French Quarters / White Town - History, Timings & Entry Fee


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Pondicherry Bus Station): 3 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins

Transportation Options: Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry Bus Station, White Town is a residential area in Pondicherry. Popularly called the French Colony of Pondicherry, it is one of the must-see places as part of the Pondicherry -Mahabalipuram tour.

A quaint little town on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry or Puducherry was the last French colony in India. Pondicherry had been passed on to multiple colonial powers of Dutch, Portuguese, and English, but predominantly French. It became a part of India in 1954 as a union territory. When Pondicherry was handed over to India, the residents were given the choice to take Indian or French citizenship. There are still some French citizens in Pondicherry who retained their French citizenship.

The White Town of Pondicherry still has a strong French influence with French names on the streets, many of the residents speak fluent French, restaurants, and cafés serve French food with menus in the French language, and villas in French architectural styles. Flaunting cobblestone streets, the French Quarter lies on one side of the canal that separates the town from the Indian Quarter.

Pondicherry's French Quarter is laid out in a grid pattern, with parallel streets cutting across each other at right angles. Many of the structures in the French Quarter of Pondicherry are colonial buildings and were built by the French during their rule. The buildings are mostly painted in pale yellow color and are adorned with shuttered windows and colorful façades. Most of the buildings have been converted into government offices, heritage hotels, restaurants, quirky cafés and art galleries.

The best way to explore White Town is by walking around and getting lost in the beautiful streets. Many of the attractions lie within the French Quarters, including Villa Krish - a beautiful boutique hotel with a rooftop restaurant, the Chambre de Commerce, Our Lady of Angels Church, Café des Arts, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, etc. that are all within walking distance of one another and make for a great heritage walk.

Timings: 24 Hours

Entry: Free