A walk through the gridded town of Puducherry is nothing short of a simulation of walking through a box of crayons. Pink and yellow bougainvilleas, white balconies, pastel-painted bungalows and colourful scenes line its quaint alleyways. Even so, Puducherry finds itself amidst a dilemma: whether to be a great old colonial town resplendent with historical nuances or a chic new-age travel destination for modern travellers. Nevertheless, slices of life are best savoured in this town on foot or on a bike as the languid mood of its lanes comes alive with scenes of mundane activities.
Photo by: Rahulnath
A stop in White Town offers the best way to witness a slice of Puducherry’s coastal life. Biking along the bylanes of the French Quarters, two women make their way to work. Even after decades, bicycles continue to be the primary mode of commute for most locals.
A morning walk in White Town opens with the yellow and orange facades of the French quarters merging with blues in the sky. As the sun shines, the warm palettes dominating the town take its explorers through a stunning visual trail.
Bright murals and hidden graffiti paint the walls of Puducherry with abstract, political and quirky designs. A topical graffiti, one among the many recently painted ones, sits on the abandoned buildings that run along the Promenade beach.
Columns of marching police officers rehearse for Independence Day. These personnel continue to adorn the red pillbox caps, inherited from the time of the French occupation, as their official headgear.
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Ganesha Temple has stood in White Town for three centuries as a religious structure, long before the French colonised erstwhile Pondicherry. The principal deity of the temple is Lord Ganesha, locally referred to as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar or the god near the pond of sand.
A cotton candy vendor takes a moment to watch the ocean at Rock Beach before hurtling towards the Sunday evening crowd to make a sale.
A scrumptious combination of southern Indian and French flavours makes Puducherry a haven for gourmands with strong occidental sensibilities. A case in point is this lemon-parsley Ray fish, doused in a light lemon butter sauce and served with a side of buttery potatoes at La Villa, White Town.
To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.
is a freelance travel and editorial photographer based out of Kerala. With a graduate degree in the liberal arts and a teeming interest at the intersection of photographs and cultures, he seeks to capture intimate and poignant narratives through his images, spanning digital and analog formats alike.
Hey there! Like what you see (or not)? Tell us what you think at email@example.com.