One of the most beautiful and unique cities of India, Pondicherry is rapidly growing into a favourite shopping destination amongst tourists from all over the world. Not just traditional crafts and arts, you will have the best of the fashionable products as well in this small city on the eastern coast of India. It was once the capital of French colonies in India and still has a touch of the same. Influence of French culture can be seen in the social and traditional life of its inhabitants from the fact that French is one of the official languages of the union territory.

Attracting almost half a million tourists every year, the varied options for shopping in the city is gathering more and more tourists. Inexpensive shopping and low taxes on the varied items make Pondicherry a dream world for shoppers.

Called as "Puducherry Bommai", Pondicherry traditional dolls, made out of plaster of paris, papier-mache or terracotta, are quite famous and make for interesting gift options to take back home. Along with these, 'korai' mats which are made from a species of grass found in the area, textiles and silks are also worth giving a thought.

The city has since long been a centre for producing household linen and garment textiles in satin, twill, corduroy, poplin, chambray, oxford and cambric. There are dozens of different textiles shops with similar and overlapping merchandise. Along with these, if you are looking for some comfortable clothing, Khadi (a home-spun fabric) is the material for you. This fabric is freshly made from the Anglo-French Textile mill, a l00-year-old company with its clothes being sold throughout Europe, the US, Australia and the Middle East with a workforce of almost 5000.

If interested in home decor and tableware, Pondicherry has more than just one option to offer you with. Creations by ceramic artists and artisans from Pondicherry and Auroville have a style of their own which present a beautiful merger of tradition and contemporary style. "Golden Bridge" and "Rhinestone Art" are two of the studios worth visiting.

A lover of leather products but not able to find variety and affordable rates? Pondicherry is the place for you. Authentic styles, detailed designs and high quality makes the Pondicherry leather items a favourite amongst tourists. Products including leather clothing, belts, varied kinds of bags and many more can be bought here.

Boutiques of Pondicherry also have a special place when it comes to shopping. These boutiques, which are located at almost every street, are popular not just for the products but also for the exceptional ambiance they provide. Catering to wide range of tastes for the products varying from garments, semi-precious stones, perfumes, hand-made incense, candles embossed with real petals, marbled silks to aromatherapy products, Pondicherry boutiques must be visited mostly for the soothing shopping experience they offer.

Paper products in Pondy also make for a good and portable buy. You will find some of the well made paper products in different textures and colours in this town making Pondicherry one of the most loved markets for the product throughout the world. The Aurobindo Ashram factory has been producing the same since 1959. Auroville and many other small scale units are also producing handmade paper.

Buying antique furniture from Pondy can also be a good idea. You will find many exclusive antique shops here. From Tamil to Keralite to French and British colonial furniture, you will have a wide range to choose from as per your liking and requirements.

After your shopping spree, you can have a look at the other popular tourist attractions of Pondicherry. Serene beaches, exciting backwaters with amazing interesting river cruises on offer create a refreshing setting providing a break from the usual hectic life. Visiting French colonies can provide you with the opportunity to experience its unique colonial heritage.