Thursday, March 24, 2011


Date: 28 and 29 Jan 2011

29 jan was coming close. This time we wanted to celebrate the day somewhere out-of-station.Had heard about Pondicherry and since it was a 2D 1N place, we thought lets give it a shot.

We booked Zest @Big Beach, Pondicherry one week in advance. Made our bus reservations through Redbus. We took the Sharma's sleeper coach to reach Pondi. Its departure time was somewhere around 9.30pm. But it departed by 11.30pm... bad 2hours late...

The roads till Salem are good. But after that, it was pathetic. There was no road I guess.. only and only potholes.

So I will not recommend you to drive to Pondicherry. Take the sleeper bus and enjoy the ride ;)

We reached Pondi by 7 am. Took a rick to the resort. Its outside the city so had to pay a hefty amount for the long ride.

Reached the resort by 8am. The resort is awesome - a private beach. so once we reached there, checked in the luggage and headed to the beach. Eva was equally excited on the beach.

After playing on the beach, went for the buffet yummy breakfast. Eva had fruits and myself had little of everything ;). Manish opted for fruits and dosa.

The photos of the visit are uploaded to picasa -

After the breakfast, we went to the children play area where Eva enjoyed the new rides and we enjoyed looking at her. Then to the apartment, and freshened up. I saw from the day schedule that there was a dance lesson before lunch. Manish and Eva took a nap when I went to take the dance lesson - Jive.

Learnt Jive in a day. Then Manish also joined me... It was lot of fun there.

Had the nice lunch. The day was spent lazing around in the resort. Evening, again on the beach - writing names in the sand, making house in the sand (remembered old days - college trip to harihareshwar) and jumping once in a while seeing the crabs :).

Back to room and relaxed. and then there was another fun event planned in the evening - some games and music. I loved the dinner especially the deserts.

Next day we decided to go to the city to see Aurobindo ashram, vinayaka temple (the lakshmi outside) and the Matri Mandir in auroville. I wanted to stay in Auroville but that time nothing was available. Will definitely visit next time when Eva will be little older and when i will be able to take the meditation lesson inside the Matri Mandir.

Started by 8.30 am from the resort. We booked a taxi for the sight-seeing. First visited auroville - had breakfast in the restaurant in the auroville. Decent food at rockbottom prices. Then went to see the meditation hall. Since we didnt have any meditation reservation, we were not allowed to go inside the hall. There is another viewing point where we went by the Cable car. Clicked pictures there and awed at the sight of the Matrimandir... hopefully will get to go inside the next time.

Then went to Panchmukhi Bajrangbali temple nearby. The temple has standing idol of Hanumanji with 5 heads. A must see in Pondicherry.

Then went to the Sri Vinayagar temple - Ganeshji temple. I wanted to visit this temple for Lakshmi who stands outside the temple. We offered fruits - she ate it. We offered coin - she loyally gave to the master and gave us blessings.

The temple is a famous one - just off the road - infront of Aurobindo ashram. Then went for our lunch at the famous Veg restaurant in Pondi - Hotel Surguru. It was crowded. But the service was fast. So we got the place to sit without much waiting.

After lunch, we checked into a Jain dharamshala near Hotel Surguru for a nap. Eva slept for sometime. Then in the evening, we went to Aurobindo ashram and then to the other rocky beach - Gandhi beach in Pondi. Enjoyed looking at the waves. There is a Chowpati there. But we didnt find it hygienic. So, we gave it a skip. Went to La Cafe to see if we can have dinner there. Its more like Marzorin (in Pune) - sandwiches, burger, cakes and shakes. So, we decided to head back to surguru for dinner. Had dinner and by that time, it was time to catch our bus back to Bengaluru. Started right time by 10.30pm from Pondi and reached 5.30am sharp back to the city.

Overall, it was a nice celebration - dance by the beach, sumptous meals and a view of Matri Mandir are the things I will want to visit this place again and again... A very simple city meant for relax and unwind.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yercaud + Hogenakkal

Travel date: 5 and 6 Mar 2011
I wanted to visit Yercaud from a long time for the reason that the route is very good to yercaud . Check team-bhp to for the route details.
We planned to visit yercaud on Saturday and come back via hogenakkal the next day.

Started early by 6.30am on Saturday – Courtesy – Eva. She got up by 5.45am. So we had no option but to get ready and leave :)
We followed this route - 
Challaghatta - Electronic City - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmpuri - Salem - Yercaud - Salem - Dharmpuri - Hogenakkal - Dharmpuri - Krishnagiri - Electronic city - Challaghatta

I must say the flyover going through the Electronic city is awesome – all worth the toll they take.
By 7.30 or so we were in Hosur. We didn’t take a break at A2B (Anand Bhavan) since Eva was sleeping and we had just started. So we continued towards our journey.
Reached Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and then Salem. We were in Salem by 10.30am. The route is so scenic – you feel like going for this drive once again J
Reached Yercaud by 12.30. There are not much places to see in yercaud. A small hill station – a smaller version of Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. The places there reminded me of Mahabaleshwar. However no match with Mahabaleshwar when it comes to hotels, restaurants and market. Hardly anything.
Hotel Shevaroys is good. We had both of our meals in Shevaroys.
Stayed at Yercaud international on Lady’s seat road.
Points of interest –
1.       Lady’s seat – MUST – much like the arthur’s seat
2.       Pagoda point – MUST  - much like the elephant needle point in mahabaleshwar
3.       Kelliyur waterfall – cud not trek down with my kid.
4.       Shevaroy hills – cave temple there – table land in panchgani
5.       Lake – boating – average
6.       Parks around the lake

Next morning, we got up early around 5.30am and started by 6am. We had planned to go to Hogenakkal which is a little off-route from Dharmpuri. We reached A2B near Dharmpuri at around 8am. Had a nice breakfast. I will highly recommend this place. Then Eva played there on the swing, slide and merry-go-round. Then started our way to Hogenakkal. Reached by 10.30 am. Then parked our car and started walking towards the waterfall. It was a bright sunny day – the heat was similar to a hot summer day. The people there don’t direct you correctly. One of them said that you cannot see the waterfall from here. You have to take the coracle boat ride to go to the main viewing point. We didn’t listen to that guy and kept walking. We reached the cine point where many pictures/movies were shot.  And then kept walking for the main point. Lot of entry fees at every point for just crossing the falls. The falls is huge and a little scary. But overall a nice place to go. Only thing is go there very early in the morning or evening to avoid the sun. We were done by 11.30am. Enjoyed the cool cucumber and sprite while returning.
Another halt at MacD in Hosur at around 12.30pm and then reached home by 3pm.
It was a nice trip. I liked the scenic route to Yercaud, the lady’s seat and the pagoda point and the hogenakkal falls. Given a chance, I would go once more for the scenic route and A2B. Otherwise I prefer Mahabaleshwar anytime;)