Pondicherry Heritage Walk – Walk on the French Heritage
Pondicherry (Now also called “Puducherry’) is an erstwhile French Colony at 160 kms South of Chennai and now a renowned beach and heritage getaway. A walk around heritage bylanes could be an endearing experience for an experiential traveler.
The buildings in French section of Pondicherry are a legacy of French history in India. The French Heritage walk takes you through streets that are laid out in a well-planned grid pattern. The buildings in the French section are easily recognizable by their ornate gateways arches, garden courtyards with multicoloured bougainvilleas and the buildings themselves painted in pleasant hues of lime and peach.
Places that could be covered
* Department of Tourism - Tourist Information Centre (starting point)
* Hotel de Vile - The building housed the town hall during the French administration.
* French War Memorial
* Gandhi Statue - The statue of Mahatma Gandhi surrounded by eight carved pillars
* Old Light House - built in 1836 A.D
* Nehru Statue
* Romain Rolland Library
* Museum : Interesting collections including some charming colonial furniture.
* Raj Nivas The Lieutenant Governor’s residence.
* Cercle de puducherry - A members only club, a throw back from the French times.
* Aayi Mandapam - A memorial built by French to an Indian Temple dancer who lived
* Puducherry Art Gallery
* Notre Dames des Anges The Church is built in the Greco-Roman style in 1855 A.D
* Joan of Arc Statue
* Church of Capuchians - One of the few buildings that survived the British raid in 1761
* Le Grand Hotel d Europe - The 1891 A.D building housed of the oldest hostelries
* Hotel Lagrenee de Meziere - This is now home to the sisters of Cluny Convent.
* Hotel de L’ Orient - Tastefully renovated heritage hotel.
* Alliance Francaise - Learn a little French while in puducherry.
* Ashram Theatre
* Dupliex statue - A tribute to one of the most successful French governors in India.
* Ecole Francaise d’ Extreme Orient - Visit the institute for information on courses on Indology, History or Architecture.
Starting and Ending Point - PondicherryTourist Information Centre
Distance covered – 2 kms
Approximate time taken – 1.5 hours
Seasonality – October To March