Why Pondicherry is the “chillest” place to visit!

Chilling

verb

definition- a cool way of telling someone you sat around doing nothing and feel awesome about it!

Picture this – a dark sky along a coast that is decorated with rocks,that look like ornaments on an already beautiful woman, the cold water splashes against the rocks making one of the most melodious symphonies, the sky begins to turn the lightest color of orange as the stars begin to fade. The sea gulls begin their quest to feed as they glide over the surface of the now orange waters. Now you see the familiar curvature of the Sun begin to take shape and as time passes this tiny segment turns into a beautiful orange sphere , where the water meets the sky. Now you truly understand the meaning of beauty as you stare into the orange abyss.

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Late night at Rock beach- best place to “chill”!

 

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an edited picture of Sunrise at Rock beach

What I described above was an unjust account of sunrise on Rock beach(Promenade beach) in Pondy !

 

Pondicherry or as I like to call it poor man’s Goa or Pondy ,is home to many different cultures, though this is not surprising for India, what sets Pondy apart is its French  influence owing to the French colonization prior to independence. You don’t have to be an architect to notice and appreciate the style of architecture that is prominent in these parts.

If you just want to go from place to place to just sit and do nothing, Pondicherry is the place for you. I happened to ask a local about indigenous items and food that Pondy is famous for and without missing a beat the first thing that came out of his mouth was – Saraka (which means Booze 😛 ). The booze in pondy is cheap as it is a union territory. Only upon further digging did I find out that Pondy has a wide variety of sea food too! So if you want to get sloshed but not spend a lot of money then Pondi is the place for you.

There are many Italian restaurants here and we happened to visit one called Italian dhaba , which unlike many other Italian restaurants in the area , serves authentic Italian food.Most of the other Italian restaurants serve food that is modified to suit the Indian palette .  The chef here is a very social and chatty Italian woman who keeps great company. So if you have any queries about the place  she will help you with a smile and excellent pasta.Another place that serves great pizza is Auro pizza which is a local pizzeria with a great chef. The pizzas served are woodfire pizzas that are amazing . So if you are one that can appreciate good food and company then Pondy, my friend, is the place for you.

Picturesque scenery + great food + cheap booze + amazing company = CHILL TRIP

Visiting Pondi is one of the best short trips anyone can ever ask for. It is the best weekend getaway with or without company. The place redefines the art of chilling.

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The Travellers high

 

Just a couple of months ago i was conversing with some of my friends about life goals. Turns out 8 out of 10(me included) wanted to get filthy rich and travel the world. This got me thinking – What was it about travelling and seeing a new place that gives so many people butterflies in their stomachs ? Why did travelling hold so much promise and feel like an escapade from our  lives? Why does travelling and making new friends in a land far far away feel so empowering ?

A couple of months later I was standing on the banks of Pangong Lake (Pangong Tso ) in Kashmir, India. Its waters were clear and the view was picturesque and beautiful. There were birds flying right over the lake , the water bed was decorated with beautiful pebbles . The clear and calm water placed right in between the towering mountain ranges made it feel like  paradise . It was at that moment that all my questions were answered.
People travel to experience something new.

I like to travel because of experiences such as these. I like to travel to experience something beautiful and unique. I like to travel for the feeling that makes all my problems seem so trivial and unnecessary. I like to call this intoxicating feeling -The Traveller’s high

Right after Pangong lake our driver (who was a native of leh) took us to his house and chatted with us  over a cup of chai and arak(which is a local alcoholic drink brewed at homes) while his daughter entertained us with music. I being a city dweller all my life was taken aback by his family’s hospitality especially since we were strangers to each other just two days ago. It is for meetings like these that i love to travel.

Travelling to new places is an escapade from our ever so monotonous lives ,it makes life worth living. This traveller’s high is addictive and the thirst for it , like any other drug ,can only be quenched by by abusing it more .

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The hills where I lost myself

15Among the green hills of this virgin land lay a beautiful monastery , completely oblivious to the hustle and bustle of the cities just a few hundred kilometers south. I never was a person who could appreciate images but I am sure that the beauty of what lay in front of me could even make the loudest of men go mute. This sight was just one of many -now just distant memories that I long to relive. As a person who has been brought up in the city all my life I crave for simplicity. Though it is easy for one to say this as he is typing into a laptop that costs a fortune , an internet connection with satisfactory speed and electricity throughout the day. It is  funny why the grass is always greener on the other side ( literally as well as metaphorically in this case).

My trip to Sikkim was nothing short of breathtaking . Every spot that we stopped had a story of its own .This beautiful state in the north eastern side of India has a surprising amount of beauty that gives you an almost intoxicating rush!

The whole state is covered with lush green mountains topped with snowy clouds covering their tips.Buddhism is one of the most practiced religion in these parts, which obviously means that there are many monasteries here . There was a kind of peace surrounding the entire place one that made you appreciate silence. I flirted with the idea of considering Buddhism as my religion of choice. I eventually dropped this idea as soon as i realized that Buddhists need to refrain from worldly pleasures like alcohol.

The highlight of the trip for me was watching an old man singing and playing a peculiar string instrument(which i later found out was called an Ektara ) outside one of the monasteries that we visited . The man was singing an old ballad in the native Sikkimese language. I didn’t understand a word the man was saying but I truly enjoyed listening to him. Which just goes to say that music transcends all communication barriers. There was something about that encounter that left me enlightened and happy for the rest of the trip.

I went to the north east with no idea of what to expect, I came back leaving a part of myself in those beautiful hills, picturesque waterfalls and  exquisite monasteries.

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