06 Sep 2021

3 Fantastic Colonial cities to explore in Coastal India

India's legendary riches have long been allurement for foreign powers.  The annals of her history are filled with narratives of the raiders from the north over the Himalayan passes; her coastal regions were even more vulnerable. While some made no bones about their intentions, others like the Portuguese and British came as traders— and had to be given their marching orders after centuries of rule.

Pondicherry: The French Connection

Located on the southern part of the eastern seaboard, by the Bay of Bengal, the ancient port town of Pondicherry was one of the most important trading hubs on the legendary Coromandel Coast of India. The French East India Company set up its business here in 1784. Pondicherry was established as the capital of the French posts in South India. On a ramble along with Rue Dumas, Rue Romain Rolland, Rue Sufferin and Rue La Bourdnais in the city's French Quarter (White Town/Ville Blanche), you will love its colonial trappings. Ruminate over the beautiful architectural landmarks such as the Church of Our Lady of Angels and Government House, the statues of Joan of Arc or governor Joseph Dupleix, the elegant French villas and cafes, and graffiti and murals on the walls. Enjoy a delicious French meal over a cold glass of wine, or learn French-Creole cooking at the Sita Cultural Center.

Goa- The Portuguese Trail

Peel away the layers of 400 years of history and heritage of Portuguese rule in one of the world's best-loved beach destinations. Located on India’s western shores by the sunny waterlines of the Arabian Sea, Goa snares you with its beauty and historical and cultural riches. Spend time in Old Goa, the old capital, and you will find how easy it is to get pulled into some of the most rewarding experiences of Portuguese influence. You will love the time spent in Goa oldest—Se Cathedral, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Catherine Chapel and Basilica of Bom Jesus. When disease ravaged Old Goa, the Portuguese shifted the capital to Panjim, which offers you another window to Portuguese culture—from architecture to cuisine to its spiritual pursuits.

Mumbai-Imperial British Ways

The English came to trade with India but didn't leave for 200 years because they tasted the elixir of power as rulers of this ancient land. They used every weakness of the local rulers to cement together an imperial presence that sent out its tentacles across the length and breadth of the land. The port town of Mumbai, along the western coast, became a critical gateway to the empire. The iconic Gateway of India was erected as a victory arch to commemorate the visit of King-Emperor George V – the first British monarch to visit India. Scattered across the city are numerous landmarks that still remind you of the tumultuous times and cultural influences of the British Raj. Mumbai High Court, Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), the Prince of Wales Museum., Bombay Mint and The Town Hall: the Royal Yacht Club, Maharastra Police HQ, Elphinstone College — and so much more.

India's coastal regions are awash with gem-like cities, which are lovely for discoveries and immersive experiences to enjoy

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