Pondicherry was the French dream of an Indian empire, a settlement established in the early 18th century and under French control until 1954. The French connection still exerts an influence with the tricolour flying over the French Embassy, and the local police still wearing red kepis (caps). Visit the Aurobindo Ashram - teaching a mixture of yoga and modern science, the Museum, the peaceful Botanical Gardens (established in 1826) and the Handmade Paper Factory. Auroville, the nearby experiment in international living launched in 1968 and comprising some 80 settlements with 33 different nationalities, is not really a tourist attraction but visitors are welcome at the visitor centre.
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