"Pondicherry, the French capital of India, is a destination that offers serenity and sanctity in its true sense. The city is calm and its urban architecture, depicting the French style, attracts people from all over the world"
Pondicherry (also known as "Pondy", and now officially called Puducherry), is a city and capital of the Pondicherry union territory of Southern India. Though very small, Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India.
History and Culture
The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. Pondicherry was a French colony till 1954. Therefore, this city is more like a miniature version of France in India. It gives out colonial, bohemian and serene vibes through its French civilisations. The houses are built in straight lines and are draped with Bougainvillea. The streets are extremely clean and lined with trees.
The people also follow French cultures and talk in French, either with an English accent or a South Indian accent. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. Hotels, restaurants and ‘lifestyle’ shops sell a seductive vision of the French-subcontinental aesthetic, enhanced by Gallic creative types and Indian artists and designers.
Puducherry has been built by following an excellent town planning idea. The place is better known as White Town.
There are a number of statues established on the Promenade Beach, which fringes White Town. The most important statue here is that of Mahatama Gandhi. Hence, the beach is also called Mahatma Gandhi Beach.
Opposite the statuette of Mahatama Gandhi is a French War Memorial, which was built to commemorate the French soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. On every July 14, a ceremony to remember the sacrifice of French martyrs is held here.
There is a Sacred Heart Catholic Church in White Town, where mass service is held in English and Tamil language. Built in 1902, this Church can accommodate 2000 people at a time.
There is also an ancient Ganesh Temple, which is believed to be present before French started to visit Puducherry. At this temple an elephant takes coin from the hands of the devotees and bless them.
Amongst all the three seasons, winter is the ideal time to visit Pondicherry and witness it in all its glory. Pondicherry is best visited during the months of October to March as the temperature is more pleasant.
- October - March