Pondicherry, a name that many might not have heard but a very popular destination among tourists from India and abroad as well, has been touted as the French Riviera of the East.
Pondicherry is 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.
Pondicherry has a special ambience and charm unlike any other city in India. Once a French colony, it is now a Union Territory of India that lies 160km away from Chennai (Madras) along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Location of Pondicherry
Pondicherry is located near by the state of Tamil Nadu on the South-East coast of India.The city of Pondicherry is the Capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Pondicherry is officially known as Puducherry today. The city is also referred and spelled in many different ways such as Pondichery, Pondichéry, Pondy and Pondi.
Languages in Pondicherry
Main languages spoken in the region are Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and English. French is still spoken by a considerable number of people because of the colonial past and the rising number of expatriates from France, French businessmen and new settlers.
Demography of Pondicherry
Known as the French Riviera of the East, Pondicherry is unique for its number of influences that have shaped its culture. The French were present for centuries, but the Danes, the English, the Portuguese and the Dutch have all stopped by, giving rise to a heady mix of European flavours allied with the local Tamil culture.
Pondicherry is one of the few cities in India planned in the model of a chessboard (streets parallel to one another). The city is divided in two parts by the Canal which separates the French Quarter-White Town (in East) from the rest of the city (in West). The West Part consists of the Muslim Quarter in the South, the Tamil Quarter in the North and the Catholic Quarter in the Middle.