India’s French Colony : Pondicherry, A Photo Story

Almost two hundred years of French occupation have resulted in a distinct beautification of Pondicherry. The White Town area of Pondicherry is also known as the French Quarter and one could not be at fault if one thought of being in Montpellier or Bordeaux. Many of these structures in the French Quarter of Pondicherry are colonial buildings and were built by the French during their rule. Some of the buildings in White Town have been deemed as heritage sites and are breathtakingly beautiful.

Photographs from French Quarters (White Town area) in Pondicherry

Pondicherry
Pondicherry is a haven for lovers of beautiful doors and gorgeous architecture.

Pondicherry is also lovingly called Pondi by local Tamilians and Chennai inhabitants for whom it is a weekend destination.

Pondicherry
Bright yellow coloured building on roads in White Town area named in French – this is ‘Rue Suffren.’

Check : Doors Of India Campaign – Documenting the North Zone

 

Pondicherry
Inside the Domus Dei Church in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry
One of the top places to stay with a sea facing view… On Goubert Avenue in White Town.

Pondicherry’s French Quarter is laid out in a grid pattern, with parallel streets cutting across each other at right angles. I have been told thats exactly how it is in French cities as well.

Pondicherry
The French Quarter area near Goubert Avenue is a riot of colours; there are many hotels and homestays near the promenade and make for the best places to stay in Pondicherry.

Read : Doors of Varanasi : A Photo Story

Pondicherry
I stayed at this gorgeous heritage property run by Neemrana. This is my morning chai place in the alfresco courtyard!
Pondicherry
My favourite time to walk around the White Town in Pondicherry was early morning, just after sunrise.

If you are a first time tourist to Pondicherry, you might well wonder what the fuss about French architecture is all about! Pondicherry is a bustling town now and resembles all metropolitan cities. The French Quarter or White Town area is the part located close to the seaside promenade facing Bay of Bengal.

Pondicherry
Delightfully coloured houses pop up at every few minutes when you are walking in the French area Pondicherry.
Pondicherry
Aesthetically pleasing buildings exist at every nook and corner. I think this is a part of some heritage hotel in Pondicherry.

Check : In Search of Demoiselle Cranes, Found Havelis in Khichan

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The French Quarter or White Town area in Pondicherry is filled with elegant colonial mansions in the midst of tree lined boulevards, named on French streets beginning with ‘rue’, numerous parks and charming cafés. (Rue in French roughly translates to street.)

Pondicherry
Some of the old buildings in White Town have been converted into Government Offices. This is the Chamber of Commerce in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry
A gorgeous frame with pretty windows : Clicked while walking on the promenade during sunrise. Highly recommend a walk when Pondi is waking up.

Check : Food Heaven : Cafés & Restaurants in Auroville

Pondicherry
Another stunning frame while wandering around the numerous streets in the White Town area of Pondicherry.

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The houses in the French Quarter area are adorned with shuttered windows and in colourful façades that wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. Enjoy the slideshow showcasing pretty frames.

Pondicherry
Streets in the White Town usually have such fancy sounding names.
Pondicherry
#DoorsOfIndia – Straight from Pondicherry.

Read : Street Photography from Varanasi

French is still spoken among the older residents who live in Pondicherry and proceedings seem to be caught in a time warp when I came across old French buildings with their original names converted into Government offices of the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

Pondicherry
Exterior of the exquisitely designed Domus Dei church.

Cafés of Pondicherry are a must visit attraction for the quirky graffiti and pretty interiors.

Elegant and tall French doors adorn the exterior and interior of many buildings. The best way of exploring the heritage French architecture is by slow travelling in Pondicherry and going on many aimless and leisurely walks.

Since I spent more time in Auroville than in Pondicherry, I also explored these streets on a rented scooty that cost only 100 Rupees per day! Highly recommend this idea if you are short on time. Make sure to ride slowly though and enjoy the sights around!

Pondicherry
Spotted this from the scooty itself and clicked it from the iPhone. What a beauty!

Check : Danish Delight in India – Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

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Speechless with the near perfect beauty around me – Its best to stay in the White Town in Pondicherry if one wishes to explore the French architecture.
Pondicherry
Gallic Architecture? A beautiful door in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry
A lovely melange of colours – I also spotted some crumbling buildings that seemed to be in need of upkeep to keep the French legacy of Pondicherry alive.

Read : Mahabalipuram – Of Historical Sights and Beach Delights

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. Parul Thakur says:

    Such amazing photos. You sure know how to tell the most perfect story using pictures. Beautiful compilation and brought back memories of Pondi! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Parul! So glad you liked it.

  2. xhobdo says:

    Truly Awesome

    1. Many thanks Rupam for checking it out! Much appreciated.

  3. Dreamtemples says:

    I love beautiful doors and windows too! Looking at the pictures makes me want to visit and explore Pondicherry all over again!

    1. Thanks so much for checking this! Yes, it makes sense to slow travel across Pondicherry for the doors and windows.

  4. Well those are some incredible photographs!!

    1. Thanks so much for checking!!

  5. Niranjan says:

    Gorgeous frames!

    1. Many thanks brother. Glad I put this photo story together!

  6. mayuri patel says:

    those are so gorgeous pics

  7. mayuri patel says:

    those are so gorgeous pics

    1. Many thanks Mayuri for the appreciation!!

  8. Such pretty frames!! Got back amazing memories of the white town and all those gorgeous doors and facades!!

    1. Thanks Divsi! Glad you liked the post. Thanks 🙂

  9. What a beautiful compilation of pics! Brought back some fond memories of travels in Pondicherry! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Glad it rekindled fond memories 🙂

  10. Nice post with an amazing collection of pictures. Thanks for sharing with us. keep updating

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

  11. Good work. thanks for sharing with us. keep updating.

    1. Thanks for checking. Keep following.

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