Puducherry (or Pondicherry - its earlier name by which it is still known), is a union territory of India. It lies on the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with a part of it on the coast of the Bay of Bengal (Eastern side), and one part (Mahe) on Arabian sea (western side).
In the 19th century to early 20th century, the region was under the control of the French East India Company, and to this day, vestiges of the French colonial architecture and culture exist in most parts of this region, along with Tamil culture.
Puducherry was formed out of out of four territories that were part of the former French India:
The union territory is named after its largest district, i.e., Puducherry (Pondicherry until 2006). Puducherry is also referred to as “White Town” – especially some areas which have French colonies (where French people used to live).
Pondicherry is an attractive vacation spot with tropical beaches, and a colorful scene of Tamil traditions intermingled with French colonial architecture and culture.
Some things to do and places to see in Pondicherry are:
There are about 8.36 lakhs local people in Puducherry. Most people here speak Tamil. While English is widely understood, French is also understood by some people here.
Among religions, Christianity is predominant in Pondicherry, followed by Hinduism. The place has many churches and cathedrals along with temples and meditation retreats.
Many Christian and Hindu festivals are celebrated in Puducherry, like:
Pondicherry has an interesting shopping scene for people to indulge in some souvenir shopping. Some popular shopping spots in the region include:
The cuisine of Puducherry consists of a mix of dishes with French or Tamil influence.
Some must-try delicacies when in Puducherry and Auroville include:
Pondicherry offers a plethora of experiences for the adrenaline junnkies and adventure enthusiasts – especially water sports and activities. Some interesting things to try in Puducherry are:
Puducherry does have its own regional airport (Puducherry airport), but it is currently not functional for domestic passenger flights. So, the best way to reach Puducherry is to take a flight to Chennai International Airport first, and then take a bus or cab to Puducherry (this could take anywhere between an hour or two, but not more than that).