Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry and fondly called as Pondy) is a city and capital of the Pondicherry union territory of Southern India. It comprises of four exclaves, namely Pondicherry (now Puducherry), Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. Puducherry and Karaikal are enclosed by the state of Tamil Nadu on the East Coast, Yanam is enclosed by the state of Andhra Pradesh,and Mahe enclosed by the state of Kerala on the West Coast.


Though tiny in geographical size, Puducherry was the largest French colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war (ruled by French from 1673 to 1954).It was in 2006 that the name Pondicherry was changed to Puducherry, which means ‘New Village’ in the local language.


There is a strong French influence on the architecture of the city, especially in the old quarter (French Quarter), with Rules and Boulevards lined with French style house, bakeries and cafes. Newer Pondicherry is typically South Indian and known as Indian Quarter. Puducherry is very much a city with a dual personality: crossing the central canal from the east to the west reveals two different cities with distinct character.  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 and Indian artists and designers. Pondicherry is also known as The French Riviera of the East (La Côte d’Azur de l’Est).

Puducherry draws attention to pristine beaches, respected Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Hindu temples, and French style Churches, museums, and palaces.


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