Friday, January 7, 2011

Puducherry/ Auroville


The Coastline

Puducherry (Tamil: புதுச்சேரி Putuccēri; French: Poudouchéry), formerly known as Pondicherry (and still nicknamed Pondy), is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or regions, and named after the largest region, Pondicherry. The territory was officially known as Pondicherry until 2006 when it was renamed Puducherry. Of late, Pondicherry is also considered an educational hub of southern India.Pondicherry consists of four non-contiguous regions: Pondicherry, Karaikal, and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea. Pondicherry and Karaikal are by far the larger ones, and are both enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, respectively.

Street Edge at the French Quarter

 Pondicherry still retains much evidence of its history as a French colony. The design of the city was based on the French (originally Dutch, the plans of Pondicherry dating from the end of the 17th century (1693–1694) are preserved in the National Archives at The Hague) grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The entire town is divided into two sections, the French Quarter ('Ville Blanche' or 'White Town') and the Indian Quarter ('Ville Noire' or 'Black Town').There is also French influence in the layout of the city. The numbering of the houses is unique compared to other cities in Tamil Nadu, in that the even numbers are on one side and the odd numbers are on the opposite side of the road.
 The official languages of Pondicherry are Tamil and French.

Reuse of old structures
Street view

Panoramic Street View

For more details


Matri Mandir

Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township in Viluppuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India near Puducherry in South India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (since her definitive settling in India called "The Mother") and designed by architect Roger Anger. Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.

A House at Auromodele

The Architect at Auromodele was Andre Hababou.
Do check his website: 
Bharat Nivas, The Auditorium

For more details

Text Source: Wikipedia
Photographs are copyrighted.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lansdowne- Still and Charming

View from Lansdowne

Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Originally known as, Kaludanda, after Kalun (Black) and Danda (Hill) in local language, Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887, and by 1901 it had a population of 3943. Lansdowne was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.

Lansdowne was originally a popular hill station of the British. Attracted by its salubrious climate and natural beauty, they established a cantonment here. The place still has cantonment and proudly preserves its links from the past.

Like other hill stations of Garhwal, the temperature is pleasant here in the summer months and offers visitors with ample opportunities to enjoy the gifts of nature. However, winter months can be severe cold with snowfall throughout and temperature can go below sub-zero levels in these months. 

Tarakeshwar temple
St. John's Church
Text Source: Wikipedia & Tourism Dept.