Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
A Cultural cocktail - The Eco-nomical Style!
Auroville - The Universal Township
In Kullu Valley
Travel ECOnomically in Goa
The Green Fairytale Vacation
lacie or are the evil forces at work again…
Travel ECOnomically – It’s No Big Deal
Be Economylogical, its No Big Deal!
When you reach Chennai, you’ll be greeted by crowds, heat, dust and noise…like most Indian cities…My advice - head South along the Coromandel coast.
A lovely 160 km drive on the beautiful EC Road takes you to the Union territory of Puducherry or Pondicherry as it was known.
Rumble of crashing waves, Tamil music on the streets and jazz at the Fête de la Musique– Ah! The sounds of Puducherry.
I got a taste of a cultural cocktail and that’s what Puducherry is. The Romans traded here, the Portuguese settled down briefly, followed by the Danes and the Dutch.
Finally, it was the French who stayed on till 1954. Infact, some them didn’t leave at all! And with them remained French architectural heritage, lifestyle and a flavour of France in the local cuisine.
By 9 o’clock the music fades and locals and travellers retire for the night. It’s an early to bed and early to rise destination.
As the sun shines on the waters of Puducherry, health freaks strap their running shoes and hit the cobbled paths along the promenade… Jogging, stretching, or silently practicing yoga.
It’s a heartening sight for an eco – conscious traveler.
The most economical and ecological way to get around town is on a cycle.
You won’t feel out of place since most people are on cycles or on foot, an extremely healthy and earth-friendly lifestyle which to them is
No Big Deal!
The promenade is the lifeline of the French quarter. Grand villas that face the sea…once housed distinguished occupants such as the Governor General Le Dupleix who changed the face of this place in the 19th century.
Today they have been refurbished but retain the elegance of French baroque and rococo without the overblown embellishments.
They have been adapted to multiple uses- hotels, restaurants, chic boutiques and quaint curio shops.
A walk along the cobbled pedestrian streets will take you through colourful buildings with high vaulted walls, well preserved and some declared as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Pondicherry has its fair share of beaches, but unlike Goa, they are clutter free, clog free, plastic free and also free of the crowds as well as sea-side amenities.
There’s not much one can do here, besides enjoy the solitude.
But I was keen to explore the other equally important quarters of Puducherry.
The Tamil quarter is sprinkled with over 300 beautiful temples, most of which were built by the Chola kings. A walk around this quarter rounded off my Puducherry experience.
I had been around a town where the official languages are: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and French! And signboards are in multiple languages as well.
A town where all these communities live in perfect harmony, a town where diverse architectural styles compliment each other, where locals respect their heritage, preserve it, conserve it and keep it garbage free – This is the town where an eco-traveller should be.
A little French, a little Indian, and extremely ECO-nomical that’s Pudu-cherry!
Courtesy: The Statesman
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