As the scenic Union Territory gears for an interestingly themed music festival, The GUIDE gives MiD-DAY readers a photo walk through of a few sights and sounds that dot this unique French-Tamil township. Go ahead, and plunge into Pondicherry!
Music to get back to your roots
If you detest the commercialism that goes along with all the big ticket music festivals that happen today, Lively Up Your Earth, might interest you. Their cool website with a flying purple cow informed us that the festival was started in 2011 with the aim to celebrate the community, ecology and blend in arts, music and the venue; Solitude farm, a six-acre organic farm.
The festival has two stages; for bands playing genres like Pop, Jazz, Rock, and another for acoustic sets. The acts include Emergence, a band inspired by the journey of Krishna McKenzie (who started the farm) in India. Their music blends the guitar with Carnatic melodies on violin, and is fused with Tamil. Another group that blends the boundaries of countries is The Mandolin Prakash Trio, a Carnatic-Flamenco fusion ensemble. Guitar lovers would like to tune into Pascal Manglou, and Thermal and a Quarter. Other performing artistes include Parvathy Baul, Solder and Mishko MBA.
Music aside, there is a lot to shop from, with the eco stalls that will offer organic baby clothes, seed banks, solar cycles, tetra-pak furniture (yes!) and more. If you are interested in getting your hands dirty, sign up for their workshops on compressed mud bricks, capoeria, lost wax bronze casting, acro yoga and more. Kids are welcome too, and activities such as clay workshops, recycling projects, magic shows, face painting will keep them busy. Accommodation facilities are available, including tree houses!
ON February 22. LOG ON TO www.luye.in
Pack for Pondy
Spice Jet operates direct flights to Pondy, or else most domestic carriers fly to Chennai, and South-bound trains also halt there, from where it’s a three-hour drive to the coastal town. Alternatively, most high range hotels will arrange for pick ups from Chennai. If you are on a budget, Tamil Nadu state-run buses also ply to Pondicherry. Book your hotel in advance, especially if it’s for weekends.
LOG ON TO tourism.pondicherry.gov.in
When Franco meets Tamil
From pastel shades (Left) to ornate Tamil inspired designs on doors and façades of buildings in the Tamil quarter, Pondicherry’s streets offer a stunning mix of influences and architectural styles. Pics Courtesy/Suhani Singh