Sunday, October 16, 2011

Puducherry Memories

Woke up late in the morning and checked the calender, thought that it was Sunday. No, it was Friday only. But the thought of Sunday brought back old memories. In school days, Sundays invoked mixed responses. The bad part part was, Sunday mornings were an early sign for the end of a weekend. The good part was the entertainment, in those days television was a new item to many parts of India and very less number of households had television.

In those Sunday mornings everyone were glued to television to see the legendary serial SriKrishna (9 am) in DD1. If I correctly remember 'Chandrakanta' was also telecasted on Sunday morning. In the evening - at 4 'o' clock there was a regional movie in DD 1. People used to stop all other activities and present themselves in front of tv from 4 to 6.30 in the evening. Then come Kippling's legendry 'Jungle jungle jungle book....'

Around 9 'o' clock we (Me and Binesh) left the room and joined the crowd. After completing the breakfast we started walking through the clean and straight roads of Puducherry. On the way, he explained me many interesting things about Puducherry, about her underground drainage system, streets named in French etc. Slowly we reached the ICICI's Pondicherry branch. He went to the bank and I went back to the street after promising to meet him at lunch.

I walked towards Varadaraja Perumal temple, after removing the shoes went inside. This complex had a number of temples and a pond inside it. A marriaage was going on the left side of the temple and another one on the right side. Kamakshi Amman temple was the next destination, located on the roadside two or three blocks away from the Varadaraja Perumal temple. After having Prasasdam from there I walked straight towards the beach.

There was a road parallel to the beach, elegant and powerful buildings of Pudicherry are standing on the other side of the road. First monument I saw was Indian war memorial on the left - a simple building with an inverted rifle fixed on an elevated platform with a concrete covering. When I reached there, an old lady was scolding a group of three people for taking photos. All because of a simple misunderstanding, this group was taking photos of the the memorial in front of which she was having her breakfast. She thought that they were taking the photos of her state of poverty.

I continued through the road, next came Chief Secretariat - four floored white building with an Indian flag on the top, next was an impressive Mahatma Gandhi statue on the left. Full statue of Gandhi with his walking stick in a mandir like structure surrounded by four pillars standing on semi-circular shape. Opposite to Gandhi's statue was Nehru's. Then came Customs house, which had an impressive French name - Douane Customs.

Next on the right was French war memorial - AVX COMBATTANTS DES INDES FRANCAISES MORTS POVR LA PATRIE - for the soldiers died on first World War. A full size statue of a soldier looking down, his hands were covering the barrel of a rifle other side of the rifle touches the ground in between his legs. Entrance gate was closed, so I had to stand outside. I looked towards the statue and imagined about the situation at the theaters of World War I.

Next came office of senior superintent of Police (SP), office of Inspector General (IG) and Puducherry Police Head Quarters. I continued through the road, White Town as well as many other areas of Puducherry still had a small white population. On the other side of the road a lot of people were passing their time on the beach. Some of them simply looking tot he beach others are walking here and there along the road.

Ambedkar manimandiram cam next - a concrete structure with a full statue of Ambedkar in middle. Former French Governor general Duplex's statue was standing at one end of the road with a sea bridge in the background. I took the Romian Roland Road - third road parallel to beach road - and soon reached Bharati Park, this is a crowded place. Many people are standing here and there, some are drinking cane and other juices out side the park gate and some others are posing themselves in front of Ayi mandapam. After taking some photos of Ayi Mandapam I slowly walked outside and reached Romian Rolland library.

Behind the library stood the Pondicherry State Museum and opposite to museum stood the magnificent Rajnivas (Palais du Gouvernement) - or the Governor's House. Two old cannons were fixed in front of the gate and not so tight security. After viewing the Governor's house I went to state museum. The building we were seeing as museum now once belonged to a French Trader. I liked the house in one shot with her wide windows and doors along with big rooms it gave a different expression for the idea of home. As some works were going on I was not able to go to the first floor.

Arikkamedu was on my list, but I had to drop it due to time constraints. Puducherry state museum offered an excellent exposure of Arikkamedu's history. According to the curator, whatever they got from the excavation grounds of Arikkamedu were transferred to the museum. I moved slowly through the museum, it revealed the magnificent history of Arikkamedu.

Sri Manakula Vinayaga Temple was one of the famous temples in Puducherry after praying there for some time I went straight to Aurobindo Ashram. As the ashram was closed for lunch, I called Binesh and he came with a bike. After having lunch and visiting some more places including 'Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee Church' he dropped me in the Puducherry bus stand.

I took one local bus to Auroville and get down at Auroville busstop on ECR; beach was on the right side of the road and Ashram on the left. After spending some time on the beach I went to Ashram - around 10 km from the road - in auto. The main attraction of Auroville is 'Matri Mandir' - a big globe in golden colour. Unfortunately visitors can't go very near to Matri Mandir on all days. Near to the It looks like only some days are open for that purpose. 5 'o' clock was already over, and Auroville was about to close. I took another auto to reach the main road and from there a very crowded bus to reach Pondicherry bus stand.

After that - back to Bangalore. If the breakdown of SETC bus on the way to Krishnagiri didn't happen return journey was ok.

Pondicherry Gallery 

1 comment:

  1. Pondicherry has started hogging the limelight in the field of education and tourism from all over India from this we know where is pondicherry..