The original name was Puducherry, but the French interpreted it as Pondicherry. The name signifies a new settlement or a new town. It is also proved that Romans visited the place around 1st century A.D. At the beginning of the 4th century AD, the Pallava kingdom ruled for a short period followed by different southern dynasties like the Cholas, Pandyas and later by Vijayanagar and after them the Sultanate of Maudrai. In 1674, the French Governor named Francois Marin transformed this small fishing village into a grand port town.
Pondicherry first became famous when the French took an interest in this city. Although many wars took place between the English and the French, the French managed to retain power in Pondicherry. Around the 18th century, the town grew considerably.
Puducherry was under French rule until 1954 and some people here still speak French (and English with French accents). Hotels, restaurants and ‘lifestyle’ shops sell a seductive vision of the French-subcontinental aesthetic, enhanced by Gallic creative types whose presence has in turn attracted Indian artists and designers. Thus Pondy’s vibe: less faded colonial ville, more a bohemian-chic, New Age–cum–Old World node on the international travel trail.
Part of the vibe stems from the presence of the internationally famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot just out of town, Auroville. These draw large numbers of spiritually minded visitors and are responsible for a lot of the creative artisanry.
Enjoy the shopping, the French food (hello steak!), the beer (goodbye Tamil Nadu alcohol taxes – Pondy is a Union Territory), the sea air and, if you like, some yoga and meditation.
This is a fun place to walk around, savour the beauty of the French architecture, cobbled streets, brightly painted French doors, French cuisine and plenty of good food, shopping and sunshine and of course the sunny beach and ta leisurely walk down the beach road.
Enjoy the pictures.
Keywords:Beachsunrise, Baker, Cobbledstreets, Frenchcolony, Phototravel, Pondicherry, Street, Streetphotography, Streetscenes.
Your pics of Pondicherry were beautifully composed and vibrant. I particularly liked the church, the kid, the croissant, the beach....In fact almost all pics were lovely !
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© Shankar Adisesh