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My walk in Pondicherry

by on November 13, 2007

We were told to rome in Pondicherry by foot as it is a small white town. I thought I would be able to see all the Parisian style street side cafes as charm of Pondicherry lies in the incredibility leisurely approach to life, food and commerce. My walk begin at the southern end of Goubert salai also known as Beach Road or French Quarter took me past most of the Pondicherry sights like Place de la Republique where Ghandhiji statue has replaced dupleix’s, the lighthouse, the French War Memorial, the statue of Joan of Arcpondicherry-church.jpg, the Church of our Lady of the Angels, the Pondicherry museum and the Government gardens. In the Tamil Quarter the sights included Sacred Heart Cathedral on south Bolevard and the Manakkula Vinayakar Temple behind the Raj Niwas. My guided heritage walk was organized by Intach was approximately for 4 hours and it cost me only Rs 650. Also they were offering a guided heritage tour on cycle which is the popular mode of transport here but we prefer to walk as we wanted to enjoy the nature, weather, the leisurely life everything.

The Aurbindo Ashram pondicherry-auroville.jpgis the most enduring legacy of the French where they believe in the Mother. The building of ashram is on the rue de la Marine, where I visited the samadhis of Aurbindo and the Mother; I also bought 2 books from the Publications department. The Matrimandir at ashram has a golden dome on the top and little path made in red sandstone.

Then there are 3 of the town’s 17-18th centaury churches which according to me were outstanding. On Rue Dumas is the Church of t he Capuchins, also known as Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, modeled on the Basilica in Lourdes. The next was the Church of our Lady of Immaculate Conception on Mission street and the loveliest to me was the Sacred Heart Cathedral on South Bolevard with its finest stained glass panels.

The Pondicherry Museum has huge rooms, high ceilings and wide windows which is worth a visit. It displays Cholas bronze, beads and coins from the Roman era excavations at Arikamedu, old Pondicherrian vehicles like pousse pousse and artifacts from Dupleix’s time.

I also went to the Cluny embroidery centre which was opposite to my hotel de L’Orient at 46, Rue Romain Rolland is the missionary outfit that provides vocational training to local women who sit in a beautiful mansion and turn out exquisite embroidery.

Well as shopping goes I preferred to enjoy it in night. Shopping in Pondicherry is excellent for pottery, handmade paper products, candles, incense sticks. The jams and pickles made in La boutique d’ auroville was advised by the pondicherry-market.jpghotel Manager to purchase. I bought many of them for my friends and family. Well Pondicherry is full of French culture but the French quarter is amazingly pretty the beautiful artistic buildings the culture the markets I wish I could visit again and rome in the late evenings on a cycle and enjoy the ride.

Find Driving directions from Chennai to Pondicherry here

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3 Comments
  1. http://www.toutpondi.com is a web portal dedicated to Pondicherry.

  2. Idetrorce permalink

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

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