Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu – Open for Business: Part 2


Caution in Pondicherry If you really need to take a break from India, then Pondicherry is a good bet. Anthony and I had set our sights on this former French colony long before we came to India, but we weren’t sure how it had fared in the tsunami.

It turns out that Pondicherry has a really high sea face below which lie stacks of treacherous black rocks and tetrapods. A few people died in Pondicherry. The town had some of the lowest numbers of deaths in TN, but it certainly would have been worse had Pondy not had such a reinforced wall. Even a few weeks later, high tide looked menacing ? but I suspect that is how it always is. Posters that appeared to be several months to years old warned swimmers about the Devil Sea.

Tamil Nadu – Open for Business: Part 1

Less than three weeks after the tsunami hit, I was able to visit Tamil Nadu (TN), the Indian state that, in addition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, suffered the most damage. Most of the people who died in TN were south of Chennai (formerly Madras) in Nagapattinam.

I was unable to visit the latter over the past weekend, but I did get the chance to see Madras, Pondicherry, and some of the coastal towns in between. And, while those towns didn’t suffer casualties as heavy as Nagapattinam, the effects of the tsunami were somewhat noticeable. More conspicuous (but not surprising given the hardships of the travel industry in DC and NY after 9/11) was the seeming lack of tourists.