Puducherry (Pondicherry), Chennai - Stein Travel
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Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) is a gracious seaside town on India's east coast. Known as the 'French Riviera of the East', Puducherry certainly displays its strong French heritage: the old quarter of the city retains its original design, with a grid of quaint, tree-lined rues and boulevards flanked by stately villas, bakeries and fine restaurants. Indeed, as there is not that much to actually do in Puducherry - despite relaxing on the pretty beach, and enjoying the sublime promenade - you are strongly encouraged to embark on a bit of a 'restaurant tour' of the city, perhaps the last place in India that you'll find excellent European cuisine (and wine-lists to match). A bit of an anomalous Indian city - in terms of its architectural character, its pace of life, and its gastronomy - a visit to Puducherry makes for an interesting contrast to the hectic, dusty cities of Tamil Nadu.

Information & Facts

Language

Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official languages

Money

The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs are not generally available.

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