Independence Day for my Thunderbird
Yes, you read it right! This is truly the Independence Day for my RE thunderbird since it was not let out loose in the highway since I bought this bike. Thanks to Koushik, Founder TLT, for inspiriting me to go for the first ride. Here is a brief about my first ride.
Packed my bag and left Chennai at around 6.00 AM. The weather was fantastic and the cloud was dark enough to have the headlights on for sometime. The clouds did not burst into rain luckily as I was worried a bit about riding in the rain. Took the ECR route since it was the safest after the recent 4 lane upgradation. The road was butter smooth and easily was able to manage a top speed of 110 Kmph till Mahabalipuram. The real enjoyment started when I took a right turn from Mahabs towards Pondy. After 15KM ride, the roads were completely covered with trees and it reminded me of Sathy Road in Coimbatore. Enjoyed each and every second and slowed down the bike to 40-50 KM. After another 15 KM was a beautiful Bridge to cross Palar River. There was no water but the bridge was awesome.
Suddenly there was a Royal Enfield Convoy of bikes, with Indian Flag hoisted. The thump and roar it gave was mind boggling.
At 75 KM had the first stop at 8.00 at Alamparai Fort. This fort was built some 300 years back and all that remains are the ruins. It is simply mesmerizing to know how the rulers were able to construct such marvels in ancient times. Have to say that the Fort is not well maintained. Did not expect this to be in such a bad shape but still worth making a visit. Left the fort after half an hour and resumed my ride.
Entered Pondicherry at around 9.20 AM and reached Auroville at around 9.45 AM. Yes, it was my dream to visit Auroville since the day I knew about Pondy. I feel one must be really blessed to visit this place. The nature at its best with a wide range of flora and fauna, the birds chirping to a tune, the whole ambience and vibration was out of the world. Aurovillians and foreign tourists were roaming around the streets of Auroville in their hired two wheelers. One could rent a bi-cycle or a two-wheeler in a day or hourly basis. Parked my TB at Auroville visitor’s centre and began walking towards the information centre. Here comes the surprise:
A 10 minute video about Matrimandir was played and I got the Free pass to view the Matrimandir from the viewing point. To enter Matrimandir one has to register and get the pass the very next day. From the info centre to the viewing point is a two KM walking stretch through the woods. The stretch is completely green with a lot of flowers and herbs. The roads are fenced to ensure one does not go on a trek. Matrimandir looked stunningly awesome and it the golden sphere looked like a Sun on the Earth. After spending 15 mins, headed back to the parking space.
Left Auroville and began heading towards Pondy city. The city was superbly clean.
How can one leave Pondy without visiting Aurobindo Ashram. I felt very lucky since it was Sri Aurobindo’s birthday on August 15th. What a coincidence! There were around hundered people meditating around the Samadhi but I felt as if nobody was there. There was pin drop silence.
Down Rue de Temple Manakkula Vinayaga or Manakkula Vinayaga Temple Road is the famous Manakkula Vinayaga Temple. The temple is well maintained and was very clean. It was full of crowd and had a darshan far from comfort. Generous prasadam was distributed. A lot of devotional items are available in the shops outside the temple. Stated moving towards my next destination.
Reached Pony Museum but was closed. So, parked my TB there and began walking around the Park. The White Town is a very beautiful place and full of French architecture. Visited Gandhi Statue, Dr. BR Ambedkar Statue, Rock Beach, Dupliex Statue. The Promenade, was the best out of the lot and it looks a lot similar to GTA VC. One big mistake that I had committed is by walking the entire stretch in the hot sun. Should have easily taken the bike around. Went back to the museum to pick up my TB.
The next stop was at Auroville Beach, the Beach is peaceful and one of the best beaches in Pondy. It was 3.30 PM and I had one more place to be visited. Yes, it was the Pyramid Natraja Temple – Sri Karaneshwar Natraja Temple. It was built by Aurovillians and again a breath taking architecture. Realized the importance given to yoga by the Auro community. Packed my bags and headed towards Chennai.
The ride back was very comfortable since it was evening and the temperature was around 26 deg. What else do you need? Yes, Petrol. Searched in Google maps and found out the bunks in Pondy. This was the first time my bike had a tank full. Cruising at around 90 KMph, reached home by 7.00 PM Sharp. It was a really good first ride on my Thunderbird. I really felt that I made a good decision by not relaxing at home during the Independence Day.
Testimony from Admin:
With this all said, the greatest achievement is when others get inspired by your work and begin to do it. On behalf of Harish it’s my immense pleasure to welcome Anantha Krishnan in to the world of TLT, and a wonderful narration, taking me into the scene, wishing more fun explorations at your end. Keep riding and keep blogging.