travel

Description: My journey to Kallialay began on a previous trip, when I came to the area to visit the Matrimandir.

My journey to Kallialay began on a previous trip, when I came to the area to visit the Matrimandir. It’s an all-faith place of worship founded by the women they call Mother, Auroville’s spiritual leader, and it stands right at the center of the community – close to where the Rebouls live. This community was founded in 1968, on the guiding principle of promotion Sri Aurobindo’s vision of individual and collective life. It’s a philosophy that residents of Puducherry and travellers can also benefit from. Aurovillians build houses for sustainable living and farm organic food. Most of the commune’s restaurant and stores serve organic meals and stock arganic goods. Take my favorite, Farm Fresh, where you can sit in the garden café and feast on arganic quiches, omelettes, sandwiches and salads, or shop for essential oils, candles and soaps, made using locally-farmed produce. After lunch I normally call in at Auroville Bakery across the street, lurned by its sweet aroma of fresh cinnamon rolls and chocolate croissants.

Description: Puducherry is divided between a calm French-built colonial quarter and an energetic Tamil-dominated area.

Puducherry is divided between a calm French-built colonial quarter and an energetic Tamil-dominated area.

I was staying in Puducherry that first time, as I am now. A friend and I had dinner at a popular garden café called Satsanga, one of many in the city’s French Quarter. As we wandered past the bulletin board I noticed a flyer advertising the surf school. It was 11pm, but I called straight away and Juan answered. I asked if we could come the next day; he responded, “Let me see if we have space.” We couldn’t believe it: a surf school in India that might not have room for us! Luckily, Juan found us two slots the next day.

Puducherry is divided between a calm French-built colonial quarter and an energetic Tamil-dominated area. The latter is the commercial center, and is bustling and hectic. In contrast, the French Quarter’s sleepy streets are picturesque, with walls and gates painted in bright reds, yellows, blues and greens. Something I love about Puducerry is how easy it is to navigate by bicycle – I rent one every time was how I stumbled on places like Café des Arts, a heritage building that hosts exhibitions by artist from New Delhi, Mumbai, and even Paris. Their brushchetta and chai are practically works of art.

Many of the French Quarter’s old townhouses have been converted into boutique-style bed and breakfasts. One of the most well-known is Gratitude, where Ang Lee shot part of his upcoming film adaption of Yann Martel’s novel, The Life of Pi. This time I’m staying at Le Dupleix, a boutique hotel in the home of the former French mayor of Puducherry. As I work through my Ashtanga Binyasa yoga practice there one afternoon, I see a beautiful South Indian woman with a long thick plait chatting with customers in fluent Tamil, English and French. I know from experience she is able to cook masala dosas and French pastries with equal panache. This cross-cultural side to Puducherry is one of the things I like most about it.

Description: Masala dosas

Masala dosas

One evening I meet up with Juan and his wife Annna, along with their three-year-old son Noah (I’ve noticed that all children from Auroville look stunning, by the way. I put it down to the fresh air and simple living). We head for dinner at Tanto, a pizzeria, where after we indulge in possibly the tastiest wood-fired pizza have ever had, Anna explains that instead of using currency, residents of Auroville have account numbers that they quote wherever they go, which are settled later via a central account. Perhaps this is why I struggle to find an ATM whenever I’m in the area.

Description: Auroville beach

Auroville beach

Having decided to dedicate this trip to surfing I decide to check out of Le Dupleix and try staying somewhere nearer the beach. I’, surprised to find many options along Serenity beach. I choose Nature Loft, a complex of little huts built from dried palm leaves and bamboo. Mine is a tree house with an ocean view. After two surfing sessions and more yoga I am exhausted, in that lovely way I remember feeling as a child, after having played on the beach all day. With a belly full of pizza, I peer through the bamboo, slits in my tree house wall and see a full moon smiling back at me. Falling asleep to the roar of the ocean I send love to all my fellow soul surfers.

Top search
Women
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
Other
travel
- London Looks East (Part 3)
- London Looks East (Part 2)
- London Looks East (Part 1)
- All About Evora (Part 3)
- All About Evora (Part 2)
- All About Evora (Part 1)
- Toronto - Around Town - Harbourfront & the Financial District (part 2) - An Art Walk
- Toronto - Around Town - Harbourfront & the Financial District (part 1)
- Boston's Top 10 : Boston Harbor Islands
- Boston's Top 10 : Waterfront Areas - Top 10 Views
- New York's Top 10 : New York Stores
- New York's Top 10 : Festivals and Events - Top 10 Sports Events
- Paris Top 10 : Children's Attractions
- Paris Top 10 : Entertainment Venues - Top 10 Films set in Paris
- London's Top 10 : Pubs
- London's Top 10 : West End Shows
- Berlin's Top 10 : Parks & Gardens
- Berlin's Top 10 : Sport & Fitness Venues
- Wildest Dreams
- San Francisco's Top 10 : Outdoor Activities - Top 10 Spectator Sports
 
women
Top keywords
women
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Women
Top 5
women
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain