Settled in the early 18th century by the French, Pondicherry, on the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu, has a Gallic flavour. Relinquished by the French in 1954, the town became the headquarters of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, administering three other former French enclaves scattered across South India. Its sandy shores and quaint streets give the area an undeniable charm that pervades every corner of the town.Read More
Many streets still possess their Gallic names and those near the seafront are dotted with rows of houses that wouldn’t look out of place in Montpellier. Red Parisian style kepis (caps) are worn by the local constabulary, bake houses produce croissants and restaurants churn out quality Gallic-inspired cuisine. The town’s seaside promenade is a good place to stroll and people watch. The Hotel de Ville, which today houses municipal offices is impressive as are the Gandhi memorial and Government Place – a leafy provincial-style square and Raj Nivas, former home of Dupleix.
A short distance away on Rue de la Marine is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Established in 1926 by the Bengali philosopher-guru, Aurobindo Ghosh (1872 – 1950), spiritual authority was subsequently passed to a foreign devotee known as ‘The Mother’ who died in 1973. Many travellers come to Pondicherry to visit the popular ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science, and to view Samadhi, or the mausoleum of Sri Aurobindo and ‘The Mother’.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Pondicherry
If you are planning a Pondicherry holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
La Maison Tamoule Pondicherry
Originally belonging to a traditional Chettiar Family, this bungalow blends French architectural style with Tamil heritage living. Rooms are comfortable and colourful thanks to the beautiful fabrics used to decorate the bed and other furniture. There is a breakfast buffet on offer every morning and lunch and dinner are served at the restaurant. Typical choices include various Indian and continental dishes. It has been meticulously renovated to reflect its glorious past. The hotel is close to the centre of town.
Sunway GRT Grand Hotel Pondicherry
Sunway GRT Grand is a beautiful hotel with exquisitely manicured lawns and a dazzling pool situated within its grounds. Rooms are luxurious, bright and spacious, with full length windows and a neutral colour scheme designed to create a peaceful ambiance, conducive to a good night's sleep. A breakfast buffet is included and gives guests the chance to energise before starting the day. Lunch and dinner can be eaten in one of the 2 restaurants, which serve dishes from India, China and Italy. The hotel is 2 km from the Railway Station and Bus Stand.
Pondicherry Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Pondicherry.