Read the text below and answer Questions 1-6.
Pondicherry as a seaside resort has an enchanting ambience, not felt anywhere else in India. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small, vibrant town. The inherent ambience of Pondy, as it is fondly called, becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town. Colonial buildings, some of which were built in the 18th century, line the clean streets and house the French institutions, private homes, businesses and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the town’s bustling, yet easy going life.
It is also the perfect base to explore the rich destinations around it. Auroville, the International City of Unity with Matrimandir as its centre, has a dome which has the largest man-made crystal in the world, at the top of the dome. The crystal filters the harsh sunlight and lets in a soothingly sufficient light into the meditation hall. Anchor yourself in Pondy and find in your reach the imposing Gingee Fort, the holy temple town of Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Chidambaram, the heritage sculptures and magnificent rock temples of Mamallapuram, and the lush hill stations of Yercaud and Kodaikanal.
Monuments are plenty in Pondy and each one has a story to tell. The Aayi Mandapam at the centre of the Park was built during the reign of Napoleon III in France and named after a 16th Century courtesan, Aayi, who demolished her house and built a watertank instead. This to appease a passing king who had mistaken her candle-lit home for a holy place. This reservoir served French engineers later to bring water to the town.
Pondicherry is best accessible by road from Chennai, Bangalore and even from Kerala. It has a wide choice of hotels, beach resorts for the easy going tourists and families, heritage hotels for those who want to experience something more than the present, high class commercial hotels for the corporate visitor and the neat Ashram Guest Houses for the spiritual seeker.
Pondy has a lot to offer to the shoppers and is fast becoming a favourite shopping destination. It is soft on your purse with taxes either low or non-existent. It is known for its traditional doll-making and textiles and silks. But it is also the birthplace of several world class brands in leather, pottery, aromatics, fashion and handmade paper. The proliferation of exquisite decor boutiques and export-quality antique furniture galleries is the latest trend.
- Choose the most appropriate option. (Multiple choice questions)
- Pondy’s ambience is unique because
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram is there
- its lifestyle is easy going and peaceful
- it’s a blend of different cultures and heritage
- there are beaches in the north and south of town
- Which of the following is a reminder of Pondy’s French connection?
- the Matrimandir
- the Aayi Mandapam
- the Sri-Aurobindo Ashram
- the Gingee Fort
- The monument at the centre of the Park is famous because
- it was made by Napoleon III
- it is the only monument with a story
- earlier it was a candle-lit holy place
- Aayi, a courtesan, built it to appease a king
- Pondy’s heritage hotels are meant for those who
- want a stay with a spiritual touch
- want a low budget stay
- want a luxurious stay
- want to experience life of the past
- Shoppers are attracted to Pondy because
- it offers beautiful soft purses
- they can learn traditional doll-making
- taxes are low or absent
- it is turning into a shopping destination
6. The word ‘proliferation’ (Paragraph 5) means the same as
a) rapid increase
b) rapid decrease
c) diminishing profitability
d) rising importance