Pondicherry is the union territory of India situated on the Coromandel Coast at a distance of 160 km from the south coast of Chennai. The official name was changed from Pondicherry to Puducherry in September 2006. Puducherry in Tamil means ‘new village’. This territory includes four districts which are Puducherry, Yanam, Karaikal and Mahe.
Pondicherry was ruled by the French for nearly 300 years starting from 1673 till 1954. Pondicherry was once the largest French colony in India. The impressions of French culture can still be found in this city. The infrastructure of this city is similar to that of the French. This town was divided into two parts, one is the French quarter and the other one is Indian quarter. But the streets have retained their French names in Pondicherry. As far as culture is concerned, one can find combination of various cultures in this city. People follow different religions like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Languages spoken by people in this city are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and French as well.
Pondicherry has become one of the famous tourist spots in India. There are a handful of places for tourists to visit here. Pondicherry museum, the Beach, Aurobindo Ashram, Boat house, Botanical garden, the Library, Textile mills are some of the best tourist spots. Tourists will be delighted to shop in this city as it is supposed to be the Shoppers Island. The city has exclusive boutiques with apparels, candles, and fine silk which are unique to Pondicherry. Leather products, furniture, silk saris, handmade crafts and glassware are the other shopping attractions for tourists.
Traveling to Pondicherry is like traveling to France especially when it comes to food. Smallest of shacks serve delicious food. The up market restaurants offer you authentic French cuisine which is a delight not only for Indians but also tourists from abroad. Options are many, however naming a few which are worth visiting. Rendezvous Café, Le Club, Satsanga, Carte Blanche and Hot breads top the list. Many hotels in Pondicherry offer a flavor of the French colonial past such as the Calve, Le Dupleix while one can savor the beauty of the Aurobindo ashram by staying at the Aurodhan guest houses.
In order to improve the development and growth, the city is now targeting more on industries than agriculture. There has been a significant progress in establishment of large, medium and small scale industries in Pondicherry. With its rich past, beautiful colonial architecture and upcoming modernism, Pondicherry remains a must see for people in India and abroad.