Puducherry is a quaint little town with remnants of its rich French colonial past. Formerly known as Pondicherry and fondly called Pondy by localities and tourist alike, this place is a perfect gateway for anyone who wants to go away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The town is quite well kept and has interesting cobbled streets lined with mustard yellow colonial houses in an organized manner. Hire a scooty or a cycle and you can roam around on the streets even in the middle of night. This tourist town comes alive even at odd times of the day.
The old part of the town is a relic of the French, while the new part of the town is more South Indian.
Puducherry was occupied by the French until 1954, and you can still find people here who can speak French.
Tourists and visitors can soak in the French culture; they can explore the faded colonial villas juxtaposed with the new age modern style of developing India.
The most famous landmark of the town is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It has devotees and disciples pouring in not only from India, but from all over the world. Do visit the ashram of Auroville where one can explore the ideas and philosophies of Sri Aurobindo.
Tourists can also go for shopping and enjoy certain French food like steak with tax free beer.
If the visitor likes to truly soak in the atmosphere of Pondy, they can join various Yoga and meditation classes.
The town of Puducherry is divided from the north to the south by a partially covered canal. The French part of the town is on the East side (towards the sea).
The majority of citizens in Pondy speak Tamil, Telugu, and/or Malayalam. There is a strong community of French people in Pondicherry and a number of French institutions such as the consulate, the French Institute, and L’Alliance Française.
One can visit this place throughout the year, though Indian winters are the best time to visit.
The climate is mostly tropical. If you are currently visiting surrounding places like Hyderabad or Chennai, you can consider planning a 3-day trip to Pondicherry.