Pondicherry – An Exquisite French Town That Is India’s Own


Pondicherry as a place is a sure charmer. With the colonial French Quarters, bougainvillea laden townhouses, a vast seafront, modern boutiques, cobbled streets, clean and fresh sea air, Pondicherry sometimes feels like a dream town. Read on.

Pondicherry is a Union Territory and a town in Southern India. It is about a hundred kilometers from Mahabalipuram. The closest metropolitan city connecting to Pondicherry is Chennai which is about 170 k.m. away. Pondicherry is officially known as Puducherry and it is more popularly known by its nickname Pondy. Owing to its remarkable beauty which has been inherited from the colonial eras, Pondicherry has remained one of the hotspots of tourism in India. People spend days and even a month at times when they visit here. It is an ideal place for a long vacation and hence there are a number of budget hotels in Pondicherry that provide reasonable and comfortable accommodation for the visitors. If you are planning for a long holiday in the coming months, Pondicherry definitely is the place to go to. The best time to visit Pondicherry is between October to March. The summers can be a little harsh in this town as the mercury soars above 35 degree Celsius. A trip during the winters or the fall is quite advisable and for a long vacation, making advance reservation in one of the budget hotels in Pondicherry is a smart move in order to cancel out the probability of any last minute hassles.

Pondicherry was under the French occupation for long until 1954 and hence at every place you visit in the town, you would see a hint of French aesthetics. It makes the town a unique destination and your trip an experience in itself. Old Pondicherry is immaculately clean and the streets are cobbled and shaded with trees, etc. This is the part which was a French colony for long and hence it should not surprise you if you find the people speaking fluent French or conversing in English with a French accent. The townhouses present a unique picture of the whole town, too, with their charm of the old era that is so ornately decorated with the beauty of bougainvillea along throughout its modest architecture. The newer settlements of Pondicherry are more or less South Indian in their establishment and do not carry the same appeal. It is the old Pondicherry which attracts the maximum number of tourists with its tranquil and peaceful landscape. Steaks,french cuisines, beer, fresh air, meditation, a lifestyle paced in the old fashioned way, and exquisite flowers make Pondicherry a remarkable and memorable vacation spot.

The main tourist places to visit in Pondicherry are about a dozen. Sri Aurobindo Ashram of 1929 is the place to begin your itinerary from. There are many churches in Pondicherry. The open seaside is a retreat for the senses. The Promenade is a beach front with modern look and several boutiques. Puducherry museum houses some of the oldest French artefacts and furniture. The Botanical Garden of 1826 is another nice tourist attraction in Pondicherry. Take a few days to explore the town. Pondicherry hotels are well-known for their European allure in terms of decorations, architecture and hospitality. The town is simply a must-visit place.