Dec 28, 2012

Travel | A Fulfilling Trip to Pondicherry, Mangrove Forest and Mamallapuram

Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer." It surely is a much needed break from the monotonous life, we all look forward to. I love the feeling of getting disoriented from the comforts of home and trusting total strangers for living in a new place. 
Most of our travel trips are unplanned which are decided instantly. Somehow I am not convinced with booking a holiday trough a travel agent where we need to do things as per their itinerary. 
Winter holidays for children started and we had 4 days in our hand for a quick holiday tour. Short of time to book travel tickets, we decided to drive by road to Pondicherry with a list of few resorts in hand. Most of the resorts on ECR that we approached need prior booking. We got a cottage in this newly built not-so-popular resort near Pondicherry which amazed us with its simplicity and rustic settings. 
The cottages are cozy small thatched huts with all modern amenities in it and is perfect for a couple. We were lucky to get shifted to a premium cottage later as the guest who booked it did not turn up.
The best part of our stay in the resort was the early morning walks around the huge untouched green area of resort behind our cottage, which gave us a feeling of walking in the woods.

This was one of the favorite activities of my children, both of them would get up before sunrise. go for a walk with us and jump into the pool right away.

Frisbee time for children with daddy.
We decided to visit the worlds' second largest Mangrove forest in Pichavaram near Chidambaram the next day.

Mangroves are various kinds of trees and shrubs that grow in salty back water from the sea.

Mangrove plants need a number of adaptations to survive in water which has low oxygen levels, high salt contents and frequent tidal inundation.
These Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion and help reduce the velocity of tidal waves. The salty water around this Mangrove forest is rich in marine life and provides livelihood to many fishermen who live in the village.

We planed for a whole day trip to the Mangrove forest followed by visiting the temples in Chidambaram en route.
There are government approved boat rides in the mangrove forest back water. We opted for a manual boat ride for 3 hours to the motor boat one which was too noisy for us.    
Those few hours were quite relaxing with just water, trees, sky and a few birds breaking the silence in between the calm & serene boat ride.
Spent three days in the resort and started for Mahabalipuram, the beach city near Chennai on the last day of our trip. We had no idea as to where will we stay once we reach there and thought of giving three trials for a good accommodation before we return back to Chennai.

Luck favored us again and we got a no-frill accommodation right next to the beach! 

This was my long time wish to see closely a busy day in the life of fishermen, and here I was living next to them.
A light dinner, late evening walk by the beach and we all sat in the balcony till the wee hours watching and listening to the waves.

I was up by 4.30 am, but looks like the day for a fisherman starts much early. Most of them  already  ventured into the sea for their first catch before I could even open my eyes. All the pictures are taken from the small sit out outside our room without any zoom lens. 

What will I do without my most favorite travel companion on holidays, the handy water kettle...a quick green tea and I am all charged up to start my day.
By 5.30 am the beach was abuzz with activities. Morning walkers, cyclists, book worms, swimmers, fisher-women weaving the worn out nets all co-existed peacefully with nature.

Time for some adventure on beach, children getting first hand experience of riding a boat. We walked down to visit the shore temple and the other historical monuments along side the beach.
Being one with history...Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram was a 7th century port city of South India and has been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. 
These rock cut monuments are shaped into Rathas (chariots) and temples, which are mostly sculpted from single stone. A real treasure to preserve for the future generation. 

Back to the room and its time for a hot cup of chocolate.
Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow....

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  1. Oh I didn't know you had a second blog Sanjeeta! What a pleasant surprise and then I got to see your amazing pictures from Pondicherry as well. I never had the chance to visit this area, but I have friends of mine who live near by in auroville.

    Interesting fact that it is protected by the UNESCO. The beaches and in general the landscape are amazing too. Time that I show that my husband. ;)

  2. Lovely pictures and pleasant to read write up. Would have been even better if you could mention the names of the resorts. The rustic cottage set up looks lovely.

  3. Pondicherry is one of the best places to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Great post! I recently visited and blogged about it here:

    It would be great if you could have a read & leave a comment :)