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Maison Perumal is a cameo experience. A celebration in miniature, of a way of life that few even know exists. Tucked away in Puducherry’s seldom-explored Tamil quarter, it’s your window to a time when two worlds met...and melted gracefully into one another.
Puducherry (or Pondicherry as the world still knows it) is a slim slice of France, deposited neatly besides the azure waters of the Coromandel coast.
Stroll around its seafront promenade and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Provençal village. Bright plaster houses lining neat, narrow lanes; flower-laden grillwork balconies; blue-enamelled street signs; and staying carefully out of the sun, even policemen in red kepis.
This is, of course, the old French Quarter, justly famous, celebrated in literature and legend, and arguably, the only Puducherry most visitors ever see.
But enter a little deeper towards the heart of town, away from the neat occidental geometries of the seafront, and you come into quite a different world. Not France with a touch of the Orient. Indeed, quite the reverse.
The Tamil Quarter of Puducherry is a place where cultures not only met, but melted. And gave birth to a way of life found nowhere else in the world. Maison Perumal is our tribute to that way of life. A sepia serigraph of another time - dusted off perhaps, but not retouched.
The Maison Perumal experience is minimal only because it is completely sincere. As unvarnished as the Cuddapah stone floors, yet as alive and colourful as the sunlit stained glass of the balconies .
than a year and a half to restore the building itself, and to refurbish it with a studied attention to detail. Researches were conducted into the minutiae of woodwork, fitting and finish; local craftsmen were pressed into service; old crafts were revived.
To this authenticity, we chose to add only comforts such as air conditioning - but no disturbing frills that would detract from the authenticity of what we wished to recreate for you.
To seek coddling here would perhaps invite disappointment, but we do promise one thing: by the end of your stay, you will have tasted first-hand what it was like to live in a noble Tamil home of the period. You will have seen something of that special simplicity. Known those graceful ways, felt the warmth of a forgotten ambience.
Maison Perumal is not a grand hotel. It is something considerably harder to create-a gracious home.
Would you expect a menu card if you stayed as a guest in a friend’s house? What about a choice of entrées? And of course, you’d find it strange if their dining room had a name.
mealtimes are actually about- really good cooking.
icity has its own delicious flavour...as many discover with us, perhaps for the first time.