05 Nov 2019

Pondicherry: A part of India that is forever France

The glamour and magnetism of the colonial era is still alive and gleaming around different corners of India. From the British leaving behind their exquisite minimalist designs and muted ornaments to the French scattering their zen architecture, India has a bunch of classical designs left from each of her visitors.

To glance over the idyllic beauty left by the French, I packed my bags and headed off to Pondicherry, a city that mirrors the style, the elegance, and the symmetry of French architecture. As soon as I stepped foot in the White Town also known as the French Quarters, I had to rub my eyes to come in terms with the reality of where I was standing! The first thought was “Wow! I’m in Bordeaux”!

The layout of White Town is a clone of the French cities. The streets here are as straight as an arrow, cutting each other at right angles, dotted with an array of mustard and cinnamon hued buildings along with several jovial and shaggy trees. I rented a scooter to get inside the nooks and crannies of the pastel coloured lanes, to admire and appreciate the neatness of the French architects and to aimlessly wander in this city which is easy on the eyes.

I went for a stroll during the wee hours to catch sight of the White Town off guard. Within a blink of an eye, I was able to spot beguiling corners with fresh colours, aesthetically pleasing designs, neoclassical courtyards, and heritage buildings flaunting the patent semi-dome and wooden window frames.

I had to constantly remind myself of being in Pondicherry as the boulevards, the classic French toned buildings, the colonial mansions, and the colourful facades would mislead me into believing that I am in some part of France. The French heritage stands tall and proud here in Pondicherry, especially in the French quarters!.

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