Good Indian Food, Nice View of Bay of Bengal
At the far (south) end of Beach Road is Ajantha. Along with rooms on offer, they have a nice restaurant. Indoor AC seating and outdoor rooftop terrace seating overlooking the Bay of Bengal are available.
We were staying a couple of doors down and arrived in town very late. The nice people at Ajantha accommodated us for dinner. We sat outside and enjoyed watching the activity and the people walking along the Promenade.
We had the reshmi kebab and butter chicken along with rice and naan. Both dishes were filling and very good.
This is a great place for dinner - get there early for outdoor seating. They also have a separate bar area.
Drive frm Chennai to Pondy
Its a beautiful drive! The ECNr road is a Toll-road, n is one of the best for drives in India. Its so scenic and picturesque dat u will stop a million times enroute to Pondy to click snaps, take a dip in the sea etc
The concept of Auroville took shape in the 1950's when a Frenchwoman known as "The Mother" (she established the Ashram in Pondicherry with Sri Aurobindo) envisioned a place on earth where no nation could claim as its own. She dreamed of a Universal Town, where people of all nationalities and faiths could live in harmony.
On February 28, 1968 her dream was realized. Auroville was inaugurated with representatives of 124 countries and 23 Indian States attending. As a gesture of human unity, each placed a handful of earth from their homeland in a lotus-shaped urn.
For various reasons, the town has not been completed as The Mother planned. But work continues and today, there are 2,000+ residents from India and 45 other countries living in Auroville. They engage in various activites including organic farming, renewable energy, village development, and handicrafts.
The center of the town, and its most important structure, is the Matri Mandir - the meditation hall. This golden ball is the world's largest (30m high) man-made crystal ball. In order to visit, you must make reservations (do this before your arrival in Pondicherry). You can also spend time in meditation (silent concentration) in the inner chamber.
First stop should be the Visitor's Center (open 9:15 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.). You'll find a photo exhibition, introductory video, Matrimandir information room, and an information service desk.
Across from the Visitor's Center are three boutiques selling a wide varitey of interesting items, including some made in Auroville. There is also a cafeteria for lunch, snacks, drinks.
For anyone with a serious interest in Auroville, you may stay in one of their guesthouses from Rs 300 up. Bookings should be made 3-4 months in advance (through firstname.lastname@example.org).
Manakula Vinayakar Temple
There are said to be more than 150 Hindu temples in Pondicherry of which this is probably the most famous and most visited by foreign tourists. It's dedicated to Ganesh and is fairly small but busy with worshippers. It has a golden spire and its walls portray 40 different forms of Ganesh. You'll probably find a large elephant outside the temple entrance which ties in with Ganesh as he is the elephant god of good fortune.
Located opposite the Government Park, the Museum provides a glimpse into Pondicherry's rich past and present. The Sculpture gallery contains some specimens of Pallava and Chola art from Pondicherry and Karaikal. The Archaeological section displays a collection of the famous findings from Arekamedu, like Roman pottery, burial urns, etc. The French Gallery is the most interesting part of the museum which has an office and drawing, dining and bed-rooms with furniture typical of French India. The other sections of the museum are on geology, bronze images, arms, handicrafts and art. The Museum brings back to memory the glorious past of Pondicherry from the days of the pre-Christian era down to the present day providing glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagar days.