Puducherry, earlier known as Pondicherry, a very popular destination among tourists from India and abroad, has been touted as the French Riviera of the East.
Described as one of the most beautiful cities in India, it has been visited by people from all over the world for its extraordinary charm. This well planned city has a French influence that attracts tourists.
History of Puducherry :
The original name is Puducherry, but the French interpreted it as Pondicherry. The name signifies a new settlement or a new town.
It is also proved that Romans visited the place around 1st century AD. At the beginning of the 4th century AD, the Pallava kingdom ruled for a short period followed by different southern dynasties like the Cholas, Pandyas and later by Vijaynagar and after them the Sultanate of Maudrai. In 1674, the French governor named Francois Marin transformed this small fishing village into a grand port town.
Puducherry first became famous when the French took an interest in this city. Although many wars took place between the English and the French, the French managed to retain power in Puducherry. Around the 18th century, the town grew considerably.
Geography of Puducherry
The total area of the union territory is 479 square kilometers and it comprises four small unconnected districts – Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. Mahe lies in the Arabian Sea while the other three districts lie in the Bay of Bengal. The largest sections are Puducherry and Karaikal which are enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Mahe and Yanam are enclaves of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh respectively. Puducherry district comprise an area of 293 square kilometers, Karaikal 160 square kilometer, Yanam 30 square kilometers and Mahe 9 square kilometers.
Puducherry district is situated about 180 km south of Chennai on the east coast of India. Karaikal lies about 150 km from Puducherry on the east coast. Yanam also lies on the east coast near Andhra Pradesh. Mahe is situated on the Western Ghats near Kerala.
Climate of Puducherry
This place lies close to the sea, which is why the climate here is warm and humid. The summer season experiences a rise in temperature that rises up to 38 degrees. In the winter, the temperature is pleasant. The winter season begins in November and the temperature never falls below 20 degrees. The North West monsoon wets this land from July to August and again from November to January. The summer season begins from March to July. The winters come along with the monsoon season. Tourists are advised to visit the place between the months of December and March.
Society and Culture
Puducherry has a mixed culture. It has several cultures brought together to make it blend into one. Puducherry is a typical Dravidian place where you will find a majority of people to be Dravidian. In spite of its French culture and character, the place is truly Indian. Although the original people are from of Tamil origin, the district is comprised of people from various Indian state and foreign countries. You can experience the French culture even after decades of independence from French. It comprises a multi-national culture and is cosmopolitan in nature. Exposure to different cultures has converted this small place into a very attractive multi-cultural city that has very distinct characteristics. The crafts that you see here are traditional and the famous handicrafts that you can buy here is the Puducherry bommai.
The food here is simply delicious. The taste is truly international with a hint of local touch. The French cuisine blends well with the local cuisines providing a totally exotic food flavour. Here, you will find very nice restaurants that specialize in food that are very popular here along with Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil cuisines as well. But what clackamas high shows is that such a building can be constructed within normal budget constraints a