In June 2016, we planned a visit to the city of Bengaluru and Pondicherry for a 4 Days-4 Nights duration.
My main aim of visiting these South Indian destinations was my school friend’s wedding in Bengaluru. I was about to experience a South Indian wedding for the first time, so I was excited!! Unlike North Indian weddings, which happen at night, it was an early morning affair. They start their rituals by the dawn. And it was raining heavily (I hope neither the bride nor the groom ate in a big utensil when they were young, if you know what I mean, just kidding!). They had booked a beautiful banquet hall – looked so lavish! They also had the reception taking place at the same venue. They had unlimited people rolling in from both sides of the stage to get a snap with the newly weds (It’s in our Indian culture). And my friend got hitched to her now husband and they lived happily ever after! 😍
So just after wishing her a happy future life ahead and as the ceremonies got over, we started our journey towards our next destination – Pondicherry.
Pondicherry (or famously known as Pondy) is the French capital city of the Indian union territory: Puducherry. The weather was pleasant. It was expected to drizzle, but we didn’t get any during our tenure over there.
Travel: We took a night bus from Bengaluru to Pondicherry. The bus journey was comfortable. It had a single stop somewhere in between. They served us with blankets and water bottles, which was included in our ticket. After a journey of around 7-8 hours, we reached our destination early in the morning by 6 am.
Day 1: Through the streets
We had pre-booked our hotel on the Goubert Avenue. We took an early check-in, relaxed, got fresh and started with our expedition. To start off with, we rented out a scooty. We got on our ride and went on to explore the roads of the city. Beautifully built houses, roads, cleanliness. We had picked up a Pondicherry travellers brochure, which helped us cover all the nearby places quickly.
The nearest beach, Promenade Beach (also known as the, Pondicherry Beach) is the beach alongside the enormous Bay of Bengal. The nearby places we covered include: French War Memorial and Mahatma Gandhi statue.
The next stop, Serenity beach. In this tranquil beach, we spent an hour or so, playing in the water. Some more tourists dropped in. But it was still not a full-house, may be due to the the fact that we went there during the off-season.
We covered our next beach real quick: Auroville beach. It was almost dusk. We collected ourselves and got onto our two-wheelers. On the way back, we meandered through the streets. Such a pretty place to hang out – colorful houses, a number of eating joints, compact streets. We came back to our hotel, ordered the food, stuffed our tummies, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and got into our beds.
Day 2: Paradise Beach
If you are visiting Pondicherry, Paradise Beach is a must visit place. One can reach there by taking boats from Chunnambur boat house. The beach is clean. It has got toilets and changing rooms. Variety of food and drinks are available in the shacks. It is a place to spend time with your family for a picnic or to spend some quality time with yourself. It was flooded with people from everywhere. There are various water activities. I went for the Jet Ski. After spending time on the beach, relaxing by the waves, binging on food, sunbathing, creating mud houses, it was time to go to our hotel room all soaked up in mud. We cleaned ourselves up, packed our bags and got ready to go back. We took a night bus back to Bengaluru, and the next day took an early morning flight back to New Delhi.
It was a short, quick, rejuvenating trip for us.
Insights about Bengaluru and Pondicherry:
- It is a place with heavy traffic jams. Much of our time was spent travelling from one place to another. On an average 1.5-2 hours.
- Kempegowda International Airport is 40kms away from the city, so reaching any place from there is far off.
- Uber/Ola is costly. Half of our money went to the cab company.
- We could manage to visit UB City. Beautiful mall, looks like a hotel.
- We faced a bit of language problem with the cab drivers. They do not speak English/Hindi. So it was difficult to communicate with them.
- Taking public transport would take ages to reach owing to the huge amount of traffic.
- There is no airport in the city, so one has to go to the nearest airport, Chennai Airport and come by bus/train to Pondicherry.
- Goubert Avenue, which runs alongside the Promenade Beach does not allow motorised vehicles after 5 pm everyday.
- One can rent out two-wheeler in Pondicherry. It is a cheaper and convenient option.