Monday 25 November 2013

Welcome to Pondicherry

Pondicherry is old. Pondicherry is new. Pondicherry still stands still in time. From the wide but empty roads of the French quarter, to the architectural maze of Tamil and Muslim quarters, Pondicherry is the most underestimated destinations in India. For eons, Pondicherry was known for it’s spirituality. From ancient sage Agastiar to modern day spiritual leaders in the form of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother attracted travelers of a different kind. The thought process surrounding ‘Integral Yoga’ attracted thousands to Pondicherry resulting in the formation of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and later the growth of a unique experimental international township called Auroville.

Our travel itinerary in Pondicherry and it’s surrounding is something that helps you go deeper and not use Pondicherry as a stop gap travel destination en-route other heritage sites. These are very interactive, meaningful journey to meet the locals while getting deeper insight into the culture, heritage and social fabric of what makes Pondicherry a special place.

Customised depending on the guest profile and time available, some of the activities and experiences are listed below.

Integral Yoga: Spend time with our team mates and thought leaders to understand more about the yoga propagated by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Meet up with people and initiatives that makes a difference in Pondicherry while helping individuals their path to self-realisation. Mornings and evenings we are happy to invite you to practice yoga with us. Previous experiences not needed.

Conscious Farms:Our partners have created a network of farmers in and around Pondicherry who apply the virtue of consciousness in the way they produce organic food in a sustainable way. Some farms are larger, some are small, some are old, some are new, some are struggling to find a balance between passion and market. Meet, interact and work with these farmers in their field, stay with them and eat the food that’s produced locally.

Volunteering: This isn’t the typical voluntourism trip. We work closely with select not for profit initiatives to promote community based health care as well as run a beautiful school for gifted children. The sensitisation team goes around rural and urban Pondicherry using theatre as  tool for social change. Travel with them,get to see a Pondicherry that you wouldn’t be seeing as a regular tourist. Be the traveler in the truest sense

Legend Trails: Pondicherry is all about stories. Legends, saints, folklore ride a thin red line between stories and history of this ancient port city. Walk with our story tellers, listen to hillarious and intriguing stories. Few hours a day, or full days, the trail is the most exciting experience one could think of.

Tree Walks: Walk with local students and volunteers who are coming together to build a environmentally conscious community in Pondicherry. Would you like to know the name, relevance and importance of the trees in Pondicherry? Whether it’s urban biodiverstiy or rural bio-diversity, these tree walks give you insight into people and places in a unique way.

South Indian Martial Arts: It was one of the Pallava Prince from nearby Kachivaram, Bodhidharma who was instrumental in taking South Indian martial arts of Kalaripayattu to China resulting in the practice of martial arts and Zen Buddhism at the famous Shaolin Temple. Meet the masters and students who continues the practice in Pondicherry and see some breathtaking performances.

Musical & Folk Trails: We work closely with ‘Payanam’, an initiative to promote responsible travel in to Pondicherry and this network has been connecting to several musical and folk artists as part of their attempt to preserve local culture and provide livelihood options to the struggling artists. Meet them in their villages, houses, and join their performances.

Slow Food restaurants: What’s a trip to Pondicherry without experiencing local food? Traditional recipes, local ingredients, healthy diet. Try out mouth water recipes at some of the new initiatives set up by our own partners. These restaurants are linked to the conscious farms.