India has been home to colonies of foreign visitors since the 16th century till the country gained independence in 1947. Many foreigners even stayed back after India gained independence and made the country their home. From the architecture to delicious cuisines, the erstwhile colonies of French, Portuguese, Chinese and Jewish settlers still give a glimpse into the culture of different communities.
So if you are itching to have the true Portuguese, Jewish or Persian experience in India, you don’t have to travel abroad. You can enjoy the culture in India as well.
- Puducherry (French settlement)
Puducherry is also known as the French Riviera of the East. The former French colony is a perfect amalgamation of the traditional Indian style with French architecture. The street of the French Quarter with bougainvillea-laden walls is the perfect destination to add photos and pictures to your Instagram feed.
- Kochi (Jewish Settlement)
It is said that during the times of King Solomon of Israel after the kingdom was divided into two, the Jews who reached the Malabar Coast settled in Fort Kochi. The place is famous for the 16th century Paradesi Synagogue and quaint shops around it. The place also attracts a lot of visitors due to its churches and the aromatic spice shops.
- Mumbai (Parsi Settlement)
According to old records, Parsis first arrived in Sanjan Town in Gujarat, but over time they moved to Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai. The Financial city of India now houses the largest number of Parsis in India. Dadar Parsi Colony is the posh colony where you may find art deco buildings. It is the home to the famous five gardens.
- Kolkata (Chinese Settlement)
The Chinese settlement in India is situated in Kolkata’s Tangra area. Old China Market in Central Kolkata houses more than 5000 Indians of Chinese origin, who have still kept alive the Chinese culture and traditions. In China Town, you may fall in love with old heritage buildings decked up in paper lanterns. You can also find authentic Chinese food here and you cannot miss the huge celebration during the Chinese new year.
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