Was looking for a long drive and finally zeroed on Pondicherry. Below is the route details which I took suggested my colleagues and many forums.
Bangalore > Krishanagiri > Vellore > Arcot > Vandavasi > Thindivanam > Pondicherry.
The road is superb till Vellore and after that you need to take the state highways. But no worries these are decently maintained and do not have much traffic.
My wife took the role of the navigator. With the help of GPS, as you need to cross lot of bypasses, we reached Pondicherry in about 7 hrs drive for 400kms. As it was a long weekend and even though we left early morning we couldn’t beat the rush at the toll booths (40 Mins was alone spent at the Electronic toll) . We reached around 1 in the noon in the hotel.
The weather in Pondicherry was hot and for a Banglorean’s it was really hot. I had done room bookings at Ginger which had a complimentary breakfast package. The hotels was bit costly and has lost its ambience. You don’t feel the charm of staying outside. You should try to get some hotels in the beach side.
The beach is around 3 kms from Ginger. Beach is pretty decently maintained and is vehicle free zone between evening 5.30 to morning 7.30. It’s a rock beach and so you cannot get down. Its a superb place to walk along the beach in the evening with street lights on. The French memorial and architecture makes the place even better. Parking is a problem and I wasted lot of time trying to get a parking zone. Finally parked on a free road which I think is usual in Pondicherry.
The next day had an early morning running at the beach side. It was a good feeling and energizing one. In 5 mins you get fully sweaty. Then we visited Auroville which is 14 kms from Pondicherry which is a like a gated community. They do a lot of social service and has people from 35 different countries. It’s a nice green place and there was an article in Times of India in the previous week.They show you a free video about the place. They have a huge golden globe like architecture. You need to take a pass to enter it and if you need to enter today you need take the pass the previous day. Otherwise its a 1 KM walk with a pass. The globe looks like an UFO kind of a thing.
Then we visited the Vinayagar temple which lies in the heart of the city. It’s a nice a temple and a must see. The temple has a centralized AC. Again parking here is a problem. The auto fellows charge you heftily if you want to roam around in the city without your vehicle.
As it was hot we preferred to be in hotel during noon time. In the evening we went to for shopping in the market road. Again parking here is an issue. You can do some petty shopping’s here. But you will have to bear the honking of vehicles and speed drifting two wheelers.
Check for Heritage walk in INTAC on net which they do every evening. They take you by walking in to the French colony and other architectures. (Its 500 per head it seems, so we dint take it 🙂 )
Overall the beach compensates for all your long drive and the stay in Pondicherry. It’s worth a ride.