Pondicherry , Chennai

   
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Although Pondicherry was subject to many European influences over the years it was the French, who purchased the town in the late 17th century, only relinquishing their hold in 1954 - who left the most enduring legacy. Today the remaining French ιlan, tempered by South Indian warmth, make it one of India's most charming and intriguing destinations with a unique atmosphere, not felt anywhere else in India. Its chic tree lined boulevards, elegant colonial houses and ornamental gardens all go back to the 18th century. The restaurants have a distinct French cuisine, coffee and croissants are served in the cafes and the policemen still wear very French Kepis. Pondy, as it is affectionately known, 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.

Besides enjoying the out in your antiques-filled colonial hotel or sauntering around the oceanfront French Quarter an interesting place to visit is Auroville, an interesting experiment in alternative living, also optimistically known as the City of Dawn, or join the New Age travelers here to visit the ashram of Sri Aurobindo.


Attractions:

Auroville: The Auroville project began in 1964, conceived by Sri Aurobindo's French-born disciple, Mirra Alfassa - "The Mother." She spoke of a place on earth that could not be claimed or owned by any nation, one where all humanity could live freely and in peace - a city that would ultimately become a living embodiment of human unity.

At its spiritual and physical heart is the futuristic spherical structure known as Matrimandir, a place dedicated to the universal mother - a symbolic space devoted to the "divine creatrix." An ongoing project, the structure is a flattened dome surrounded by gardens, an amphitheater covered with red Agra stone, and meditation rooms. The white marble chamber of the dome houses the "Inner Room," which contains a crystal that reflects the sun's rays and produces a concentrated light that is used for enhanced meditation.

Arikamedu: Arikamedu is one of the must visit places in Pondicherry. It is located on the banks of the Ariyankuppam River about 4 km from Pondicherry had been the trading centre of the Romans in the past. Archaeologists and students are seen often on a study tour or else in searching of any Roman coins, ceramics and other materials excavated here. Age old treasures of Romans were preserved in Pondicherry museum.


Access:

• By Air – The nearest airport is at Chennai (162kms)
• By Rail – Pondicherry (1km), Chennai (175kms)
• By Road – Chennai (162kms), Mahabalipuram (120kms), Trichy (198kms)

  For a suggestive Itinerary please email: info@luxeindia.in