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The French Riviera of the East
Officially known as Puducherry and locally known as Pondy, Pondicherry is one of India’s 8 Union Territories. A unique amalgamation of French as well as South Indian culture, Pondicherry is an easy best of both worlds experience. Pondicherry is popularly known for its impeccable cleanliness but listed below are some other reasons for someone to visit this place.
Clear Pristine Beaches
Pondicherry offers the best beaches for its visitors to relax and unwind. The coastal charm of Pondicherry will blow your mind. You simply absorb yourself in the beauty of Quiet Beach and Reppo Beach, go backwater boating at Paradise Beach, enjoy warming sunrise and sunsets at Veerampattinam Beach and Rock beach, take a stroll along the Promenade Beach, sunbathe and enjoy seafood delicacies around the Serenity Beach or go bird-watching and try water sports at Plage Paradiso Beach. Whatever your mood, Pondicherry has a beach for you. Beaches here are quite clean and offer a wide range of seafood for one taste.
As you walk around the White Town of Pondicherry, you’ll be transported to the times when the French colonized this beautiful town. Streets lined with mustard yellow and white painted houses and every street indication followed with French translation as ‘Rue’ is enough to make you realize that the French have a real impact on the lifestyle and culture of Pondicherry. Every corner you turn, you’ll find a cafe here and they serve some authentic French cuisine and beverages. There are a few tourist spots as well in this small town that is within walking distance. One can visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram that houses the remains of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Spiritual Mother). Or you can visit the Pondicherry Museum or the Pondicherry French War Memorial if you’re really interested in history. Or take a leisurely walk around Promenade beach or read books in the Romain Rolland Library. White Town offers quite a number of stops for a small town.
India maintained trade relations with many western countries. Arikamedu, an architectural site located in the Puducherry district, on the banks of the Ariyankuppam river sheds light on the booming trade between the sub-continent and the Romans. Excavations uncover that the two regions engaged in the trade of items many such as shells, beads and pottery from the 2nd century BCE to the 8th century CE. As you enter the heritage site you’ll witness walls and columns standing as relics to the glorious period of Indo-Roman trade. Though this once eminent city now stands in ruins, the place still has a tranquil charm associated with it. Located deep inside the jungle now, reaching this place is a task in itself. For the ones who embark on this journey without knowing about its whereabouts and history, this piece of past presents itself as an unsolvable riddle. This city was once known as ‘the mother of all bead centres, because of the amazing beadwork manufactured in the area. Arikamedu literally translates to ‘Eroding Mount’. This piece of history will definitely teleport you to the times when this was a flourishing city.
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