There's something about sleepy Puducherry or
Pondicherry that draws me to it over and over again!
For most people
one visit is enough to look around and soak in the atmosphere of this
laidback former French colony. For me, every visit only makes my heart
The beauty of Pondicherry lies in the
way it straddles two distinct cultures with ease.
Walking down the
streets, be prepared to be surprised as you hear native Tamilians
converse in French. Ask their names and expect to be even more surprised
because names like Brutus Vivek are not uncommon. It amazes me how French
and Tamilian cultures have come together and coexisted so well.
Sri Aurobindo ashram is probably the most visited piece of real estate in
the city. Years go by, but the ashram remains a place of universal
acceptance and abundant peace. A few minutes spent there will soothe your
nerves. Walk across to the Manakula Vinayagar Koil to visit the temple
dedicated to Lord Ganesha or just go there to see Lakshmi -- the
Both, the temple and ashram are located in the
French quarter of Pondicherry -- the part of town that
has magnificent French style villas, and where street names begin with
meaning street or road in French.
Magnificent doorways peeping out from under a curtain of bougainvillea
in full bloom welcome you instead of a regular gate. With imposing walls and long windows with grills, it's impossible to take a
As evening sets in, the
seaside promenade comes alive, crowded and full of vendors. I prefer a
walk by the sea in the mornings.
French cuisine is well known the
world over, but here, even that has been influenced by the local culture.
It's known as
Pondicherry for many reasons. Whatever it is that draws you to the city,
you will leave a calmer and rejuvenated person. There's something in
the air. It's hard to describe, but a pleasure to experience.