#100Days Photo 19: Bay of Bengal, Promenade, Pondicherry, South India

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Like the Philippines, India was also colonized by different countries, one of which is France with Pondicherry as its known territory in the sub-continent. Pondicherry is a quaint coastal town-state in South India, reachable via the airport or major trains stopping at Chennai and about 3-hour bus/car drive. It is in Pondicherry where I first got introduced to South India (since I only passed by Chennai, it didn’t count) and to many things French. While no longer a territory of France these days, many of the structures remain especially when walking down the French quarter (which is the popular tourist area). One can still see and feel the legacy of France in Pondicherry and surprisingly, the way it has completely merged with the Tamilian culture and way of life. Walk down the Bay of Bengal’s beach or promenade and you will see Tamilian men in their lungis (wrap around “skirt”) and hear them conversing in French. The church services are in Hindi, Tamil and French. Even the streets have kept their French names. And, the food was awesome! The very reason we went to Pondicherry was to have a taste of French and Tamilian cuisines and Pondicherry provided us that — breads, steaks, desserts! Pondicherry is also home to several Ashrams of gurus and its close to Auroville, a commune serving “the Divine” — if in case you’d need food for the soul! >

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