June 30, 2020

Pondicherry: A Photo Diary

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When 2020 had started, we traveloholics were still making plans for all the exciting trips of the year. Little did we know that this year (and the damn Corona virus) would rob us of all our travel plans, and leave us high & dry in ways we could never have imagined possible!

So, on the weekend after my birthday in March, when me & Anusha (my fabulous friend from The Small Town Blogger) planned to go on a quick getaway to Pondicherry; we had no idea that it'll be our last trip in the next God-knows-how-many months to come!

I had created a lot of content on this trip...and was excited to share the same in a series of blog posts with you all. But then, Covid-19 happened, travel became a thing of dreams and in the serious situation the world lapsed into, it felt superficial to talk about fashion looks, pretty cafes or travel recommendations/experiences on any platform. 

Now, after wanting to write something here for the past 4 months, I finally thought of giving in to my heart and sharing some photos from our Pondicherry trip. I'm still not ready to talk about travel content as travelling is still not feasible. So, this post will have some street photography from my walks down the lanes of White Town in Pondicherry, some aesthetic corners of pretty eateries and anything else that might have caught my fancy that weekend. Hope you like the images and hope they put a smile on your face in these tough times!


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The quintessential yellow walls & pretty doors of Hotel Du Parc

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The Promenade

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Windows of Pondicherry I | Street photography

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Man, trees, birds & the sea | Street photography

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Lunch with a view @ Escape Inn

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The New Lighthouse (which was unfortunately closed for maintenance)

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Strolls by the Sea

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Le Cafe's vintage menu board

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Windows of Pondicherry II | Street photography

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Spotted in the lanes of White Town

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Tropical vibes

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View from Escapee Inn

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Of pink walls & pretty windows

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Gorgeous doors & pretty palms

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Blue, boat & beyond

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Local boats ashore on the pristine Serenity beach

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The serene lanes of White Town

This was my 5th visit to Pondicherry in the last 5 years...and this place never fails to amaze me with its quaint picturesqueness. I love taking walks around the pretty lanes of the French White Town, strolling along the seaside Promenade or enjoying the sun & the sand at Serenity or Paradise Beach (which are some of the prettiest Pondicherry beaches). 
These photos of Pondicherry showcase this beautiful little town through my eyes...and even though these are not part of any recommendations or tourist experiences, I still hope these aesthetic frames will tempt you enough to add Pondi to your list of 'Places To Visit Post Covid-19'

Till then, hope you all are staying home and staying safe! Please don't step out unless absolutely necessary, and even if you do, don't forget to wear your masks & gloves. This pandemic is not to be taken lightly, and if we all follow the rules & precautions, we can at least hope that things will get better soon, so that we can go back to our life of exciting travels again!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for some fresh, aesthetic content that I share there regularly!

Take care,
Anupriya
March 11, 2020

Staycation At The Courtyard - An Ecorganic Farmstay

by , in
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Everyone wants their birthdays to be special - a day different from the rest, in some way, however big or small. I have had many an exciting birthday before. From impromptu parties to special dinner dates to quick trips; I've enjoyed it all. But, this year, I experienced something entirely new on this special day. And I'll always cherish the memories of this day forever!
When Ecorganic Stays approached me to review their form house stay located near Yelahanka, in Bangalore; I was thinking about the best time to experience this one-night staycation. That's when I realised that my upcoming birthday can be a perfect opportunity to enjoy the sprawling property, away from the hustle-bustle of the city! 
So, on this birthday, me and my husband headed to The Courtyard, an Ecorganic Farmstay property near Yelahanka, which was about an hour & a half's drive from our place. This staycation turned out to be a completely different and amazing way of spending this day in the lap of nature, with only my man for company. 

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The villa is a huge heritage bungalow, with lush green trees, shrubs and plants of all varieties surrounding it. The tiled roof, the ornate pillars, the brick-and-iron aesthetics, and the vintage decor welcomed us into a property that oozed out old-world charm. The property covers an area of about 3 acres, with a villa, a private pool and gorgeous fruit orchards all around. The red-stone bungalow, built in a mix of French & Indian architecture, is a spacious villa with 6 bedrooms, a big living space, recreation rooms, dining rooms, a big kitchen and various airy terrace spaces.

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There are 6 bedrooms - each with beautiful antique beds & dressers - that can sleep around 10-15 people with ease. The rooms don't have AC, but the fans were efficient enough to keep us cool at night, provided that it's not full-fledged summer yet. The bedrooms are spacious, yet cozy, and got beautiful heritage aesthetics that are quite endearing.

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This beautiful open-space bathroom came attached to our bedroom on the first floor. I loved the antique legs of the huge bathtub, the sunlit open air shower area, and the rustic stone aesthetics of the walls & flooring. I didn't get the time, but this looked like the perfect place to have a long, pampering bath, maybe with a glass of wine and some good music too!

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The living area and recreation/entertainment/party rooms are spruced up with various whimsical heritage furniture & decor...and they have a nice selection of books, board games etc. for a fun evening with friends and family, or a cozy afternoon of lazy reading. 

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The open courtyard area in the middle of the villa is a space of rustic elegance, with the lush greenery juxtaposed against the red brick walls and antique decor flanking all the sides. The afternoon sun illuminated the space in all its glory as the wind rustled in the foliage, creating a magical atmosphere.


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The terraces on the upper floor of the villa are great places for relaxing or enjoying the luscious green view all around. There are seating arrangements where one can have a leisurely time with a cup of tea or curl up with a good book. The terraces can be great place to sit with friends or family for lots of laughter while enjoying the cool evening breeze.

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The pool-side is another great place to have fun in the villa. The pool is quite big and clean, and perfect for an early morning or late afternoon swim. The patio next to the pool also has a couple of tables set up, where one can have a relaxed poolside breakfast or dinner.

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The cook Gautam was a sweet, polite fellow who rustled up some yummy food for us. From  welcoming us with sumptuous Dahi Vada; pampering us with hot, crispy pakodas & coffee in the evening; to cooking up lip-smacking egg fried rice and chicken 65 for dinner; and treating us to lovely Dosa for breakfast next day - we really enjoyed his cooking and his service. 

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As you can see, I clicked a gazillion pictures and acted like a kid in a candy store on my birthday! It was just the kind of property I like - heritage villa, antique furniture, vintage decor, sprawling grounds with lush greenery all around, a sparkling swimming pool, efficient staff, good food and nice service. What's more....they have an adorable husky (as you can see in a couple of my pics) and even a magnificent horse on the property for petting and cuddling!
The Courtyard by Ecorganic Stays is a great farm house stay around Bangalore for a weekend getaway for 10-15 people, a fun and offbeat location for exciting events, a relaxing picnic spot or even a great place to unwind with friends and family - away from the hustle bustle of the city, yet close enough to home.

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All in all, I had an amazing birthday getaway, thanks to Ecorganic Stays who hosted me at one of the best farmstays around Bangalore! They have similar gorgeous cheap resorts in almost 20 locations all over India...so if you are planning your next holiday to places like Coorg, Ooty, Allepey, Bandipur, Coimbatore, Manali or even Goa; do check the Ecorganic Stays website for amazing of the best resorts in the lap of nature!

So, if you are looking for resorts near Bangalore for the weekend, you sure know where to head to, for the next fun getaway with your gang! Do let me know if you visit, and how you like it! 

Disclaimer: This stay was sponsored by Ecorganic Stays

Till next time,
Love,
Anupriya


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