Le Dupleix - An Introduction

Le Dupleix has been made celebrating the best of French architecture in Pondicherry. Le Dupleix is named after the last governor of Pondicherry. When his house was razed down, Mr. Kapur was able to save a large part of the woodwork which has been reinstalled in Le Dupleix. With the help of INTACH, an architect, sculptor and textile expert Mr. Kapur was able to restore the woodwork to its former glory. The building was then converted into a hotel. The hotel is a fantastic mix of the traditional and the modern and has a quaint forgotten in time feel to it. The hotel displays authentic woodwork (some of the best in Pondicherry), antique textiles lent by couture embroidery master Jean Francois Lesage and a custom design stone courtyard. The top floor shows an interesting contrast of intricate woodwork and clean modern lines with glass. Le Dupleix is known for its fare of seafood and Creole cuisine.

The hotel was a joint project involving many different people in restoring an important part of Pondicherry’s French heritage.

Courtyeard at Le Dupleix Pondicherry
Le Dupleix - beautiful wood work commissioned by Governor Le Dupliex is perhaps the finest example of French Indian art

The big tree of life piece in the bar has been specially created for the hotel by Jean Francois Lesage. The water cascade has been created for the hotel. All the furniture, the lamps, chandeliers, and fitted pillars and ceiling are all original antiques. At Le Dupleix every room has been individually designed and the entire hotel is fitted with artefacts.

Profile of the Property

Situated in the heart of old French Quarter of Pondicherry at 5 Rue de la Caserne is Le Dupleix. Built in the 18th century as the residence of the Mayor of Pondicherry, it stands on one of the most important corners of the French town. The adventure starts as soon as you reach the gate – one of the oldest in Pondicherry and famous in all the paintings and later photography of that era. As you open the gate you enter the heart of the restored building with the discovery of Old France renovated delicately to create a modern hotel.

Tradition in the Ancient Art of Construction

The restoration of the ancient building, which took a full 4 years, has been done entirely following the traditional methods of construction and finishing of the 18th century. The architects and the contractors immersed themselves in a study of the old techniques of construction which has more to do with the way high quality hand craftsmanship takes place than modern construction methods.

The old building was completely refinished with a lime plaster in the old process known as “Chettinad Egg Plaster” which consists of covering the walls with layer after layer of a thin layer of egg white, powdered sea shells and yogurt. In between the layers the walls are constantly polished by hand.

The exquisite woodwork, perhaps the best example of French Indian carved woodwork, is all original from the house of Joseph Francois Dupleix which used to exist on the old Nehru Street, which was originally known as Rue Dupleix. Dupleix was the greatest of the generals & governors of French India, and during his tenure the French were the dominant power in South India while the British were bottled up in Madras.

The buildings have been expanded and the whole hotels has been modernized with the use of Avant garde design and materials to create a delicate mix of modernity and tradition – and it is in the harmony of these two that Le Dupleix exists as not just a heritage hotel, but rather a designer hotel.

Room 12.2
Dupleix 104
Dupleix 42