Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

 

Pondicherry is a town we visited late on our India trip. Situated on the South Eastern coast along the Bay of Bengal, it used to be a French colony (with stints of Portuguese and British rule in between before being turned back over to India in the 1950s). It shows. Cobblestone streets and crumbling colonial buildings intermix with ramshackle Indian shops and street-side stalls. The typical organization and planned beauty of a European town is juxtaposed against the third-world nature of garbage strewn streets. Many of the streets have French names. Several beautiful churches remain. It is an interesting town to say the least, and we wished we would have gotten to spend more time there. We did get some great pictures though that I thought I would share!

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Wandering down the seaside sidewalk

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Gandhi, symbol of non-violent resistance and Indian independence.

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Watch out! These touts were VERY persistent!! You couldn’t even sit and enjoy the view without them bugging you to buy this drum or that necklace. Bargaining here is like it is in many Asian countries: the vendor starts ridiculously high and you pretend to be shocked, you counter ridiculously low and they feign serious pain. Finally you come to an agreement somewhere in the middle. We have learned over the past few months that the ultimate goal in bargaining is not getting the lowest price, but coming to a price that both parties can agree upon. By this time in our trip though, we were pretty tired of this. Sometimes bargaining is fun but other times I was glad to see places with “fixed prices”–higher, maybe, but easy to take or leave, no pressure.

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Our Yogi leader testing out the wares

 


Snacks……

 


Old school rickshaw. This business has mostly been taken over by the auto rickshaws now…..

 


Sri Aurobindo Press. Sri Aribindu was an British educated Indian lawyer, turned freedom fighter, turned yogi and spiritual teacher. He built an Ashram near by to teach Integral yoga and wrote much on the subject of bringing the divine into our daily lives. He was the first Indian to create a major body of literature in English.

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Just Hangin out…

 


This little boy really wanted to play Mary Lou’s drum, so much so that he was attempting to play it while she was walking down the street!

 


The Church of Our Lady of Angels

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
This light house was just so pretty!

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Sri Aurobindo International Center for Education, Aryuvedic Section

 


You know you are in Asia when you see motorbikes and laundry hanging out to dry

 


The other side of Pondicherry….

 

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
To give you an idea, we began our India trip in Goa for a 3 week Yoga program, traveled South East for 10 days by train and sleeper bus stopping in Hampi and Pyramid Valley (not on map), Bangalore and ending in Pondicherry/Auroville. We then traveled back to Bangalore for a week to volunteer.

More to come on all the rest later!