l'Inde française : Pāṇṭiccēri

Tripoto
24th Dec 2018
Photo of l'Inde française : Pāṇṭiccēri by vinay chandran
Day 1

6:15 Am

We started  our journey from villupuram bus Stand,the plan was to visit the memorial  of erstwhile Frenchindia.
Puducherry, formed out of four territories of  former colonialism which is rich in elegant gothic architecture, and a strong french influence.Historically known as Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri),  region is made of 11 such pockets.The bus started on time,the culture was purely tamil through the towns.There were no signs of being the so called french feeling to our trip, Finally  i got to see a clocktower which was quite interesting contains true elements of french architecture.We reached the bus station and  it was raining, we found that the french enclaves are bit far from the bus stand.we asked the locals for help, they told us to wait for the bus to promenade gandhi beach.. It is a 1.2-kilometre-long stretch in Pondicherry, starts from War Memorial and end at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue.

The bus dropped us near an empty canal, from there we saw the attractive yellow french buildings which are endless through different "des rues" into the enclaves of the former French colony. We walked towards the sea, on the way I wondered whether we were really in some town in the historic french kingdom. The architecture was picture perfect and it was also neat clean everywhere, thanks to the Government of India for making it a wonderful place to visit for a continental experience. All the French buildings are maintained, and some are still working as some banks, libraries, and restaurants. On the way, there are numerous clubs and government offices. Finally, we reached the seashore which is actually a 1km stretch starting from its northern end. The beach is named after Mahatma Gandhi, there was rangoli competition happening in the Beach Road. The sea was rough, we walked towards the rocky beach which is on the right end of the stretch.

Gandhi Beach

Photo of Gandhi Beach by vinay chandran

"Promenade" which means walk in French, it's also known as the Rock beach, Beginning from The French War Memorial and end at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue.The heritage walk through the Beach Road is extremely unique experience for an average Indian , it contains innumerable French buildings till the end of the road.It was a moody sunrise because of heavy weather, there are a numerous amount of monuments like the Pillar at Promenade beach, French War Memorial etc.we spend some time at the Rock beach.

The Rock beach

Photo of Promenade Beach, Puducherry by vinay chandran

Monument aux combattants des Indes francaises morts pour la patrie" is a war memorial dedicated to residents of French India who died for the country during the First World War.

"India is indebted to France in different ways, it is now the duty of every Indian to stand with France during this period of adversity (...) France will never forget those who have come to her during these difficult times. They will be treated like her own children. Thank you for joining the French army." - from a communique during this period by Alfred Martineau, the governor of French India.

This monument is a major landmark in the French colonial history of India, it's almost an unknown history for most Indians.

Monument aux combattants des Indes francaises morts pour la patrie

Photo of French War memorial, Mahe de Labourdonnais Street, White Town, Puducherry, India by vinay chandran

The Lady of Angels the fourth oldest church in Puducherry, the former French territory The original structure was built in Greco Roman architecture by Napolean III in 1855, with the architect being Louis Guerre. It is facing the Bay of Bengal,stands in the former Capuchins’ square, surrounded by the streets Dumas, Surcouf and Romain Rolland. 
Between the church and the sea lies a little garden.Our Lady of Angels stands out by virtue of its immensity, accentuated by its two square bell-towers on the front façade and the polygonal dome above the crossing. This church with a Latin-cross plan stands atop a substructure and occupies a space of 55 by 35 metres. It can be reached through two symmetric staircases, with a dozen stairs each.

Lady Des Angels

Photo of Lady Des Angels - Notre Dames Church, White Town, Puducherry, India by vinay chandran

Interior

Photo of Lady Des Angels - Notre Dames Church, White Town, Puducherry, India by vinay chandran

Purely French

Photo of Lady Des Angels - Notre Dames Church, White Town, Puducherry, India by vinay chandran

Seminary

Photo of Lady Des Angels - Notre Dames Church, White Town, Puducherry, India by vinay chandran

We proceeded to the streets of pure French flavour, on the way we saw different government buildings and cottages  that are well maintained by its owners and the administrative bodies.The culture of French antiquity was distinctly manifested by its buildings and food culture, Each and every enclaves was different experience for the people who visit this colonial paradise.Its almost a cultural shock to tourist that India has a pure French town on its own!!!

Heritage buildings

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, Republic of India by vinay chandran

High school

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, Republic of India by vinay chandran
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