Puducherry

Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, is a town located on the Eastern seaboard of India. The major attractions are a coastline of 32 kms, beaches, backwaters, fishing villages, beach resorts, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the international city of Auroville, the French boulevard town with its French heritage, and so on. Puducherry lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. Tamil Nadu surrounds the Puducherry and Karaikal district whereas Yanam and Mahe district is surrounded by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively. It is the 29th most populated and 3rd densely populated state/union territory of India.

Tradition and Culture of Puducherry:

The people of Puducherry are mainly of Tamil origin but one can find here people from all over India as well as Europe. The French culture is still there even half a century after their departure. It is clearly visible in the architecture and culture of Pondicherry. Many of the locals born during French rule opted for French citizenship and continue to have close ties with France sending their children there for education etc. A direct consequence of the exposure to so much diversity has been a secular attitude that is characteristic of the native of Pondicherry. Pondicherry is known for its food. The French have an ancient culinary tradition that married with local cuisines to create what one writer calls a "mosaic of culinary integration". Pondicherry is the one place in India where one can buy bona fide French baguettes, brioches and pastries. Those apart, local restaurants specialise in good French food that is served up along side Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and Punjabi cuisines.

Puducherry is a mixture of French and Indian culture that can be seen in the form of various festivals and fairs that take place in this tiny, yet historic piece of land.
  • Thai Pongal
  • International Yoga Festival
  • Republic Day
  • Mascarade Festival (Mask Festival)
  • Maasi Magam
  • Villianur Temple Car Festival
  • Bastille Day
  • Sri Aurobindo's Birth Anniversary.
 

Must Visiting Places in Puducherry:

  • Shree Aurobindo Ashram: The Aurobindo Ashram , Auroville was set up in 1926, by Shree Aurobindo and The Mother, his most eminent disciple. Together they showed the people the possibilities of yoga and meditation as a path to salvation. At the Ashram residents continue to practice their teachings and run a lot of the cultural activity in Pondicherry. There is an educational centre, which occasionally hosts lectures, screens films and holds play performances.
  • Paradise Beach: Paradise Beach, also known as the Plage Paradiso, is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Enhanced with the golden sand, this famous and highly sought after beach is always influenced with cold sea breeze. As it is a little isolated beach, one has to take a ferry across the backwaters, to reach here which takes around 20-30 minutes.
  • Arikamedu: Arikamedu are the ruins which carried the remains of the Roman trade in India. Recent excavations have brought out wine jars and ancient roman coins hinting on the Roman links in the ancient history of Pondicherry.
  • Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple: Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is said to have been established almost 5 centuries ago. Situated behind the Raj Niwas, the sanctum is enshrined with a grand idol of Vinayaka called Vellakkaran Pillai.
  • Ousteri Wetland and National Park: Situated at a distance of 10 km from Pondicherry town a national park which is rich in flora and fauna. It is spread across an area of 3sq kms, and lies on the border of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu. One can see diverse variety of aqua-fauna and avi-fauna here. Apart from that, several distinct species of plants and trees call this place their home that also attracts a large number of migratory birds.
  • French War Memorial: French War Memorial is a stylish structure located in the Goubert Avenue and is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War.
  • Jawahar Toy Museum: An ideal place for kids, Jawahar Toy Museum is a well maintained place situated at the old light house building near Gandhi Maidan. The museum houses a wide range of dolls and toys collected from all over the country.
  • Pondicherry Museum: Located in the Bharathi Park, Pondicherry Museum houses a fantastic collection of sculptures. It has the remains of the archeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement.

Puducherry is known for its food. The French have an ancient culinary tradition that married with local cuisines to create what one writer calls a "mosaic of culinary integration". Pondicherry is the one place in India where one can buy bona fide French baguettes, brioches and pastries. Those apart, local restaurants specialise in good French food that is served up alongside Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and Punjabi cuisines.