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Introducing Pondicherry

Best time to visit : October to March
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French heritage and Indian culture collectively makes Pondicherry an interesting tourist destination of Southeast India. The melting pot of diverse cultures, the city is located on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal and serves as the capital of the Union Territory Pondicherry. Tourist places range from beaches, backwaters and gardens to historic monuments, religious sites and colonial structures that cater to the holiday moods like beach holidays, history expeditions, cultural tours, heritage tours and religious journeys. Weekend tourism is another well-known aspect of the place among tourists from the nearby cities like Bangalore and Chennai. Worth mentioning is the fact that with right tourist information, one can have the best shopping and culinary experiences in the city.

Facts

Officially called Puducherry and affectionately called Pondy, the city owns rich history. Ruled by powerful dynasties including Pandyas, Pallavas, Cholas and Vijayanagar Empire, the city was also a bustling trade port for centuries. For being a French colony for nearly 300 years, the city today bears a colourful look attracting travellers from all over. Dubbed as ‘the Europe of India’ and also called ‘the French Riviera of the East’, the city has a cosmopolitan ambiance with mix of Mediterranean and South India architectures and often astonishes the visitors with its dual personality. Winters are pleasant in Pondicherry which experiences hot and humid climate throughout the year.

The dual character of Pondicherry is perfectly reflected by the cuisines offered at different restaurants. On one hand, you can enjoy the typical South Indian preparations like idli, sambhar and dosa. At the same time, French croissants, pastries and baguettes and many European cuisines are easily available. Fresh seafood and fried fish, along with Creole food are other popular choices. Indian Delights is a popular venue for the vegetarians, while Karai is a multi-cuisine restaurant. Sea Gulls, Blue Dragon and Rendezvous are other recommended places to eat at.

Shopping items in Pondicherry can be as diverse as handicrafts, silk fabrics, aromatic incense sticks and candles, pottery, stonework and woodwork. One is also tempted to buy food products like marmalades, pickles and jellies. Ceramic products, leather items, furniture, antiques, perfumes and decors extend the list further.

Nearby Places:
  • Thiruvakkarai (about 28 km.): A popular pilgrimage destination where Lord Shiva with three faces is worshipped. Apart from holy temples and ghats (river banks), the place is also famous for the National Fossil Park.
  • Alamparai Fort (about 52 km.): Overlooking the sea, this fort has outstanding old world charm and is also known for attractions like backwaters and picturesque beauty. 
  • Mamallapuram (about 99 km.): An extremely exciting UNESCO World Heritage Site known for rock cut temples, carved monolithic structures and chariot temples. 
  • Kanchipuram (about 128 km.): One of the 7 holiest Hindu cities, it is popular for its world-famous temples and silk saree weaving art.
  • Karaikal (about 131 km.): The place is popular for its beach, fort, Hindu temples and churches. 

     



     




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