Pondicherry

We arrived in Pondicherry from Chennai on Christmas day.  It was a 3 hyour drive and we passed through a lot of areas hit by tsunami as we drove along the seashore of the Bay of Bengal.

Pondicherry was a French colony from 1799 until 1955, except for a brief period around 1812 when the British had control for a few years.  This area as where the English and the French fought as the last phase of the US colonial war.  After the British won in the US, they continued to fight the French (who had been on the side of the Americans).  Infact many of the generals who fought on the British side were later sent to India to continue fighting the Fremch.  Some of you may remember General Corwallis from your history.

This is a small area 160 sq. miles run by the federal government from Delhi.  They say Pondicherry is a lazy town with only 4 things to do

Drink (Low tazes – so a lot of people from neighboring states show up for that)
Go to Arabino Ashram
Walk on the beach
Shop

We did three of the four above and I will leave it to your imagination which three.

The Ashram was stated by Arabindo Ghosh.  Born in 1872, he was educated at Cambridge University in Engand, came back tried to become a civil servant by taking an exam; he failed and became staunch nationalist.  He was involved in political agitation in the early part of 20th sentury and was imprisoned.  They let him go baecause of lack of evidenceeeee.  They he wandered into Pondicherry on a spiritual mission, and receive enligtenment in 1926.  He stated this Ashram and was soon joined by another seeker of spirituality who also settled in te Ashra.  She is called “The Mother”.  The Ashram is a very peaceful place where both are buried.  Their goal is to develop the entire human race in to a self sufficient instutution through knowledge.  They have a experimental town earby calle Auroville.  We did not get a chance to visit.

Obviously we saw a lot of French tourists as well as settlers in the region.  Along the beach ais a monument for the soldiers surrounding a beautiful scultpture of Mahatma Gandhi.  We did ventur out and shopped in the city.

The area is warm with a nice breeze.  Typical temperature was 85 deg F.

We left for Madurai after anotrher of rest and relazation.

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