Pondicherry - French Quaters
Fans of the hit movie Life of Pi can hop from the Maldives to the Indian coastal town of Pondicherry in just a few hours to explore the stunning locations featured in the film.
The entire first act of Life of Pi was filmed in the historical town of Pondicherry (also known as Puducherry) which is a fascinating blend of French colonial and Indian influences. And you can be there within just a few hours. Maldivian’s route to Chennai in India takes just 1 hour 35 minutes, and Pondicherry is just two and a half hours from Chennai by road. It’s already a popular pit stop for tourists and with the recent release of Ang Lee’s blockbuster even more travellers are discovering Pondicherry’s unique charms.
Amongst the highlights of Pondicherry are the French Quarters which features as a backdrop in many of the scenes and the bustling Grand Bazaar which Pi and his girlfriend visit. The attractive Jardin Botanique du Pondicherry (Botanical Gardens) doubled as the zoo where Pi’s father works, while the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which is referenced in the novel as the place where Pi’s uncle swims 30 lengths every morning also appears briefly in the film.
More and more foreign tourists are opting to mix a Maldives holiday with travelling around southern India for the perfect combination of sunshine and culture, while India is an increasingly popular tourist destination for Maldivians too.