Pondicherry or Puducherry was the largest French colony in India until 1954. Now it is a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. The city has an interesting history of trade and war.
There is a strong French influence in the city, the essence of France still pervades the place. Its French legacy can be observed in its old French Quarter, with tree-lined streets and mustard-colored colonial villas. Though the city remains very much Indian, French is still understood.
The whole city is a great mix of East and West. One can enjoy French architecture and restaurants serving steak and good wine as well rural lifestyle with South Indian delicacies like idly and dosa. One should definitely try mouthwatering seafoods, such as ‘prawn bajji’.
The best way to see Pondicherry and its surrounding areas is by renting out a “pedal cycle” or a “motorcycle” or “gearless scooter”. Within city, walking is great option to discover the place as many sights are within 2-3 kilometers of each other.
The Pondicherry Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has daily bus services for tourists and it covers all the important tourist spots in Pondicherry. It is the quick and pocket friendly way to tour this place.
After general sightseeings, there are local organizations which offer special interest tours to see Pondicherry in a different perspective. A wholesome experience is provided to the tourists, like walking tours (Tamil quarter & French quarter), Pondicherry rural experience, cuisine tours, cooking demo of Pondicherry old recipes, weaving workshops, hands on bamboo, sculpture art experience, puppet shows, handmade paper tours with workshop and much more.
One can also go fishing in a Catamaran or while away your evenings at the Rocky Beach. You can also hire mopeds and go on long drives.
Some must visit places are –
- Pondicherry Beach
- Rocky Beach
- The French Quarter
- Barathi Park / Government Park
- Botanical garden
- Chunnambar Boat House
- Manakula Vinayagar Temple
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram
- Auro Beach
- French war memorial
- Old light house
- The Pondicherry museum
There are many other exciting places to see. There are many other temples and mosques to visit. So go and come across with French heritage with Indian culture.