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Pondicherry

Once an outpost of the French in India, Pondicherry, renamed Puducherry, is an ancient seaside city that dates back to Roman times. Even after the British decisively defeated the French in India, Pondicherry and several other cities remained under French control; after independence, it was merged with the rest of India. Today, Pondicherry retains distinct pockets of French flavor, including wide boulevards, the cylindrical kepis worn by the police, excellent French cuisine, and well-preserved colonial buildings. This relaxing, atmospheric destination, one of the most pleasant in south India, gained further notice as the hometown of the protagonist in the recent award-winning novel and film Life of Pi.

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