Diary of the Chennai Traveller- Day 3 & Day 4

I have just had dinner... after a long drive back home...

My weekend was spent in a town that was developed by the French when they settled in this part of the world...

Yes, Pondicherry... now known as Puducherry... ( I hate this name changing thingy... ). This li'l town is situated about 3.5 hours away from Chennai.. it's around the East Coast Road.

In between Pondicherry and Chennai - stands another lil settlement called Mahabalipuram. This place is preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India... and trust me - the architecture that you get to see here is unbelievable. Krishna's butter-ball... is a huge stone shaped in a ball... and is balanced on a slope w/o any external help... wondrous, isn't it? And then there is a Shivalinga inside a cave with beautiful figureens carved.

If carvings and temples are not your taste then you can check out the beach that is very well maintained... and if you can shell out a few bucks extra then you can have your own part on the beach by way of the premier resort that is situated at the starting of Mahabalipuram.

Divine is Humanity... more Divine is to serve this humanity... this is the motto that was given by Shri. Aurobindo. One of the disciples of Aurobindo was a french woman who is now known as The Mother. Long after Shri. Aurobindo was dead... she set up a place called Auroville. Auroville is situated 10kms before Pondicherry. This Ashram houses about 2000 people out of which 60% are foreigners... and the rest, Indians. I have never seen so many foreigners working in a remote village and running cottage industries to earn themselves a living. The Ashram is surrounded by a lot of greenery. One of the biggest attraction in Auroville is Maitrimandir. This temple is in the shape of a sphere that is covered by discs made in gold mosiac tiles... over 2 million tiles have been used in making this temple of friendship and all the tiles were made in Auroville. The sphere is surrounded by 12 slopes which has 12 rooms all of different colors named differently- like,light, youth... etc... all the rooms are for meditation purposes. The Mother believed that a person should look within himself to find answers and that can be achieved thru meditation...

The actual temple- inside seems to be a direct pick up from a sci fi flick... its all dimly lit has a spiral stairway leading to a huge spherical room, which has a crystal ball set in the centre that has sunlight from top channeled over it... there are 12 pillars in the room..signifying the teachings of Shri.Aurobindo and The Mother. The whole of inside is made of marble and white carpet... the 15 minutes that I spent inside the meditating room.. were awesome... It was so quite that I could hear the silence. A must visit for everyone.

If this was all about spirituality... then Pondicherry... is for all the people who just love the thought of love. This town is very small... and divided into two towns.. one side is pretty south indian while the other is all white and has streets and avenues like in France and the streets are also named as Rue...!!! Little cafe's on the promenade... and the police band playing in the evening... I was staying in the french part of the town... in an Heritage hotel called Du Parc. Very nice rooms... and lovely decor. And the best hotel in town is called The Promanade... its on the promenade and is sea facing. One of the better restaurants is called the Rendezvous. There is a Museum and the church... not much to shop though... but you'll find a lot of stuff which is organic and natural there...mostly produced by Auroville residents.

Its a beautiful town... and you'll find a lot of french ppl there... so a lot of great faces to look at too... what say?

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