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February 16th 2006
Published: February 19th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

Au revoir!!

As Chennai doesn't have that much more to offer the tourist, we decided to take a bus trip down the coast to Pondicherry, a lovely town that was occupied by the French years back and still retains lots of French influence. We found a great hotel (Ram Guest House), which was more like a hotel you'd find in a modern european city.

The streets are lined with beautiful trees that give a wonderful dappled shade from the seering heat and the majority of the houses are in a wonderful old french colonial style. We had pinch ourselves quite a few times to remind us that we were in India! (you even hear Indians speaking french).

There isn't really a great deal to see in the's more of a place to wander and take in the atmosphere. There is a however a large part of the town that is dedicated to a spirital community called Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which attracts lots of tourists trying to "find themselves". Not quite Steve's and my scene, but the Ashram distrct was lovely to walk around.

The next day we had a wander around the shops and then caught the bus back to Madras...sorry, the long, hot, cramped, loud Bollywood film, loud horned bus, back to Madras for the night....we had to be up at 5am the next day to catch a train to Bangalore, so an early night was in order.

Bonjour !!


Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Pondy sea frontPondy sea front
Pondy sea front

...not quite brighton...but certainly not india
Steve getting spiritual !!Steve getting spiritual !!
Steve getting spiritual !!

..outside the Ashram thingy
Election timeElection time
Election time

..along our hotel street

18th March 2006

Pondy Shopping..
I have been a visitor to PONDY many times. I must mention that the shopping here is so much better than most other places I have visited. There are the hanger-ons and touts, but in lesser numbers. Beware and NEVER EVER enter any shop ownwd by a Kashmiri. They mark up prices 400% and haggle, and you end up paying double of what you would otherwise have paid.... One place I always visit is Khazaana on 338 Mahatma Gandhi rd. It is a quaint boutique run by a young lady named Manju. She stocks the best Cottons (Punjabi Baggy Pants, Tops and other items.. Her collection of Silver bijoux is simply divine, and at prices which are extremely reasonably. And as Manju is from Jaipur - land of Colors and camels and Kites, her Masala Tea is out of this world. just ask her, and she will serve it - gratis. And since she operates her establishment from her residence, you do not get the treatment of a customer, buta s a friend. The atmosphere is very casual, and Manju gives you a lot of advice and help. A visit to Khazaana is a definite must for any visitor looking for gifts to take back home.

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