Dreamer of Empire

At one end of the promenade, The statue of Jean Francoise Dupleix still stands guard over the city he founded. The four parallel streets to the west comprise the heart of the unique French Quarter. It's charms are myriad and best explored on foot., with a guidemap that we'll be happy to supply you with.

Despite the passage of years, the area retains a distinctly Gallic flair, with a strong sense of aesthetics evident everywhere,. The many restaurants and bistros reflect the French love for food and wine. And the profusion of flower boxes would not be out of place in Arles or Brittany.

Some of the sights worth seeing are the Aurobindo Ashram, the Alliance Francais,  and the fine public park near Government House.

Another walking expedition could cover the Mission Street shops and the Ganesha temple beyond Goverment House, with its resident Blessing Elephant..
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Pondicherry Vignettes

A spray of bougainvillea on a side-street

A spray of bougainvillea on a side-street

Students from the Aurobindo Ashram cycle home

Students from the Aurobindo Ashram cycle home

Policemen in red Kepi caps. Not a common sight in India

Policemen in red Kepi caps. Not a common sight in India

Spiced-up shopping

Pondicherry's main shopping areas are M.G. Road with it's famous Sunday market , Nehru Street and and Mission Street, all comfortably close to the hotel. Here you'll find  everything from filigree to fashion to furniture, and Pondicherry's popular candles and incense too.

For an unusual experience, don't miss the Goubert Market, a rabbit warren of shops, spilliing-over cubby holes and groaning handcarts, all  under  blue tarpaulin roofs, with the old clock tower brooding above. It's a riot of colour, sound, smell and taste. In fact, if there were any other senses, the Big Market would definitely impact on them too!

Inner Glow

Just in from the shoreline is one of the city's best-known churches, Eglise des Notre Dame des Anges, or Our Lady of the Angels. it's twin towers,  large cupola and  distinctive pale pink exteriors make it a Pondicherry landmark, visible for miles.

The interiors are a haven of peace,  with a rich and ornate style and  beautiful baroque renderings, quite in contrast to the simple facade .
Festivals
 
Some of the important festivals celebrated in Pondicherry include Pongal, Masimagam Festival and the Villianur Temple car festival, with its colourful chariot and singing, dancing processions. (ask at the desk for dates, since they vary)
And can we forget Bastille Day? It’s celebrated with pageantry, pomp and colour on July 14.
Did You Know?

The harbour, jetty, zoo and a number of other locations seen in Ang Lee's award winning film ' Life of Pi' are a short walk from the hotel.

Soldier's Stories

The French tricolour may have passed from most of the town's rooftops, but it still flies proud over the Foyer du Soldat, an institute for Pondicherry citizens who fought under the French flag . The wars themselves are long forgotten now, but here, the memories live on and the old tales are told and retold.