Pondicherry: A Taste of French Culture and Cuisine in India
Pondicherry has an unusual, European atmosphere not repeated anywhere else in India. It was ruled as a French territory for 300 years, and today stands as a living monument to French culture in India. It was the site of many a decisive battle during the struggle to gain trading dominance between several European Imperial powers, remaining the capital of French India until independence was attained in 1947. Its chic streets, elegant colonial houses and ornamental gardens all date back to the 18th century and is one of the only places in India with French restaurants and cafes serving croissant! As well as a base for visiting Auroville, Pondicherry is also fast becoming a favourite shopping destination, and, with taxes almost non – existent, it offers excellent value. It is best known for its traditional doll making, textiles and silk weaving, as well as for leather, pottery, incense and handmade paper.