- Tour Packages
Tree-lined streets, colonial villas, a seaside promenade and a host of chic boutiques – Pondicherry is an eclectic mix of its rich, colonial heritage, and a modern, vibrant present. This former stronghold for French India is divided into two quarters – the French quarter is called La Ville Blanche and the Indian section is La Ville Noire. There are village-styled houses and block apartments that are painted in bright yellow pastels, and then there are houses built according to Tamil sensibilities.
The town offers a unique opportunity to visitors who wish to travel back in time. A stroll along the shaded lanes of its quarters will lead you to some of the more beautiful French villas, with long compounds and walls full of bougainvilleas. Some of these old mansions have been converted to courtyard cafes and boutiques. Most streets have retained their French names. The other part of Pondicherry, the Tamil quarter, is characterized by music, bright flowers and piping-hot filter coffee and dosas. The colourful mayhem of every day life in this area, sits in stark contrast to the quiet charm of the colonial homes, but is equally difficult to tear away from .
The best way to explore Pondicherry is on a bicycle or a scooter. The heat and humidity can be intolerable at times, but once the sun sets, the sea breeze acts like a balm and washes away the tiredness of the day.
Where to stay
The Red Lotus is a boutique guest house situated in the center of Pondicherry’s heritage town. This old-merchant house in Vietnamese style, with its bright red doors and windows, is run by a charming German couple, Daniela and Chris. The location of this hotel manages to immediately transport visitors from the hustle into tranquility. Rooms are tastefully done, and the rooftop cafe serves some of the most scrumptious French breakfast. What’s even better is that Daniela and Chris source all their organic products from nearby Auroville. This guest house gives you all the feel of a five-star hotel, without making a dent to your budgets.