Bee tailors, Kay Em travels.
The founder of the English alphabets must be banging his/her head after seeing such things. Why do they want to waste so much of paint :)

Surprisingly the movie in the journey was a Dharmendra movie Ghazab (don't ask me whether the spelling is correct or not, taken from Google). I saw it... The road it really nice and must have been recently constructed.

We reached Chennai around 5:30 - 6:00 in the morning. to our luck, it was cloudy and pleasant :) what more do you wish after a reaching your destination.

the bus dropped us in some junction. i don't remember it. anyway we went to a 'chai tapari' in that junction. had a nice hot tea and refreshed ourselves.
now the task at our hand was to search for a place to stay. some hotel or a lodge. we searched by walking in nearby areas and sometime by auto :) we even tried for a hostel, but no luck. finally we reached to Adyar layout (i think somebody suggested us to go there). the hotel was also named Adyar :) we booked a room over there. need to take a shower now. not exactly a shower :) we asked for some hot water and we got it. good ;)
during the bath i realised that my hair have become rough. second sign of chennai ;) hard water. first one is humidity :)

That days evening we went to Chennai's nice and clean beach (isn't it?) Elliot's Beach. This is really near a nice posh residential area, Besant Nagar. So we enjoyed some sea water. i tried to swim :) You just can't beat the sea anyway. waves were pushing me down to the sea-bed. it was a nice experience. our belongings were on the bank which included my analog Nikon N65 SLR. so i was worried. and not going much deeper in the water.
it was a nice sun set... we took some snaps. the funny thing was the small crabs which kept coming out of their small nests (holes) and walked sideways. i was ready with my SLR pointed to their holes and started picking them when they peeked through them. let me check if i have some photo... will update it here after scanning.

Who could have thought about Psunami here just after few months from our visit. It was really sad :( very sad... myriads might have lost their shelter and .....
Were we lucky? or those who lost something over there unlucky?

so lets plan our trip now. our main targets were:
1) mahabalipuram (later we realised that its called MamallaPuram)
2) Pondicherry
need to search for some transport.

We decided to go by bus to Pondi. there are frequent buses to Pondi. after enquiring with some locals we went to a bus stop. from there we got a bus. we reached Pondi around afternoon.

This was a french colony earlier so you can see the French traces here. some of the boards on the roads still have directions/information written in french.

This is a place to relax. even the tourism department had advertised in the same way. the ads on the way to Pondicherry were very nice and creative. something like "this is a place where time stops".

we directly went to the beach. well actually its not a beach. i think its Mahatma Gandhi road. there is a government office bulding just opposite to the sea shore. Lucky people :) so i was jealous of them for their sea view working place.

the police has a different uniform here. Anand has taken a photo, check this. thanks Anand! he very well know which photo to take and by which angel :)
Gandhi statue gandhiji is standing right up there on a pedestal near the rough and rocky Pondicherry beach.

we have shot sea-waves, fishermen and horizon.
It was a little cloudy weather. We ate something in the hotel near the MG road. it was ok. i guess juice and some chat.
Then i called home to my brother and mother.

Arobindo Ashram:
nothing much here except peace, calmness :) for some its more than enough. nobody does chit-chat here. everybody is silent. the atmosphere here is serene.
While returning we again took a bus from main bus stand. You can actually explore pondicherry by walking (if you have enough time). We couldn't go to Auroville. Supposed to be best for architecture. Some day.....
Return journey was rainy and now we realized that the wind sheild is just a thick leather like material (not a glass one) which you can unfold when needed. In this rain its not helping much to avoid the water and wind gushing towards us :) very funny. we were somewhat wet :D

We are back to our base camp, Chennai, again after our day's travel.

Next day, next target. We booked a taxi from Chennai for Mahabalipuram. We did some bargain. So that we can enjoy the route. And it was a good decision.
route to Mahabalipuram from chennai can be termed as "scenic route" :) well you see the Bay of bengal on your left side and the road itself is called East Coast Road. Buses are named as ECR. the beaches are plenty on this route. you just need to take a little deviation go to your left and you hit the beach.

There is a nice crocodile park on the way to Mahabalipuram. we couldn't stop here, rather we didn't know and we didn't have any plan for this. we had to go to Pondicherry.

This is the sculpture which we have been seeing in our history text books in secondary school. And now i guess its in world heritage list. Proud to be Indian!
Don't forget the butter ball. :)

Sea-shore temple:
I don't remember what this temple. This is also a nice temple nearest to beach. you come out of the temple and the "Athang Sagar" (vast sea) welcomes you! As if eager to hug you. every wave is a different one... looks different. so i have shot many pics of the waves here. people were enjoying the waves and playing in water. there were some horse rides. i have taken some nice snaps here. need to scan them. you won't believe i have a shelf full of photo albums. most of them are from birding trips around Bangalore.

While coming back we saw a boating rides at the backwaters. we took a ride there. :) There were resorts offering water sports also. and there were quite a few of them.
It really feels nice to drive "among water"... you have sea on one side and backwater on other side of this East Coast Road. Wow... Imagine a sunrise / sunset here. Amazing :D

and i think this is our last day at the Chennai. No i want to call it Madras at least once in my blog. :) Marina Beach is like a "Jatraa" / Habba / Festival. There are so many people around in the evening, many a stalls, hawkers. Crowd always has its own mindset, gusto. and we enjoyed it. We saw the MGR memorial.

So we wished Chennai a "Good Bye" and started our journey back to Bengaluru!

(Some of the photos are from Anand's camera)

Do visit Chennai once :)


Blogger Martin said...

Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

4 February 2009 at 5:05:00 PM IST  
Anonymous said...

Nice reading....I will be visiting Mahabalipuram this month.


22 May 2009 at 1:17:00 AM IST  
Blogger durga said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

Call Taxi in Adyar

3 November 2011 at 5:17:00 PM IST  
Blogger Steffi said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Travels in Chennai

12 November 2011 at 12:04:00 PM IST  
Blogger Sachin Pandhare said...

@Durga which details do you need?

12 November 2011 at 6:55:00 PM IST  
Blogger Rajesh periasamy said...

Interesting Article and beautiful pictures. this post is very useful for everyone. Thank you so much for this post with a lot information.

19 June 2017 at 12:05:00 PM IST  
Blogger Rajesh periasamy said...

Chennai to Pondicherry Cabs

19 June 2017 at 12:06:00 PM IST  
Blogger Sachin Pandhare said...

@Rajesh Thanks!

19 June 2017 at 12:09:00 PM IST  

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