The Occidental Tourist

'Imagination governs the world', Napoleon once said. ‘We are born, we live and we die in the midst of the marvellous’  Now, it’s probably something to do with the Gallic way of seeing things, but he could have been describing Pondicherry exactly.

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Here  is a place balanced beautifully at the intersection of two imaginings. If the streets ,with their neat plaster bungalows and flower-decked balconies  speak the patois of Colonial France, then the air, salt-laced and fragrant with spice, unmistakably places you on 
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the Coromandel coast of India. The street signs speak several languages fluently. Historic  buildings jostle  against charming sidewalk cafes. Trendy boutiques stand next to sari shops. And swish design studios share space with bangle sellers, temples and  bustling markets.

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It is these rich contrasts that we studied, absorbed, then blended into Palais de Mahe. Like Pondicherry, our architecture is  faithful to a historic age. But, also like Pondicherry, the experience is laden with surprising modern twists and rich  flavours.

Light of other days

The soaring colonnades of the hotel are reminiscent of the high French Colonial period. The cheery yellow-and-white plastering is  a recurring theme in many of Pondicherry's public buildings.  Massive doors open into high-ceilinged rooms. Planters and lounge chairs complete the picture. This is relaxation like they don't make it any more.

A picture- perfect location

A short, extremely pleasant  walk due North would bring you to the city’s main square (pictured), surrounded by fine public buildings and gardens.


Head west about the same distance, and you’ll find yourself in Mission Street, the bustling shopping district. 


Best of all, Palais de Mahe is  just footsteps away from the famed Promenade, far enough to keep the noise at bay, near enough to stroll over in flip-flops.

Vignettes of Palais de Mahe

A dappled alcove, a reviving cooler

A dappled alcove, a reviving cooler

That glowing coastal light draws its share of photo enthusiasts

That glowing coastal light draws its share of photo enthusiasts

We believe that a period touch should be just that-a touch

We believe that a period touch should be just that-a touch


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Did You Know
 
The earliest recorded history of Puducherry can be traced back to the 2nd century. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a marketplace named Poduke. 
Did You Know

The State Animal of Pondicherry is as charming as the place itself. It is the common but  beautiful little squirrel.

Other CGH Experiences Nearby

MAISON PERUMAL. A slice of Tamil life in Pondicherry's old quarter >
SPICE VILLAGE. Mists, water, wildlife and adventure on the Periyar River >
VISALAM. In the secret land of Chettinad, a father's legacy to his daughter >