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A Hint Of Tamil Culture In Pondicherry At Maison Perumal


    Away from all the hustle bustle of the more organised and stylised French Quarters of Pondicherry, Maison Perumal stands tall and holds the torch high for a glimpse into the Tamil culture of this little town.

    Mixed Heritage

    Yes, Pondicherry {now officially Puducherry, but really who calls it that?} is known for being a slice of France in India, but there’s so much charm in the Tamil culture too, isn’t there? That is exactly why we love Maison Perumal so very much. Digging into the heart of the seaside town, you’ll find this to be where East really meets West. Think verandas, courtyards and red oxide flooring courtesy Tamil heritage, alongside the French touch of arched windows, colonnades and pillars. Oh, And most of the material has been sourced locally! We’re talking specifically about the cool Cuduppah and the rich teak furniture.

    Past Perfect

    The rooms here are a throwback to the last century. The big brass keys to the rooms emphasise that, and let you go right back into the past, when simple wooden four-poster beds, minimalist furniture {think fauteuil chairs} and bed spreads used to be the norm. If you’re looking for modern luxury, you’re barking up the wrong tree; the only sign of modernity you’ll find here is the silent air conditioner.

    The windows, with a hint of France, are jazzed up with stained glass, making for a real visual treat. Throw in a morning cuppa and a just-out-of-bed look, and it’s a perfect photo-op. We tried and tested it, too!

    Local Life

    While the French and other local eateries are just an adventurous rickshaw ride {or interesting stroll} away, stay in and devour the fresh seafood that Maison Perumal is best known for. The dining area, an airy space that’s casual and overlooks the courtyard, also moonlights as a gallery and exhibition space, where you can check out the works of local artists.

    But back to the food; Kozhi Murungakai Kulambu, a combination of curried chicken drumsticks and fried batter balls, must be ordered, as should the fresh catch-of-the-day coated with fried curry leaves and served with tamarind rice. The latter is a traditional house specialty, so don’t leave without trying it out. Era Meen Pasta {a spicy, tangy fish pasta} is another dish we love and highly recommend.