A city on the southeast coast of India also known as Puducherry shows the beauty of mini France in India. Near the Promenade beach is a white town area that has been constructed like the cities in France. Back in 1973, people from France started settling in Puducherry which is a union territory today. Just so that they feel at home they began building houses that looked like the French style of architecture. And in no time the city started looking like a mini France.
21 Facts About Pondicherry
1. Officially named Puducherry
This name came into being around 2006. Its premier name was Putuccerri. Where putu means ‘new ‘ in the Tamil language and Ceri means ‘village’. Like many other cities in India, this place also had a number of names like Pondy, Puducherry, and Pondicherry.
2. A church that can hold 2000 people
The Basilica sacred heart of Jesus is one such beautiful church that has this huge capacity. Its infrastructure has a spooky gothic look along with circular-shaped windows which show the life of Jesus and cast colorful light on the visitors. Only 3% of the population in the city follows Christianity yet you will find it to have a huge significance.
3. 70 lord Ganesha temples
These are as many as the number of McDs in the city of America. The locals state that there are 350 Hindu temples in Pondy.
4. Encounter an elephant
There aren’t many of these in Pondicherry, but there is this one temple that has an elephant visiting every day. The Manakula Vinayagar temple is devoted to Ganesha. One can find murals in his honor on the ceiling and many sculptures of him too.
5. 3rd largest Gandhi statue
You will be surprised to know that more than 70 countries in the world have statues of the great Mahatma Gandhi. The largest one is in Patna which stands 25 meters tall. The one in Pondy is erected in the middle of promenade beach which is about 13 feet tall. The statue is made by Roy Chaudhary.
6. Separate Independence Day
India celebrates Independence Day on 15th August but Pondicherry has its own special day on the 16th of August. Back in 1962, pondicherry was merged with the union territory. It was liberated from the French on 2nd November 1954. After which it took 9 years to merge in the territory of India. So they even celebrate November 1 as liberation day.
7. Quiet beaches
Near the Promenade beach in pondicherry there are signs of no honing. The road is closed for the bikers and walkers only before 9 am in the morning. So early in the morning, one can see tourists and locals doing exercises and walking on the beach with the mesmerizing sound of the waves and the breeze.
8. Scuba diving
Pondicherry offers certification in diving. The place has some colorful coral reefs and beautiful fishes too. One can spot eagle ray, Manta rays, sea snakes, triggerfish, bannerfish lionfish, kingfish, parrotfish, angelfish and a lot more.
9. Called the Paris of the south
Some of its popular nicknames are ‘Eourpe of India’, ‘India’s little France’, and ‘Paris of the South’.
10. Great coffee
People from the south of India are great coffee lovers. A few in the city would pick their own brand, grind them, and make their own cup of coffee as they like it. One can enjoy filter coffee here may be sweet, strong, milky, or as you like it. With a French touch in the place, one can have a sip of cappuccino, americano, cafe au lait, and much more in the restaurants.
11. Podikazhi Attam
It’s the traditional dance of Pondy. Here 8 to 15 Men are seen dancing in colorful costumes. They have certain movements and strike sticks with the rhythm of the music. While the women sing and play maddalam, Shruti, dholak, and drums.
12. Birthplace of M. Night Shyamalan
A well-known Hollywood director who has made movies like The Sixth Sense, The Village, and Signs. He is popular for the twist at the end of his films. He generally makes movies with supernatural elements.
13. ‘Pi’ from the life of pi
The very famous movie of a kid who got stuck on the boat with a Bengal tiger, where the protagonist Pi is actually from Pondicherry. And the director of the movie is M. Night Shyamalan.
14. Mentioned in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The prince Pondicherry who was from Indian royalty had commissioned Willy Wonka the Central character to build him a palace using chocolate.
15. Lowest alcohol taxes
Since it’s a beach City and people prefer alcohol the taxes on it are extremely low. The chief minister here has the liberty to make decisions that truly are beneficial for the place.
16. First experimental town
It’s the first town called ‘Auroville’ where people do not believe in religion and live harmoniously.
17. Late monsoon
While the entire nation experiences monsoon from June to September, pondicherry receives in October and November.
18. The botanical garden
This didn’t really start with the purpose of being a botanical garden at the very beginning. But it was supposed to be an experiment in 1826 to find out about all the crops that would grow in the region.
19. Masquerade festival
In this, the people come all dressed in elaborate costumes and colorful masks, and the restaurant serves amazing sweet delicacies and seafood.
20. A planned town
It’s extremely well-planned and is known as the white town.
21. French war memorial
The French memorial is exactly opposite to the Mahatma Gandhi statue. These two stand proudly right opposite each other.
Right from quiet beaches to thrilling scuba diving the city offers it all. An introvert or an extrovert, pondy has a space for both to enjoy their time and go back home with some good memories.
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