A Walk through French Colony, Pondicherry

They say if you can’t go to Europe, go to Pondicherry instead!

As the lingering shadow of its European past follows you along its every street (or rue – as it is known here), the historical richness of Pondicherry comes to life. In its art & architecture.

So, come walk with me. A leisurely stroll through the streets of the French colony of Pondicherry.

Be transported in time and place to a laid back French town, get a feel of this town’s distinctive Franco-Tamil culture, discover yet another piece of urban art or a beautiful pastel building just around the corner.

Quirky Street Art of White Town, Pondicherry

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Colonial Architecture of French Colony, Pondicherry

Once an important port of call and a very prominent fortified town, as it changed hands, it was razed to ground and its ramparts flattened to what are today the tree lined boulevards of Pondicherry.

Laid out in a grid, the town is divided into the French and Tamil quarters by a storm water canal.

Both these quarters are so distinctive that you can tell which part of town you are in just from colour and style of the houses that go from classical European architecture to vernacular Tamil in a step. 

INTACH – The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage has been working with the Government of Pondicherry and its public to conserve and restore the unprotected architectural heritage and townscape of Pondicherry. Almost all of the heritage buildings you see today have been brought back to life by them.

Even the rocks to tame the sea on the famous promenade were by them.

They conduct heritage walks in the french colony of Pondicherry every morning and evening. This hour long walk ends on the promenade, making it the perfect way to to get to the beach just in time for a glorious sunset.

You could also explore this quaint little town via other Heritage Walks and Cycle Tours!

More on Pondicherry:
Pondicherry, Racist much?

Author: Neeharika Satyavada

Hi! I am Neeharika. An award winning photographer and travel writer based out of Hyderabad, India. I love telling stories of heritage, art, culture and off-the-grid travel. But, here on Map In My Pocket you will find more. From moody pictures to comprehensive travel guides; words and images enough to inspire you to travel and also be of help along the way. Thanks for coming along on this visual journey with me, I do hope you enjoy the ride. 🙂

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