Pottering in Pondi
Pondicherry Travel Blog› entry 6 of 22 › view all entries
We took a taxi the 100km from Mamallapuram to Pondicherry, now officially Puducherry, but universally called Pondi. We followed the coast on a good road through lush vegetation, small villages, rice paddies, lagoons with a few fishermen throwing nets, and huge salt pans. Pondi was French until 1954. Some public buildings are still labelled in French - Hotel de Ville, Travaux Publics, and there's a huge memorial to "Les combattants des Indes Francaises morts pour la patrie, 1914-18" In the south east of the town, streets are named in French as well at Tamil. The heritage trail takes you along wide clean tree-lined roads flanked by early 20th century villas. It's not India as we've known it so far, but has a vague similarity to southern small town France. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and the huge Sacred Heart Church are well kept.
So Pondi certainly attracts because of its curiosity value. And it is an attractive relaxing place to stay before attacking the temple trail in Tanjore, Trichy and Madurai. They're next.