The Puducherry (part of union Territory of Pondicherry) is the erstwhile French town in heart of Tamil Nadu between heritage sites of Mahabalipuram and Thnajavur. Puducherry’s greatest asset is its Franco-Tamil heritage and its experiential character. History of Puducherry goes back to 1674 when The French made their base and remained till 1954. French is still an official language here and widely spoken and Puducherry even today attract French travellers arriving for a long stay during harsh winters in France. The allure of Puducherry is the seamless amalgamation of the French and Tamil quarters, the mix of the elite and the common and where the quiet seamlessly meets the chaos.
The charming sea-front town’s old quarter is pronouncedly French and is the main heritage zone, is the quieter part, best explored on foot or by rickshaw. The sorbet-hued walls, the bougainvillea-draped porticoes, the beautifully arched windows and doorways, clean and tranquil streets, and elegant colonial-style bungalows and buildings with their gloriously worked facades and frontages. The area has several small, quaint heritage hotels, and some excellent restaurants, cafes, and bakeries.
The fascinating Tamil quarter has narrow streets, small family homes – with traditional verandahs, tiny doorways, street-level porches, colonnaded courtyards – all clustered around temples and busy (often chaotic) local markets.
Drawing visitors and followers from across the world, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in French Quarters was set up in 1926 by Aurobindo Ghosh (Sri Aurobindo), Indian nationalist and philosopher-poet. Around 14 km from Puducherry lies Auroville. The ‘universal city’ of Auroville was a township established in 1968 by The Mother (Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual partner) as a unqiue community of Global citizens. Auroville is home to many foreign expats who create and promote indigenous cottage industries.
Puducherry is among the few mainland destinations in India that offer scuba diving.
Holxo Tours in Pondicherry