Pondicherry’s wide boulevards, shuttered windows and laidback atmosphere hint at its French past, with a unique melange of Indian and French influences evident in its cuisine, architecture and language. Bougainvillea-draped colonial houses conceal courtyards heavy with the scent of fruit trees and spices, where dragonflies dart from leaf to leaf.

Pondicherry invites visitors to slow down and explore its streets at a leisurely pace. Just out of town, the spiritual destination of Auroville draws people from around the world in search of enlightenment, while an evening stroll along the promenade is a chance to soak in the faded elegance of the old town.

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