On Saturday we headed down the coast to the independent district of Pondachurry. This used to be part of the French holdings in India until 1960 and it still has French flavor in building style, street names, and food. It is a popular seaside resort town and we saw more non-Indians today than we have during the rest of our trip.
Before lunch we visited what I would equate to a “commune”, a place called Auroville designed to be a community where religion, nationality, and ethnicity does not matter, a place for world harmony. Auroville owns about 200acres of beautiful forest and gardens and operates several streets with small service businesses. It is quite a robust tourist operation with hundreds visiting to walk the gardens.
We went to a traditional paper making factory where they use old newspapers and recycle it into hand crafted paper items. During a walking tour of the town we had to make way for an elephant marching down the road, right through the cars and pedestrians. He was part of the temple which worships Ganesha, the elephant-figure son of the god Shiva. Every afternoon they heard this poor creature through town and into the narrow temple doors where they ring a bell and make offerings before tying him outside so people can take photographs.
Another spectacular beachfront resort for tonight’s lodging. Our room has a large covered veranda with a sofa (I was tempted to sleep outside!) and a bathroom that opens to a tiny private courtyard. Getting spoiled.Read more