| | Bangalore to Pondicherry in a Chevy Beat
A long awaited trip gets fulfilled. Travelling from Bangalore to Pondicherry/Pondy is not a big deal (hardly 7 hrs) which you can do away at your disposal on any weekends. But for me the last time when the plan (To ride in my R15) was brewing in my mind, had an unfortunate accident in my two wheeler which left me out of action & confidence for a couple of months. So fast forward 3-4 months & I got engaged. Priorities changed & this plan got postponed. Now 2014 came & I got married. The plan resurfaced as a part of our extended honey moon trips. So riding to Pondy now seemed difficult with my wifey as pillion, also approvals from home in these respect seemed impossible. So there we go, chose Beat as our vehicle.
With the Ramzan holidays approaching, started with the plan toying with Pondy or Mookambika temple. The final decision came from wifey to fix for Pondy. So started checking out the hotel deals in various websites & came with Hotel Surguru in travelguru website. The reason being the proximity for the hotel near to places of interest & the veg food which most of the reviewers had vouched for. (Veg due to Karkadaka maasam/Aashatam)
So the deal was good comparatively.
Now let me give you a brief description about my Chevy.
Purchased in Feb 2012
Model - Diesel, top end trim
Mileage clocked – 63989 on the day of start of trip
Route taken – Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Vellore – Attur – Cheyyar – Vandavasi – Tinidvanam – Pondicherry.
With everything in check, we started our ride on the 27th July, Sunday morning around 6.30AM from our Apartment in North Bangalore. I had already filled up tank on the previous day evening. So headed to Madiwala Ayyappa temple, the day being my Birthday as per Malayalam calendar, & then continued with the journey. As mentioned the shortest route to Pondicherry is via Thiruvannamalai. But the roads are not in great shape as I myself did that route around 3 weeks back in my beat. So took to the longer route. Anyone who wish to do a Pondy trip from Bangalore, jut need to feed ‘Cheyyar’ in their GPS device (mine is Google/android app in Xperia mobile) via ‘Krishnagiri’. This will take you till Cheyyar from where enter ‘Pondicherry’ for the route.
The route till Arcot is highway from where you will have to take the right to ‘State highway 5’ which goes straight till Tindivanam from where it connects to Pondy via NH. The entire route is picturesque.
We took our first break at Saravana Bhavan Classic just after A2B near Shoolagiri. From there without much trouble with the route, we reached Cheyyar where we took a short break for picz as we found a small ‘kal mandapa’ along side a dried up pond. This is just next to the Cheyyar Poly technic college. From there on it was non stop drive to our hotel in Pondicherry. In between, was stuck in slow moving traffic at Vandavasi market. We reached Pondicherry by 1.30pm, directly went to the ‘Surguru restaurant’ & had nice food. After that went & checked in the hotel. Took rest till 4pm in the evening, had a bath & ventured out in the evening. Almost all the places were walkable (~2kms) from the hotel. First place we visited is the ‘Manakula Vinayakar Temple’. Offered our prayers & headed to the ‘Promenade’. The sky was overcast, along with a rough sea. But still the scene was something that will linger in my mind. You can see Kargil war memorial, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, French War memorial, An old Light house at the Promenade.Spent a quality time there which was broken by showers. Initially it was drizzling which ended in heavy downpour. So took an auto & headed back to hotel. (Avoid autos in Pondy unless it is unavoidable, since it is daylight robbery). Took Rs 80 for the 2.5km stretch & even I didn’t bargain since I wanted to get ourselves back in the hotel shelter. Ordered food with the room service & ended the day.
The next day plan was Chunnambar boat house to Paradise beach.
We got up around 8am, had our breakfast & headed towards Chunnambar boat house, in my Beat, which was around 10kms from our hotel. Reached there took the tickets for entry into the boat house. There is tickets for camera also. Then after entering you will have another ticket counter for boat trip to beach (Rs 150 each for to & fro trip) In addition to the beach trip, you can have other boat rides also, but didn’t see anyone going for it.
It’s a short 15minute ride from Chunnambar to Paradise beach. The beach is clean & serene although not the green coloured one which you get if you google. May be since it is Karkadaka maasam, it could be rough. Any way enjoyed the beach & had fun there till 12noon. Headed back to Chunnambar in the boat & headed to the hotel. Again had our lunch at Surguru & took rest till 4pm. Paradise beach is a 'must visit point' in Pondicherry for me.
After a short nap, started walking towards ‘Aurobindo Ashram’. It is near to the Manakula Vinayakar temple & one may tag the ashram along with the temple visit. Since we had missed it the other day, went over there. Silence everywhere. There under a tree, people seeks the blessings of the Mother & Sri Aurobindo in silence. Inside you can find a library where the publications of the Ashram (in various languages) can be purchased. From there we went to ‘Eglise de notre Dame des Anges’ church, but couldn’t enter as people will be allowed only during prayer mass hours. Next continued the walking towards Promenade. Spent an hour over there & started our walk back. In between tried the ‘masala milk’, nothing but badam milk. On the way back had our dinner at A2B & headed to our hotel after some purchases. The day ended with a fruit salad from Surguru.
Next day was meant to be the day back to Bangalore & so didn’t waste any time. We checked out from the hotel & had breakfast (again from the Surguru) & headed towards Auroville city. In between filled up my beat, diesel is almost Rs 3 lesser compared to Bangalore. I didn’t have any idea regarding Auroville city & on reaching there was told that it would be a long walk towards the centre & both of us thought will do it some other day. So we cut short our pondy trip with that & started our travel back to Bangalore via the same route we went except Vandavasi where police had cordoned off the market route & we had to circle & take some offbeaten track to reach back Cheyyar. From there it was an uneventful journey with the lunch break taken at ‘Anandhas’ enroute. Crossed E City around 3pm & reached our home by 5pm after a coffee break at CCD on the way.
Life seems to move at a slower pace at Pondy & Bangalore seems to be in contrast. Overall the trip was meant to be a break from the routine schedule & it served its purpose. I personally look forward to long driving as my routine breaker & this 840 kms round trip did rejuvenate me. I will definitely do another trip where I have to visit the Auroville city. Pondy is a recommended getaway for a weekend from Bangalore.
Plz bear with me for not uploading the picz. For one reason, this is my first post in a forum, the second being all the picz are downloaded in my wife' laptop. Will post picz as soon as I get them.
Last edited by rukesh; 30th July 2014 at 05:09 PM.