What does an authentic Oscar-winning movie set look like? It seems everyone has read the book, seen the movie, and watched as "The Life of Pi," based on the mega-award-winning Canadian novel by writer Yann Martel. But not too many have actually been to Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry), in the south of India, where the opening scenes were filmed. It's long been known as the French Riviera of the East due to its surviving French touches. According to the travel web site Trivago, "Not far from the French Quarter is the zoo owned by Pi’s father, Santosh Patel (played in the movie by Adil Hussain), which was first erected as a botanical garden in 1826, but today is a popular park for young people to gather in the evenings." Here's a collection of street scenes of Puducherry as it exists today. [caption id="attachment_15202" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Puducherry figures in the "Life of Pi" (Photo: Adam Jones)[/caption]
•••[caption id="attachment_15204" align="aligncenter" width="250"] Statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix is a constant reminder of the French influence (Photo: Andre Zvacek)[/caption]
•••If you're looking to go, check out Trivago's Hotel Deals. If you fancy reasonably-priced small-group tours (no buses of 48 tourists!) but authentic experiences of India with local guides, consider G Adventures, Intrepid Travel or the Adventure Center. Have you ever been inspired to visit a country because it looks enticing in a movie?