Pondicherry Is a former French colony which was under the colonial influence in the mid-18th century. Over the years, many imperial powers struggled to control Pondicherry, and eventually, it was restored to the Indian Subcontinent in 1954.
The best way to explore Pondicherry’s rich cultural and architectural heritage is on foot. A broad canal divides the city into two parts — the French and the Tamil Quarters. As the name suggests, the French town was the sea-facing area for the French colonial citizens while the Tamil Quarters were for the local Tamilian population.
You will start this tour with a visit to the French Town. It is an oval-shaped township with the streets placed at right angles which is rather unlike other Indian towns. The town planning and the skyline are both typical of coastal French settlements, an influence that travelled overseas with the colonialists. From here, you will continue to the Tamil Quarter. Originally built around a nucleus of shrines, this part of the city has a contrasting architectural style, demonstrated in restored Tamil mansions which have unique elements like semi-public street verandahs for visitors outside the house, and inside, a central courtyard with grand columns.