Shady streets dotted with colorful, colonial-era buildings boasting of splendid architecture, adorn this erstwhile French colony of Pondicherry or Pondy. Also known as Puducherry, it is a Union Territory town which shares its boundary with Tamil Nadu state.
The time between October and March is known to be the best time to visit Pondicherry city.
Currency: Indian Rupees
Official languages: Tamil, English, Malayalam, Telugu
In 1674 the French East India Company set up a trading centre at Pondicherry. This outpost eventually became the chief French settlement in India. The Dutch captured Puducherry in 1693 but returned it to France by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1699. The French acquired Mahe in the 1720s, Yanam in 1731, and Karaikal in 1738. The City of Puducherry on the southeast coast of India does not have a recorded history from antiquity. Puducherry has history recorded only after the advent of the colonial powers such as the Dutch, Portuguese, English and the French.
People of Pondicherry are literate and are aware towards education. The behavior of the people of Pondicherry is quite sophisticated and cheerful. Top of the all, many people of Pondicherry has the citizenship of both – India and France. Pondicherry is a former French colony located on the south-eastern coastline of India and is known for its rich heritage and culture, along with providing a soothing coastal experience for the tourists. Pondicherry is the only diving spot on the eastern coast of India and attracts a large number of tourists every year.
A part of the city is historically preserved by the name of heritage town or French Quarters. It has buildings and houses lined in quiet and shady streets that date back to the French Colonial era. An array of vibrantly colored buildings adorns the streets of this town. This area used to be known as the white town. This is where the vibe of the city lies. The architecture of the entire town is a breath of fresh air. This part of the city is very contrastingly different from the other side of the city. The other part being bustling with shops, traffic, and crowd.
The Pondicherry lies on 11m above sea level Pondicherry has a tropical climate. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Aw. The average annual temperature is 28.3 °C | 82.9 °F in Pondicherry. About 1171 mm | 46.1 inch of precipitation falls annually.
In the summer season, max temperature goes to 42° Celsius while during winter season temperature drops to minimum of 17° Celsius. The average temperature in the monsoon season ranges between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
Citizens of most countries, including the United States, need a visa to visit India which should be arranged in advance. Full details can be found at The Government of India website (http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/). Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan do not need a visa, while some nationalities may get them upon arrival.
Pondy's flat streets are great for getting around by foot. Autorickshaws are plentiful, but drivers often quote absurdly high rates, so prepare to haggle before you get in. A trip from the bus stand to the French Quarter costs ₹100. From Pondy to Auroville costs ₹300. A good way to explore Pondy and Auroville is by rented bicycle or motorbike from outlets on northern Mission St, between Nehru and Vysial Sts.
Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:
Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)
We recommend avoiding packing any plastic bags in your luggage before flying to Kenya. You should also remove any items purchased at departure airports from their bags before boarding. Double check your luggage before disembarking in Kenya and leave any plastic bags on the plane.
Wear cotton clothes – it’s usually hot in Pondicherry!
Don’t make your itinerary very hectic. Leave some time to relax and explore.
French quarters is the best part of town, with colonial architecture streets, cafes and restaurants.
Bicycle or a motorbike is the best mode of transport for moving around and exploring in Pondicherry.
If you want to spend most of your time exploring Auroville and see its way of life the better stay in Auroville which offers various stay options.
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