Pondicherry, December 6-13, 2008







Useful Information


Travel to India


Before travelling

If you are not a citizen of India you will require a valid visa to enter India. Please read the following carefully. If you have any questions please write to us at the conference email address. We will be happy to provide whatever assistance we can.


Citizens of all countries require a visa to enter India. This is a reciprocal arrangement, and Indian citizens too need a visa to visit every other country. The visa fees are also determined reciprocally between India and each country, hence they will depend on your country of citizenship (defined by your passport) rather than your country of residence. To obtain your visa, please contact the Indian Embassy/Consulate nearest you. There is typically an Indian Embassy in every capital city, and in some countries there may be additional Consulates in other cities. To check up whether the nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate has a website, you can consult, for example: Embassy of India

December is peak season for air-travel into India. So it is advisable to make your travel arrangements well in advance of your scheduled travel.

Reaching Pondicherry

Pondicherry is about 140km away from Chennai. Chennai, a port city and the capital city of the state Tamil Nadu, is very well connected to the rest of India by road, rail and air.

Those participants arriving into Chennai
either on the 4th December or the 5th December and wish to stay in Chennai before heading for Pondicherry may stay in the guest house of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) for these two days. However, since we have only a limited number of rooms available at this guest house we request you to inform us well in advance if you choose to avail this option.

There will be two buses to take (some of) the participants from IMSc to Pondicherry on the morning of 6th December.

One of these will be leaving from IMSc at 08:00 IST
and the other one will be leaving IMSc at 10:00 IST

The buses are expected to take around 3hrs to reach Pondicherry. If you wish to avail this facility please inform us as soon as possible

Those participants who arrive into Chennai and wish to go straight to Pondicherry may take a prepaid taxi (simplest, convenient and the most expensive option - costing around 1600-2000 Rupees and taking close to 3hrs) or a bus or a train. 

The hotel Anandha Inn (Pondicherry) also provides pick-up service for its guests. Their rates to pick-up ISM08 participants from the Channi airport and drop them at the Anandha Inn (Pondicherry) are (in the increasing levels of space and comfort)

1900 INR  for an AC  small car (Indica /Ambassador)
2750 INR  for an AC small Van  (Qualis/Safari)
3100 INR  for an AC Toyota Innova

The Non-AC versions of the above options (if available) will cost 400 INR less. Their rates are 500 INR higher if the pick-up is not from the airport. If you would like the hotel to organize a pick-up for you please contact Anandha Inn directly by email ( mentioning clearly that you are a participant of the Indian Strings Meeting 2008  and provide all your arrival details. You could also write to us at the conference email address and we will  be happy to forward your request to the hotel.

In Pondicherry

All the participants will be provided accommodation either in Anandha Inn or Abirami Residency. Please see here for more details. All breakfasts, lunchs and dinners to the participants will be provided by the organizers.

The academic programme of the conference starts in the afternoon of the 6th December and the conference ends with the lunch on the 13th December.
There will be half a day of free time on the 10th December.  We are working on a pleasure trip to Sengi (Gingee) and Thiruvannaamalai for those interested to join it. The others may choose to explore some places of touristic interest in and around Pondicherry.

There will be a cultural program on the evening of 09th December - performed by the well known Carnatic Violin duo
Ganesh and Kumaresh from Chennai.

December is supposed to be "winter" in Pondicherry with the maximum temperatures in the early 30's and the minimum temperatures around late teens (or early 20's). Because of its geographical location Pondicherry receives some amount of rain fall during December. So a good umbrella would be handy!

The hotel Anandha Inn has a nice swimming pool and excellent gym facilities. You can find out more about these from their webpage. The conference venue is at a walking distance (about 1km) away from the sea-shore. Even though it is not a sandy beach the promenade provides an excellent spot to hang out and relax any time of the day.

Leaving Pondicherry

Participants are expected to check-out of their hotel on the 13th December. However, if you need to stay for a little longer please inform us as soon as possible.

There will be two buses to take some of the participants from Pondicherry to IMSc, Chennai in the afternoon of the 13th December 2008
leaving Pondicherry at around 13:30 IST. These buses are expected to reach IMSc latest by 17:00 IST.

Unfortunately we cannot provide accommodation to any participants at the IMSc guest house in Chennai on their return journey due to other conferences at IMSc at that time.

If you have to catch a train or a flight from Chennai and would like to go straight from Pondicherry, you may get a taxi arranged for you with the help of the hotel people. We will be happy to assist you with any other arrangements.

Workshop e-mail:

Workshop address:   International Workshop on String Theory (ISM08)
                                    Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc),
                                    C.I.T Campus, Taramani
                                    Chennai 600113, India