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First of all, I apologize for such a long travellogue; instead I have given my best to give a detailed travellogue (bet, you won't need to google about the journey, after reading this one)...

So, it was like, during this extended weekend of Raksha-bandhan from 27/8/2015 to 30/8/2015; we travelled to Puducherry from Bengaluru (and back) by our Wagon R 2010 model.

As always, before travelling I went through the travelogues from Team BHP; but this time there wasn’t any latest travelogue, so I thought let me give you latest one.

First thing first, some important points:

=> Distance from Bengaluru (Koramangala) to Pondicherry: 375 kms.

=> Route Taken: Koramangala -> Elevated Expressway to Electronic City -> Hosur -> Krishnagiri -> Vellore -> Ambur -> Arcot -> Tindivanam -> Puducherry
Same route while returning.

=> You’ll have to cross 5 Tolls in between: E. City Toll – Charge Rs. 45, Hosur Toll – Charge Rs. 60, Krishna Giri Toll- Charge 75, Another Toll ( I don’t remember) – Charge 39, Puducherry Toll – Charge 60.

Going by toll road is highly recommended.

For shopping buffs, I would suggest you can alight at Ambur, as 40% of the leather goods (in India) are manufactured here.

=> Time: 5 hrs at average speed of 75 km (including 1 break of 25 minutes). For novices/average drivers it may take upto 7 hrs (including one break of 20 minutes).

We left Bengaluru at 5:35 from Koromangala, and took a break at Aarya’s café at around 10:30, this café is 27 km before Puducherry at Tindivanam-Puducherry highway.

Here, we had Masala Dosa, Idli & Uttapam at meagre 150 Rs. I used the word “meagre” because they serve on banana leaf with 4 type of chutneys and piping hot sambhar in jugs.

After all Tamil Nad is birthplace of Sambhar & Dosa/Idli/Vada (GYAAN: Sambhar was invented to commemorate arrival of Sambhaji, after battle - Shivaji's Son. Some also say, it was accidentally invested by Sahuji - Maratha ruler of Thanjavur).

While returning we took a break at Kumbakonam Filter Coffee hut; I don’t remember the place but my tachometer was showing 320 km, this coffee hut is on your left while returning from Puducherry.

I would strongly suggest this one (instead of regular run of the mills stop joints or dhabas).

=> Fuel: Approx. 3600 (To & Fro, Including City Travel). Mileage of my car is 17-18 on highways.

=> Fuel Station: A2B Fuel Station at BTM (Bengaluru) & IOC Petrol Bunk at Krishna Nagar, next to Saram Junction (Puducherry). This petrol pump accepts credit card payments.

=>Stay: Hotel Annamalai International – Saram (which is city centre, so you can go to almost all visiting places in radius of 3 km). Rates: Executive Room 4000 & upwards with
Suite at 12000.

=> Room Tip: If you are nomadic soul, whose definition of Pondi is Auroville/Matri mandir; then book room in Auroville.

Otherwise if you are going for leisure travel (read it: want to see famous places of Pondi) then book room in city near, either near Saram Road or Annamalai road.

You can book this room at 2399 through OYO.

=> Food: For vegetarians – only option of French Café’s at Promenade & Bussy Street (they are an experience in itself), rest are not good and for non carnivorous folks, local options are plenty along with French Café’s at Promenade, Bussy Street.

Palais De Mahe at Bussy Street (next to Pizza Hut) is highly recommended. Its 300 metres away from The Promenade Street or Beach Road while taking turn from Lal Bahadur Shastri marg.

Or if you stay in Hotel Annamalai International, I would suggest their Dinner buffet at 310 per person, south Indian lunch at 175 (We didn’t tried this one).

=> Visiting Places: The Promenade (Highly Recommended), Chunnambar Boat House or Ousteri Lake & Paradise Beach (Highly Recommended), Auroville & Matri Mandir (Highly Recommended, you won’t be able to go inside Matri Mandir; but if you take an appointment well in advance through their email id or website, you’l be able to go inside matri mandir too), Le Café – Promenade, it’s a sea facing café (Highly Recommended) , Café Shanthi – Bussy street, it’s roof top café (Highly Recommended).

=> Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple – Auroville Road (Recommended), Vinayakar Temple (Recommended), Aurobindo Ashram, samadhi of Shri Aurobindo & Mother (Recommended), Museum & Botanical Garden (Recommended)

=> Bharati Park (You can omit), Sunday Market (You can omit, if you want), Lenin Street (You can omit, if you want).

Best way to explore Puducherry famous places is Hop On bus or sight seeing bus operated by PTDC (they have a website, you can get more information on it). A/C bus starts in morning approx. 7:00 from PTDC office at Promenade, Ambedkar Manimantapam, Beach Road and comes back in evening around 5:30 at the same place.

General charge is Rs. 300-400 per adult.

You can purchase a ticket for Rs. 200 at Chunnambar boat house for taking you to Paradise Beach in motor boat. I would suggest you take the first motor boat to reach Paradise beach in morning at 6:00 on weekdays and 7:00 on Saturdays.

There’s an awesome charm of paradise beach in early mornings.

TIPS: Drive your own car if you are going to place which is outside city limit, i.e Auroville, Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple, Ousteri Lake/Chunnambar boat house. For other places (Promenade, Museum, Botanical Garden, etc.) I would suggest get the app of Ola (it is cheap as well convenient), don’t take rickshaws: they charge exorbitant rates.

Eg. From Annamalai International Hotel to Promenade is approx. 3.25 km; rickshaw charge is Rs. 100 and Ola Sedan charge is Rs. 84.

Don’t go to overhyped sunday market; it can’t be compared to Pahar Ganj market of New Delhi or Commercial Street of Bengaluru or Bandra or Crawford market of Mumbai or Law garden Street of Ahmedabad.

Bon Voyage :)