Day 0: Chennai to Pondicherry – Drive – 150 Kms – 2.5 hours
Dinner at Ajanta Beach side restaurant
Day 1: The Sacred Heart of Basilica Church, Quick Bite at Bakers Street Café, Auroville Town, Matra Mandir, Cinnoman Coffee at The Greek Café, Serenity Beach, Dinner at Café Xtasi
Day 2: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Shopping at Local market, Lunch at Kasha ki Aasha Café, Quick Bite at Bob’s Café, Mahabalipuram
The real deal -
As I entered Sri Aurobindo Ashram on a cloudy afternoon, little did I know how this small and quaint space would greet me. I walked in and saw an open space where the Samadhi lay. Adorned with flowers it looked beautiful. Though the board above it read ‘Do not touch the Samadhi to meditate’ I saw a few devotees resting their heads on the lap of their Master and absorb His energy. I simply touched the marble in respect and walked to the other side. We sat on the floor for a couple of minutes before we headed to look at the remaining parts of the Ashram. I had entered this place with absolutely no preparation for being in a meditative space. Wearing jeans and jacket, stuffed with heavy Indian breakfast on a lazy Monday noon, I sat there. But even before I knew, my legs were crossed; hands upturned resting on my legs and eyes closed. Those brief moments that I experienced as I sat there made me feel alive. I drew an absolute blank, although be it for a few minutes. The space certainly had immense energy. There have been very few places which have eased me into meditation. Had I not been tapped to get going, I am certain I would have comfortably spent a reasonable time here. Probably, its an indication that I need to visit this place again soon.
Pondicherry is a place that can be explored in 2-3 days without much running around. In a block of 4-5 kms from where we stayed, the main town could be easily covered.
|View from Ajantha Beach Restaurant|
|The layered Khari and Custard dessert|
|The Path of Yoga|
Our love for handicrafts, candle and fragrances drew us to the multiple boutiques that were housed within Auroville. The place has a lot to. We finally picked up a few asymmetrical ceramic mugs.
Post lunch at Auroville’s café we walked in the direction of Matra Mandir. The big gorgeous golden globe was a sight worth seeing from up close. It was gigantic. But I feel saddened by the fact that we could not go inside to meditate. Yet another reason for me to visit again! Sitting there absorbing its beauty, I realized how spaces hold power in them. Geometry truly magnifies energy.
|At Cafe Xtasi|
Next day after the sumptuous breakfast we headed to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Around noon we decided to conclude our stay by picking up some souvenirs from the local market for friends and family. Slight hunger pangs drew us to walk up to Kasha ki Aasha, an art boutique and a local café located in the narrow by lanes of Pondicherry. Once we reached this place we wished we had gotten here earlier! A beautiful roof top café, with great food, it was a perfect location to simply dig into the spacious cane chairs lined with cushions and read or simply be lost in your own thoughts.
A quick weekend gateaway, even for a Mumbaite like me, Pondicherry is a close knit town which holds immense aesthetic beauty and rich cultural heritage worth exploring. A town which bursts with surprises from its little nooks and corners, I am certain to visit again and discover more of its hidden treasures.
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