A little background – The Romans came to Pondicherry for trade in the 1st century AD. After that Pondicherry passed hands into many dynasties of Southern India before finally the first Europeans set foot on Pondy soil in 1497 in the form of the Portuguese who set up a trading post in the 1600s.
The Danes and the Dutch followed before the French period of Pondicherry began after a scuffle with the Danes. Pondicherry was thus established as a well planned and rich capital of French colonies in India and known as the French Riviera of the East. The French were the undisputed masters of this region for centuries and gave Pondichery a perfect fusion between French and Tamil cultures.
When the rest of India gained independence in 1947, Pondy still lay in French hands. Merger with India did not come till 1954 when the French ceded control although a formal treaty enforcing the cession was signed in as recent as in 1963.
There are still a large number of Tamil residents here who retain their French passports-descendants of locals who preferred to retain their French nationalities at the time of cessation.
What makes Puducherry more attractive is the fact that this town is drenched more with the French culture and so one can still see lots of it.
While name plates, signboards are in French……..
the front of the house has traditional ‘Kolam’ drawn as per Tamil culture daily.
Technorati tags:– Pondicherry