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Puducherry

Puducherry (the official name was changed from Pondicherry in 2006) not only fascinates you, it makes you fall in love - with its colonial structures, seafront promenades, spiritual havens, tree-lined boulevards, unexplored and pristine beaches, and enchanting backwaters. It is also known for textiles, silk and traditional doll-making as well as high quality pottery, handmade paper, leather and aromatics. And of course, the never-to-be-forgotten French connection.

French is still popularly spoken and understood by residents from all walks of life. The Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Lycée Français, Alliance Française and various other schools are strictly French-medium, with Indian languages being taught as a second language. With this rather ubiquitous presence of all things French here, Puducherry is also known as “la Côte d'Azur de l'Est”, translating to the French Riviera of the East.

Pudducherry has also been one of the most recent filming locations for the "Real Marigold Hotel" series. 

Rich history, beaches, spiritual illumination – Puducherry has it all. But the one thing that leaves visitors wanting to never leave is its food. The food here is a quirky culmination of the spices of the South India and the culinary sensibilities of France, with a generous dose of Italian quirk thrown in. There are hundreds of restaurants in the city, ranging from chai stalls selling hot buns to luxury hotels that cook up a lavish spread for their guests.

Puducherry’s history is long and colourful. Some heritage structures date back to the 18th century, from the times when it was a French colony. The French connection is evident while taking a stroll in the old quarter, chiefly from the buildings that display a strong French architectural influence.

Though it is not a beach destination to the tune of Goa, Puducherry has some virgin, pristine and quiet beaches, which offer stunning views during sunrise and sunset

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