Start your day with a guided tour of Pondicherry. Pondicherry was a French colony for about two hundred and eighty years and became a part of India in 1954. Some claim that its history can be traced back to Agastya, South India’s revered sage, who built his hermitage here many millennia ago. There is evidence that the Romans had a trading post here in the 1st Century AD. However, most of what a visitor will experience today has a distinct colonial flavor. The culture presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions – French is still spoken here in some parts of the population, along with Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and English. As you tour the city you will be captivated by its architecture as well as the friendliness of its inhabitants. Traces of the French colony still remain in its churches, cuisine, grid-pattern streets and colonial buildings.