Thursday, 27 December 2012

Pondicherry!


It was our 1st trip to Pondicherry,we had heard a lot about the french colony,and decided to book a hotel in french colony itself.After a lot of research we settled for Neemrana Hotel.Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to Pondicherry (Pondicherry) is 163 km. Time by road is 2 hrs, 30 mins.There are buses from Chennai to Pondicherry every 5 min or may be less than that. We took an AC bus(every 15 min) and reached in exactly 2hrs,30mins. You don't have to book tickets in advance, in case you want to travel in an AC bus be a little early so that you get the tickets in the afternoon ,the AC buses run every 45min.We then took an auto for french colony for 60INR.The colony is not far from the bus stop.
The Entrance!

We loved the location and the Non-Hotel(Neemrana prefer to call their properties). The hotel itself has a nice French feel to it. The staff is friendly. The rooms have the colonial feel. Almost all the hotels in the area have tried to maintain the Colonial feel and have done quite a good job at it.Well when you are in Pondy you have to be in the French Colony.
The Courtyard!
You would love the place..its a nice cosy property...Its neat and well maintained..

The Corridor!

The door of our room
Our Room!
The room was not so spacious,good enough for 2.They have given all the rooms the colonial feel.The chettinad walls,wooden stairs leading upto the room,overall the room had a nice cosy feel to it.The rooms can be booked online from the website of Neemrana.Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Breakfast buffet is included which was decent though they can add a little variety..

After checking in,we decided to go to Goubert Avenue.

At Goubert avenue
Goubert avenue

This whole stretch is a lovely road along the coast..This place is just 2mins walk from the french colony...There are no vehicles allowed on the road from 6PM till the morning.The road looks lovely.Loads of people walking up and down having a good time,enjoying the lovely view.
The pier
This pier, started in 1862, was inaugurated on August 15, 1866: built of iron, it spanned a distance of 192 m in the beginning, then it was extended in 1881-82 by 64 m and in 1908-09 by another 80 m, thus reaching a total length of 336 m; it was intended to facilitate the loading and unloading of the ships and reduce losses. A narrow railway line was built to link up the pier to the railway station; this structure was destroyed in 1952 by a cyclone and only a few iron pillars remain. A new masonry pier was built to the south of the town in 1960.

There is a cafe called Le Cafe on the Goubret Avenue itself which is quite reasonable and always abuzz and has a great view of the sea.It is open 24hrs.
As we walked down the streets of French colony we realized that a remarkable degree of French influence in Pondicherry exists to this date. Pondicherry was designed based on the French (originally Dutch) grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or 'White town') and the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or 'Black Town'). 

French colony
 Many streets still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls.
There are a lot of French Cafes in the area where you might enjoy french cuisine...Its a heaven for those who drink(liquor is cheap) and non-veggies..There is a pizza hut just around the corner where one might find some veg dishes ..Seagulls restaurant is where one might enjoy some north indian food and liquor with a good sea view..We had our dinner at Seagulls,the place is quite busy but food is good. The Promenade has a rooftop reataurant with the sea view..The place has a lot of French cafes...Explore the place as you walk down the streets of this beautiful place..Take a few breaks and enjoy some drinks while you explore :)
Maison rose
The next day we got up early and went for a stroll.A walk around 6-7 in the morning is Highly recommended.The neat streets,the doors,the windows,the trees and the list goes on,one cannot help but fall in love with this place.Lot of people take bicycles on rent we decided to walk down the streets and loved it.You would spot a lot of tourists from abroad taking a stroll too.
French Colony


French Colony
Pondicherry is hot and humid throughout the year. Summers during March to April have a maximum mercury level of 41°C. From October to November the evenings are cool. The monsoons are between June and August. Winters (December to February) are somewhat pleasant with minimum just touching 25°C.June and July are humid and cloudy in the afternoons and pleasant in the evening.
Ideal time to come here is between October and March.

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