A connoisseur, an admirer, or just a curious person, anyone can head to Puducherry to savor the fusion of Indo-French cuisines that have the flavor of history, heritage, and spices. Held in one of the union territories of India, Puducherry, the French Food Festival is organized by the tourism department of Puducherry annually in the month of August and is also known as the ‘Gourmet Festival’.
The festival is aimed at celebrating the rich cultural, colonial and historical heritage of Puducherry and the special connection of the people of Puducherry with France.
History of Puducherry
Puducherry was a well-known port during the 16th century that welcomed many travelers, and traders, from across the globe to India. History books claim that the Dutch, the Britishers, the French, the Portuguese, and the Danes came to India via Puducherry port. The one group of travelers and traders that influenced the local lifestyle in Puducherry the most was the French.
French travelers and traders came to Puducherry, India in 1670 and stayed there for a very significant period till 1954, even after the independence of India. Puducherry was a colony of France and it fought many battles with Britishers over the control of Puducherry. Puducherry officially became part of India in the year 1963 when the French parliament sanctioned a treaty on the official handover of Puducherry to India.
During their rule of around 300 years, the French administration built many buildings, offices, restaurants, bakeries, and developed the local infrastructure, which is still very evident on the streets of this union territory. Puducherry after the independence of India emerged as a state that is a perfect fusion of Tamilian and French culture. This liberal attitude and co-existence of all religions make this place much more special and worth visiting. Today, apart from many other french-oriented festivals, the French Food Festival is the most-coveted festival of Puducherry that is attended not just by the locals but also the visitors from across the globe.
Major Attractions of the French Food Festival in Puducherry
French food is very popular all around the world and if you too are an admirer of the same then the French Food Festival in Puducherry is the place to be. This festival is an occasion where tourists and the locals get the opportunity to taste real and authentic french dishes. Puducherry is a great place to enjoy delicious dishes inspired by French and Tamilian culture. This French cuisine festival is all about relishing the food, making memories have fun, and celebrate a rich heritage.
Star French Dishes of the Festival with an Indian Twist
There are many dishes that remained sacred on the Puducherry platter for ages now while there are some that got blended with a Tamilian twist and the flavor of local herbs and spices. The festival is an opportunity for tourists to treat their taste buds and enjoy some popular dishes.
Some dishes that are a must-try at French Food Festival are Salad Nicoise (tuna, egg, fruit salad), Ratatouille (bread, pasta, eggplant dish), Creme Caramel (dessert), Croissant (baked roll), Bouillabaisse (fish stew), Crepes (pancake), Croque Monsieur (sandwich), Sole Meuniere (fish), and French pastries.
How to Reach
The culture of Puducherry has been woven with French and Indian threads that make it look vibrant, unique, and worth experiencing once in a lifetime. Puducherry attracts domestic and foreign tourists for its enchanting destinations some of which are Auroville Beach, Botanical Garden, Pondicherry Lighthouse, French War Memorial, Yanam Beach, Paradise Beach, and Arikamedu.
Every year tourists arrive in Puducherry to spend their vacations enjoying water sports and serene views in this significant Union Territory located down south. Puducherry is located at a distance of approximately 2,300km, 1,200km, 1,800km, and 350km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. You can reach here easily by various modes and routes and below mentioned are some best travel options that you must consider.
By Road. Traveling by roadways is an altogether different experience as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery alongside and take a break at any beautiful spot. One may either book a seat in the inter-state government/private tourist bus or take a personal car or bike to reach Puducherry.
Through roadways, one has to cover a distance of approx. 380km via NH 544 and NH 79 from Coimbatore, 340km via NH 38 from Madurai, 360km via NH 48 from Bengaluru, 170km via NH 32 from Chennai, and 200km via Chennai-Theni Highway from Tiruchirapalli.
By Rail. The nearest railway station is Villupuram located at a distance of approx. 30 km from Puducherry. The station receives trains from all the metro cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. From the station, one may take the local transport to commute conveniently in the union territory.
From Bengaluru, you may travel via Puducherry Express, from Delhi via Thirukkural Express, or TN SMPRK Kranti, from Mumbai via Nagarcoil Express, or LTT Madurai Express, from Kolkata via Kanyakumari Express, from Coimbatore via MAQ Chennai Express, and from Madurai via Pandian Express or Pothigai Express.
By Air. Puducherry Airport is the nearest airport to reach the UT. Puducherry airport is just 3 km away from the main town. The airport receives frequent direct flights from Bangalore and Hyderabad. SpiceJet runs connecting flights from Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai with stopovers at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airport. From Bengaluru, SpiceJet runs non-stop flights of 60 minutes to Puducherry. You can also get on a direct flight of 100 minutes from Hyderabad to Pondy. From the airport, one may take local transport such as a taxi, or a bus to reach the desired destination.