Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, is a town tucked away on the Eastern seaboard of India. Among its diverse attractions are a coastline of 32 kms, palm-fringed beaches, backwaters, fishing villages, beach resorts, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the international city of Auroville, the French boulevard town with its French heritage, and so on. Some great food, some fine wine, and a great adventure await you here. For those coming to Pondicherry expecting a Goa-like place there is likely to be a great deal of disappointment. Unlike Goa, Pondicherry does not have a commercial infrastructure to entertain tourists. Pondicherry is a great place to look around, take a walk by the sea, attend a cultural program.
History of Pondicherry
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, of the 1st century, mentions a marketplace named Poduke or Poduca (ch. 60), which G.W.B. Huntingford identified as possibly being Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam), about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the modern Pondicherry. Pondicherry was apparently an important element of Roman trade with India. Huntingford further notes that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937, and archeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was "a trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported during the first half of the 1st century AD".
Before this period nothing is known with certainty. The "Bahur Plates", issued in the 8th century speak of a Sanskrit University which was here from an earlier period. Legend has it that the sage Agastya established greatly his Ashram here and the place was known as Agastiswaram. An inscription found near the Vedhapuriswara Temple hints at the credibility of this legend.