Travelling, for the author of this book, is a passion, not a profession. Till date, he has visited places in
the states of Kerala, T.N., A.P., Karnatka, Assam, Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar, J & K, H.P.,
Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P., Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, W. Bengal, Goa and
Pondicherry. He has crossed over or touched the borders of Bhutan, Nepal, China and Bangladesh.
He has trekked in the Himalayas, camped in wildlife sanctuaries and trekked along the coastline.
Among his unique experiences are celebrating Holi at Rabindranath Tagore’s Shanti Niketan,
experimenting with Yoga at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, getting lost with an elephant in the
jungles of Manas in Assam and diving among the coral reefs of Andamans.
The author completed his engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, India and
management studies from New York University, USA and has held executive positions in Tata
Consultancy Services and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
The author has special interest in ancient Indian philosophy of the Vedic era. He plays
squash and the guitar. He has even flown a glider.
How to best use this book
This book is written with the view of making one‘s trip to Pondicherry a living experience, an
unforgettable, memorable episode in life. After reading this book and visiting Pondicherry, one will
feel like a ‘native’ and will be able to narrate vivid experiences to friends and acquaintances for years
While reading this book for the first time, please read it like a novel, sitting in an easy chair,
preferably with a cup of tea or coffee at the elbow. Read it from cover to cover without pausing to
memorize names of places or new terms. You would then have a general picture of Pondicherry in
the mind and also an awareness of what information exists in which part of the book. Later, detailed
information may be sought when required. For example, one may enjoy re-reading the kaleidoscopic
history of Pondicherry, while travelling in the train towards Pondicherry. While in Pondicherry, one
may want to consult the detailed route—description to Chunnambar boating complex on the morning
of the day of making that trip. One may like to preview the sections on the Museum or the Botanical
Gardens or Auroville before visiting them, to be sure of what to see and later to add any new
discoveries of one‘s own, in the margin. One may even sit sometime in contemplative mood and
reflect upon the aspects of life in Pondicherry, which have captivated the author and is sure to
How to make the best of your holiday
Personally, I find it most enjoyable to visit a single place in a single trip, to live there for a week or
more, experience it fully and then return. Not for me a package tour of two nights in Pondicherry,
one day in Madurai, one day in Mahabalipuram, a day and a half in Chennai with an evening train to
catch for home. That is not a vacation, that’s work. I would suggest a separate trip to Pondicherry
and a separate one to Mahabalipuram sometime later and so on, unless one is on a very long holiday
schedule, like a month or more.
On the bottom margin of several pages in this book, will be found some travel-tips’. These useful tips
are based on my years of travel around the country and they might come in handy while travelling to
other places also, besides Pondicherry.
Please feel free to share your experiences or other comments with us by writing to us. We look
forward to hear from you. Thank you. This book is for tourists, but more importantly, for potential
Tourists are those, who may be planning a trip to Pondicherry. Potential tourists are ones, who
would want to do so after reading this book.
After reading this book, you will fall in love with Pondicherry. After visiting Pondicherry, you will
want to return there again and again. Few people know that a large portion of Pondicherry's
population consists of those who came there as visitors and never went back.
Rediscover the science of Yoga at the world-famous Aurobindo Ashram and transcend to higher
levels of consciousness. Experience life in a forest-city near the sea at Auroville, an international
township. Enjoy the great open outdoors while boating in the backwaters, meeting with traditional
craftsmen in nearby communities, shopping for exotic handicrafts and participating in festivities
throughout the year. Experiment with ayurvedic massage, sauna, yogic-food and pranic healing.
Marvel at the imposing architecture of churches and the sculptures of famous temples. Feast on a
wide range of mouth-watering South-Indian dishes and a still wider range of fresh fruits.
Come, feel the magic of Pondicherry, which has attracted the Romans, the Danes, the Dutch, the
Portuguese, the English and the French since the 2nd century BC. Imbibe the holy air of the land,
which has been home to great sages since the Vedic era. Mingle with a cosmopolitan population
from all parts of India and 30 countries of the world.
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