Fondly known as ‘Pondy’ by many travellers who’ve been here, it has had a long versatile history when it comes to defining its culture. At first Pondicherry fell into the hands of the Dutch and then the British. After them came the French East India Company that left their most potent mark on Pondicherry.
Puducherry or Pondicherry was under the influence of the French for the longest of times; and thus it is the mark of the French that can be most prominently seen here. Today Pondicherry is an important city and a Union territory, but the Fresh vibe continues to describe its core existence.
So if you’ve always dreamt of going to France but the flight tickets put a dent in your plans. Worry not! Pondicherry is just the perfect dose you need to fulfill all your French fantasies.
The French Quarters
Just a stroll down the streets of Pondicherry and you’ll feel the strong French influence. Right from the signboards, which are in both Tamil and French, to the architecture of the cathedrals and buildings, to the hoard of expats you’ll see walking around, going about their daily tasks with an aura of ‘at-home’ surrounding them. It’s a whole another world within itself, and even if it’s just for a second you’ll forget you’re in Inida.
But the best example of old world French colonial architecture, with a little bit of Tamil influence thrown in can be found in the French Quarters of Pondicherry (as if the name wasn’t a give away).
Today known as the White Town you’ll find some beautiful buildings here, reminding you of French colonial times. Villas with big compounds, and houses the colour of sun burnt yellow, peach or white. A walk through this neighbourhood will make you feel as though you’re gallivanting through the South of France. What more is needed for a blissful getaway?
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