Pondicherry is one of the seven union territories of India and has been renamed as Puducherry. It is often known as ‘Pondy’. It used to be the headquarters of the French East India company and even today has a great deal of French influence. Right from the colonial styled villas in French Quarters to the French War memorial, from the posh cafes to famous churches, one can find a lot of French impact.
One will be surprised at the variety of cuisines available in this small coastal town. There are numerous restaurants serving international cuisines from French to Mexican, Italian, Thai and Chinese. Several bakeries with their popular English and French specialties are a favorite among European visitors.
What to See
One of the major attractions of Pondy is the Promenade which is similar to the Marine drives in the country. It is a pavement along the sea shore which is often crowded by locals and tourists alike. There are several cafes nearby and one can also spot street vendors in evening selling everything from snacks to balloons and toys. There is a big statue of the famous Indian freedom fighter – Gandhi Ji. The beach is rocky though and there is no sandy beach at the Promenade.
Besides the Promenade, Pondicherry has recently been famous for its huge facility known as ‘Auroville Ashram’. It is more of a township which has been built on a foundation that all people from across the world can live here in harmony and peace without any discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, creed or color.
The Promenade also houses some beautiful colonial style properties converted into hotels. While one may not find high rises and multinational hotel chains here, one can still be delighted with the experience and views that these small boutique hotels have to offer.
Best Time to visit
Like most cities in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry also sees quite hot climate throughout the year with December and January being the coolest months. It is best to visit this city during the winter season so as to explore the city in comfort without worrying about rising temperatures, that cross forty degrees Celsius during the summer season.