Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Pondicherry – The Land of Tomorrow

Posted on May 25, 2011 | Fascinating CitiesNo Comment

With beautiful paved roads and trees shading the whole area, I walked across the road only to be met by a fellow pulling a rickshaw. He came up to me and asked where I wanted to go. Seated in the rickshaw I tried to bask in the glory of this fascinating city I had come to – Pondicherry . Earlier a French colony, Pondicherry today is Union Territory in India. Pondicherry literally means new village. The entire city is based on the pattern of French construction with a grid pattern. The whole city is divided into sectors which are perpendicular to each other. There is a French region here and an Indian region. The French portion of the city is known as the Ville Blanche which in French means the White Town. The Indian portion is known as the Ville Noire or the Black Town. The French influence is still seen here in the form of the names of the roads and the villas here. French villas are very common in the city and the buildings built in the colonial style still are seen in the beautiful city of Pondicherry. The large doors and windows and the verandahs outside the house are typically French and people in Pondicherry still speak a lot of French. Even today there are a lot of people here living with French passports. The French Consulate is a major French monument existing even today besides the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Alliance Francaise and the Lycee Francais de Pondicherry.

The locals here speak a variety of languages ranging from Malayalam to Tamil and from Telugu to French. French is the official language in the Union Territory, Tamil in the Government. Pondicherry has a lot of Tamil influence as it is near the state of Tamil Nadur. Koel, Squirrel, cannonball’s tree flower and Bael fruit tree occupy special position as the state bird, animal, flower and tree respectively.

A person who visits Pondicherry is bound to come back happy and elated as the whole city is like a fairyland, planned and organized. The Pondicherry Beach is a place where one can go rest and relax in peace. The sound of the waves coming through and the sun setting in the far horizon is a moment that one would like to capture forever. Pondicherry is supposed to be having one of the best beaches in India. The clear waters here and the sands that look like gold are the best attractions here. The beaches aren’t crowded like the other beaches which are overcrowded with too many tourists, vendors and other paraphernalia. One finds the Serenity Beach here and also the Paradise Beach. The Serenity Beach is as good as its name. It is extremely neat and tidy and is full of tranquility. The other beach is the Paradise Beach which is also equally clean and tidy and has water that is absolutely crystal clear. One can have lot of water sports here and a lucky tourist could also see the dolphin here. Here one can see a beautiful creek flowing on one side of the city. The other beach is the Promenade Beach where one can see a lot of monuments which are full of heritage value. There are lots of monuments on the shores of the beach here. WE also have the Auroville Beach which is situated around 12 kms from the main city. This beach is also frequented by people for its serenity.

Auroville is a small township near Pondicherry. Located in the district of Vilippuram in the Tamil Nadu State this was the infant of Mirra Alfassa who found this in the year 1968. She is today called the “mother” here in Puducherrry. Roger Anger an architect designed it and it was built to be known as a town for the entire world. People of all caste, creed, harmony and nationalities were allowed here. The whole idea of building this town was to promote unity. Auroville means the City Of Dawn.

Then we have the Sri Aurobindo Ashram that was founded by Sri Aurobindon in the year 1926. Sri Aurobindo then put Mira Alfassa in charge of the Ashram. Situated in the downtown region of Pondicherry, this is a place which is renowned for its serene and calm atmosphere. One who comes here goes back rejuvenate as the simple silence observed by the people here relaxes the mind and calms the brains. The greenery and the calmness here sets the wheels of progress in the mind rolling and one can get energized for the rest of his life. It has many charitable benefits and serves the public with medical facilities also. Here is where one can find the School for Perfect Eyesight by the very controversial Bates method. This institution guarantees restoring vision without glasses. There are cottage industries activities here and the yoga done here promises to change life completely. There are no rules to join here. Anyone can join the ashram and partake in its activities. Aurobindo Ashram only aims to achieve peace through service and love by spreading service in the world.

In this way Pondicherry with its pristine beauty and its virgin look is every bit a fascinating city. The ride up to this city is very memorable when one sees the policemen here dressed in their unique uniforms. Pondicherry today has retained its past glory and still manages to fascinate all the tourists. Frequented mostly by most of the foreigners the simple principle of live and let live here is the key to enjoy this place to the fullest.

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