The Info List - Mahé, Puducherry

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Mahé,[1] natively known as Mayyazhi, is a small town at the mouth of the Mahé River
Mahé River
and is surrounded on all sides by the State of Kerala. The Kannur District
Kannur District
surrounds Mahé on three sides and Kozhikode District from one side. Formerly part of French India, Mahé now forms a municipality in Mahé district, one of the four districts of the Union Territory of Puducherry. Mahé has one member (MLA) in the Puducherry
Legislative Assembly.


1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Liberation of Mahe

3 Demographics

3.1 Locationwise distribution

4 Culture 5 Climate 6 Transport 7 Administration

7.1 Divisions 7.2 Wards

8 Education 9 Notable people 10 In Popular culture 11 See also 12 Image gallery 13 References 14 External links

Etymology[edit] The name Mahé derives from Mayyazhi, the name given to the local river and region in the Malayalam
language. The original spelling found on French documents from the early 1720s is Mayé, with Mahé and Mahié also found on documents, maps and geographical dictionaries until the early 19th century when the spelling Mahé became the norm. Therefore, the belief that the name of the town was given in honour of Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais
Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais
(1699–1753), whose later fame derived in good part from his association with India, including his capture of Mayé in 1741, is incorrect.[2] Another claim that the spelling Mahé was officially adopted by the leader of the expedition that retook the city in 1726 in recognition of La Bourdonnais' role at the time is also unlikely.[3] It is probable that the resemblance of Mayé, not to mention Mahé, with La Bourdonnais' family name prompted later generations to assume that the famous Frenchman was somehow directly or indirectly associated with the name to the town or the spelling of the name. History[edit] See also: French India Before the incursion of European colonial powers into India, this area was part of Kolathu Nadu which comprised Thulunadu, Chirakkal and Kadathanadu. The French East India
Company constructed a fort on the site of Mahé in 1724, in accordance with an accord concluded between André Mollandin and Raja Vazhunnavar of Vatakara
three years earlier. In 1741, Mahé de La Bourdonnais retook the town after a period of occupation by the Marathas. In 1761 the British captured Mahé, and the settlement was handed over to the Rajah of Kadathanadu. The British restored Mahé to the French as a part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. In 1779, the Anglo-French war broke out, resulting in the French loss of Mahé. In 1783, the British agreed to restore to the French their settlements in India, and Mahé was handed over to the French in 1785.[4]

Mahé in 1726. Map made after taking possession of the place and the war against the Indian king of the region supported by the British

On the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
in 1793, a British force under James Hartley captured Mahé. In 1816 the British restored Mahé to the French as a part of the 1814 Treaty of Paris, after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Mayyazhi remained under French jurisdiction as a small French colony, an enclave within British India, during the long span that began in 1816. After the Independence of India
the area continued to be French-ruled until 13 June 1954, when a long anti-colonial struggle culminated in its joining the Indian Union (see Causes for liberation of French colonies in India). After the French left, Mahé became a Sub-Division of Puducherry
Union Territory. The area of Mahé begins from Mayyazhi puzha in the north to Azhiyoor at the south. Mahé consists of Mahé town and Naluthara, which includes four villages: Pandakkal, Pallur, Chalakara and Chembra. The ruler of Kingdom of Mysore
Kingdom of Mysore
from the 1760s, Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
(ca 1722–1782), gifted Naluthara to the French as a token of appreciation for the help they gave in opposing the British. Liberation of Mahe[edit] Gandhians like I. K. Kumaran
I. K. Kumaran
led the freedom struggle in Mahe after Indian independence in 1947. The Municipal office of the French administration was attacked[by whom?] by 9.00 p.m. on October 21, 1948. The French national flag was removed by the freedom aspirants[neutrality is disputed], and the Indian national flag hoisted on the Municipal Building ("Mairie" in French). On October 26, the French navy ship[which?] anchored in Mahe and the French regained control of Mahe. The ship left Mahe on October 31. Communists tried to capture Cherukallayi enclave in April 1954. Two Indians were killed during the struggle[citation needed]. The Indian flag was hoisted in the Naluthura enclave on May 1. The freedom fighters conducted an embargo on Mahe from June that year. On July 14, 1954, the Mahajanasabha organized a March into Mahe and Mahe was liberated on July 16, 1954.[5][6]

Freedom fighters in Mahe, 1954

Demographics[edit] As of 2011[update] India
census,[7] Mahé had a population of 41,816, predominantly Malayalis. Males constitute 46.5% of the population. Mahé has an average literacy rate of 97.87%; male and female literacy were 98.63% and 97.25%, respectively. In Mahé, 10.89% of the population consists of children under six years of age. Locationwise distribution[edit]

Mahe 10630 Chalakara 6855 Pandakal 8944 Palloor 14250 Cherukallayi 1255

Culture[edit] The culture and geography of this area are like almost all of those in the Malabar Coast of Kerala. The major festival of this region is Vishu
and Onam
and Eid . The major language is Malayalam. The population includes Tamil and Telugu speakers. Climate[edit]

Climate data for Mahe, India

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 31.6 (88.9) 32.0 (89.6) 33.0 (91.4) 33.2 (91.8) 32.7 (90.9) 29.6 (85.3) 28.3 (82.9) 28.7 (83.7) 29.5 (85.1) 30.4 (86.7) 31.0 (87.8) 31.4 (88.5) 30.95 (87.72)

Average low °C (°F) 21.8 (71.2) 22.9 (73.2) 24.6 (76.3) 25.8 (78.4) 25.7 (78.3) 23.9 (75) 23.4 (74.1) 23.6 (74.5) 23.7 (74.7) 23.8 (74.8) 23.3 (73.9) 22.0 (71.6) 23.71 (74.67)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 3 (0.12) 4 (0.16) 13 (0.51) 76 (2.99) 295 (11.61) 905 (35.63) 1,083 (42.64) 539 (21.22) 274 (10.79) 237 (9.33) 106 (4.17) 22 (0.87) 3,557 (140.04)

Source: Climate-Data.org[8]

Transport[edit] Mahé's nearest airport is Calicut International Airport, Karipur, at a distance of 85 km; Kannur Airport
Kannur Airport
under construction is nearing completion at Mattannur
at a distance of 40 kilometres (25 miles). The nearest Railway Station is Mahé, where a few local and express trains stop. The nearest major railway stations, where several long distance trains stop, are Thalassery, Kannur, Mangalore
and Vatakara. Administration[edit] Mahé Municipality is the seat of the local administration of Mahé. The Mahé municipal area comprises 9 square kilometres (3.5 square miles) with one Assembly Constituency, i.e. Mahé. Municipal Council was not in existence with effect from 1978. Thereafter, the Regional Administrator or Regional Executive Officer used to exercise the power of the chairman and Vice-Chairman
in the capacity of Special
Officer of Mahé Municipal Council. Civic elections were held during 2006 after nearly 30 years. Based on the elections, the chairman and 15 councillors of Mahé Municipality were sworn in. Divisions[edit]

Mahé Town Cherukallayi Chalakkara Chembra Palloor Pandakkal

Wards[edit] Mahé Municipality consists of 15 wards. Mahé Pocket

Mundock Manjakkal Choodikotta Parakkal Valavil

Naluthara Pocket

Pandakkal North Pandakkal Central Pandakkal South Palloor North-East Palloor North-West Palloor South-West Palloor South-East Chalakkara North Chalakkara South

Cherukallayi Pocket


Education[edit] Mahatma Gandhi Government Arts College in Mahé, was established in the year 1970 by I K Kumaran. The Mahé Co-operative College of Teacher Education was established in 2005 and is part of the Mahé Co-operative Centre for Information Technology Ltd.[9][10] Other institutions include Mahé Co-operative College of Higher Education & Technology, Mahé Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Govt Ayurveda College and Rajiv Gandhi Govt Industrial Training Institute, Mahé.There are several Government and private schools which provides good education to the young ones. Notable people[edit]

I K Kumaran, leader of French Indian Liberation Movement and the first Administrator of free Mahé M Mukundan, Malayalam
novelist and fiction writer V N Purushothaman, the last Mayor and the first chairman of the Mahé Municipality

In Popular culture[edit]

M Mukundan's novel Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil or On the Banks of the River Mayyazhi describes the political and social background of Mahé 1992 Malayalam
feature film Daivathinte Vikrithikal, directed by Lenin Rajendran is based on the novel of the same name by M Mukundan, is set in the ex-French colony of Mayyazhi (Mahé)

See also[edit]

French India Indira Gandhi Polytechnic College French East India
Company Municipal Administration in French India Causes for Liberation of French colonies in India Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais Malabar (Northern Kerala) Kannur Kasargod Mangalore Kerala

Image gallery[edit]

Morning in Mahe

Mahe Light House

Mahe Town Hall

Mahe in 1867

Mahe Church, 1940

Kallappally Mosque

Keezhur Monument


^ The spelling "Mahe" appears to be the only one for the Mahe District (as can be seen from the District's official website and other official sites). "Mahé" seems to survive for the town proper. ^ H. Castonnet des Fosses, "L’Inde avant Dupleix", Revue de l’Anjou, Angers, July–August 1886, p. 91, note 1. ^ The detailed accounts of the expedition barely mention young La Bourdonnais' role. ^ "History of Mahé". Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.  ^ http://www.calicutnet.com/yourtown/mahe/history.htm ^ http://pib.nic.in/feature/feyr98/fe0898/f1808986.html ^ "Census of India
2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  ^ "CLIMATE: MAHE", Climate-Data.org. Web: [1]. ^ Mahé Co-operative College of Teacher Education (MCCTE).[permanent dead link] Pondicherry Today. Retrieved 9 August 2012. ^ Mahé Co-operative College of Teacher Education (MCCTE). Retrieved 9 August 2012.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mahé, India.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mahe (India).

Press Information Bureau

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North Malabar
North Malabar


( Vatakara
and Koyilandy
Taluks) Wayanad ( Mananthavady
Taluk) Mahe Kannur Kasaragod

Main Towns and Cities

Kannur Thalassery Kozhikode Vatakara Kasaragod Mahe Koyilandy Payyannur Kanhangad Nileshwaram Thaliparamba Kuthuparamba Mattannur Mananthavady Perambra Kuttiyadi Peringome Nadapuram Payyoli Iritty Azhiyur Orkkateri Meppayur Vellikulangara Edakkad New Mahe Pinarayi Mambaram Panoor Vellamunda Thirunelli Edavaka Thavinjal Panamaram Irikkur Kottayam Anjarakkandy Pazhayangadi Trikarpur Manjeswaram Pappinisseri Kalliasseri Cherukunnu Kannapuram Morazha Aroli Pattuvam Sreekandapuram Alakode Cherupuzha Muzhappilangad Azhikode Cheruvathur Mattool

v t e

Places of interest in North Malabar

Velliyamkallu: Associated with the valiant Kunhali Marakkar at Vatakara Sand Banks: Where the Kotakal river reaches the sea at Vatakara Silent Beach: South of Sand Banks is Silent Beach at Vatakara Azhiyoor Vatakara Palloor Mahé Panthakkal Mahé Poozhithala Mahé Mahe Beach Mahé Mayyazhi Puzhayoram Mahé Pakshi Pathalam Thirunelli
Mananthavady Pookkottu Thadakam (Lake) Mananthavady Tellichery Fort Thalassery Muzhappilangadu Drive-in Beach on Thalassery
- Kannur
Road Payyambalam Beach Kannur St. Angelo Fort Kannur Meenkunnu Beach Kannur Valapattanam Kannur Pazhassi Dam Kannur The thuruths (small islands in the river) of Cherukunnu The small hills of Cherukunnu Azheekkal ferry and beach Azhikode Ezhimala beach Payyannur Kotti Payyannur Ayyankunnu Iritty Paithal Mala Thaliparamba Snake Park Parassinikkadavu Vismaya, the water theme park Parassinikkadavu Valiyaparamba island Trikaripur Ranipuram Kanhangad Bekal Fort Kasaragod Chandragiri Fort Kasaragod Ananthapuram Lake Kasaragod Kanwatheertha Beach Resort Kasaragod

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Clipperton Island

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Île Amsterdam Île Saint-Paul Crozet Islands Kerguelen Islands Adélie Land

Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean

Bassas da India3 Europa Island3 Glorioso Islands2, 3 Juan de Nova Island3 Tromelin Island4

1 Also known as overseas regions 2 Claimed by Comoros 3 Claimed by Madagascar 4 Claimed by Mauritius

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Capital: Pondicherry


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History of Pondicherry

Places of interest

Beach Manakula Vinayagar Temple Matrimandir Sri Aurobindo Ashram Sacred Heart Basilica



Puducherry Karaikal Mahe


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Tigers Pondicherry Cricket Association Indira Gandhi Sports Stadium Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium YSR Indoor Stadium

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 146671362 LCCN: n86872