I admit it. I'm a sucker for colonial architecture. The beautiful French villas in Pondicherry are no exception. But the joie de vivre was less evident due to the recent cylone passing through this seaside town. Instead, you found uprooted trees on the side of the road and businesses and parks closed until proper renovations could be completed. Despite the destruction, Pondy was still full of it's former French charms. One of those being a good steak frites! (We had tenderloin for 4 consecutive nights; making up for months of lost steak.)
The highlight in Pondy was a temple elephant right across from our hotel. Every morning and afternoon we greeted her, offered her some grass and a few rupee coins. Lakshmi, amazingly gentle and patient, could differentiate between coins and paper money (which she handed over to her caretaker) and bananas, grass and sugar cane. She even peeled a guava before eating it! And your offerings didn't go unacknowledged. Each time you handed her something, she politely gave you a tap on your head with her trunk!
|Exiting after morning puja|
|Peeling a guava!|