Sometime in 1985 when i visited Pondicherry for launch of a confectionery product. I distinctly remember sipping beer on the balcony of a reputed resort on the seashore. It was full moon night waves were literally lashing the beach front. It was a heady and refreshing feeling, after a full day labour in the market place, gulping down mug after mug, with my colleague who was chomping away chicken kabbabs and other bites.
The beach front is fully spruced up with wide footpath for almost 4 kms stretch, which soothing change from the past. Earlier the beach front was filled only with rocky stones preventing the sea erosion. Now I find that an elevated pathway has been created for tourists to walk around. The pathway leads to famous landmark of Pondicherry, Mahatma Gandhi statue. What a coincidence we were almost there on Gandhi Jayanthi ( 3rd Oct 2011)
A few metres away from the beach front cafe is Pondicherry tourism office, wherein we bumped in and booked our half a sight seeing package. We were misguided on the phone that they don t operate full day sightseeing, on weekends they definitely operate full day sight seeing. The package includes lunch @ Rs 200 currently ( Oct 2011) and half a day package is quoted @ Rs 100 per pax. The package includes all major sightseeing points in Pondicherry including Auroville. We undertook our Pondy visit with Chennai as a base, next time around i intend to stay at Auroville and seek a different perspective.
Pondicherry is haven for revellers with subsidised booze available in liquor stores. This time around i did not venture into drinking or buying cheap liquor because it was purely a family trip. The heat was searing, on the hindsight it was a wise decision. Since there is a heavy excise checking on all vehicles coming from Pondi to Chennai en route and secondly it would aggravated the dehydration suffered because of heat. Next time around i would definitely prefer to stay at Pondi and enjoy the rustic and tranquil beauty.