Puducherry (/pʊdʊˈtʃɛri/, literally New Town in Tamil),
formerly known as
Pondicherry (/pɒndɪˈtʃɛri/), is a union
territory of India. It was formed out of four exclaves of former
French India, namely Pondichéry (Pondicherry; now Puducherry),
Karikal (Karaikal), Mahé and
Yanaon (Yanam). It is named after the
largest district, Puducherry. Historically known as Pondicherry
(Pāṇṭiccēri), the territory changed its official name to
Puducherry (Putuccēri) on 20 September 2006.
Puducherry lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. The
Puducherry district and
Karaikal district are bound by the
state of Tamil Nadu, while
Yanam district and
Mahé district are
enclosed by the states of
Andhra Pradesh and
Puducherry is the 29th most populous and the third most densely
populated of the states and union territories of India. It has a gross
domestic product (GDP) of ₹0.21 lakh crore (US$3.2 billion) and
ranks 27th in India.
2.1 Districts of
Union Territory of Puducherry
4 Government and administration
Special administration status
4.2 Official languages
4.3 Official symbols
5.1 French influence
9 In Popular culture
10 See also
12 External links
Main article: History of Puducherry
The earliest recorded history of
Puducherry can be traced to the 2nd
century AD. The
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a marketplace
named Poduke (ch 60).
G. W. B. Huntingford suggested this might be a
site about 2 miles from the modern Puducherry, which was possibly the
Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam). Huntingford noted
that Roman pottery was found at
Arikamedu in 1937. In addition,
archaeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was "a
trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported
during the first half of the 1st century CE" Subsequent investigation
by Vimala Begley from 1989 to 1992 modified this assessment, and now
place the period of occupation from the 3rd or 2nd century BCE to the
8th century CE. to ..
Pondicherry (Pondichéry) became a French colony of the
French colonial empire. Together with Chandernagor (already French
since 1673), Mahé (since 1721),
Yanam (Yanaon) (since 1731), Karaikal
(Karikal) (since 1739) and
Masulipatam (1760), it formed the French
colony of French India, under a single French governor in Pondicherry,
although French rule over one or more of these enclaves was repeatedly
interrupted by British occupations. The territories of French India
were completely transferred to the Republic of
India de facto on 1
November 1954, and de jure on 16 August 1962, when French
to exist, becoming the present Indian constituent union territory of
Pondicherry, still combining four coastal enclaves.
Map showing the districts of Puducherry
Further information: List of rivers of Puducherry
The union territory of
Puducherry consists of four small unconnected
Puducherry district (393 km2 (152 sq mi)),
Karaikal district (160 km2 (62 sq mi)) and Yanam
district (30 km2 (12 sq mi)) on the
Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal and
Mahé district (9 km2 (3.5 sq mi)) on the Arabian Sea,
covering a total area of 592 km2 (229 sq mi).
Karaikal have the largest areas and population, and are
both enclaves of Tamil Nadu.
Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra
Pradesh and Kerala, respectively. Its population, as per the 2011
Census, is 1,244,464.
Some of Puducherry's regions are themselves amalgamations of
non-contiguous enclaves, often called pockets in India. The Puducherry
region is made of 11 such pockets, some of which are very small and
entirely surrounded by the territory of Tamil Nadu. Mahé region is
made up of three pockets. This unusual geography is a legacy of the
colonial period with
Puducherry retaining the borders of former French
All four regions of
Puducherry are located in the coastal region. Five
Puducherry district, seven in
Karaikal district, two in
Mahé district and one in
Yanam district drain into the sea, but none
originates within the territory.
Union Territory of Puducherry
Puducherry district, comprises of the regions of Puducherry, Mahe and
Puducherry is an enclave of Tamil Nadu, Mahe and Yanam
are enclaves of the States of
Andhra Pradesh respectively.
Karaikkal district is an enclave of Tamil Nadu
Religion in Puducherry
Hinduism is the major religion with 87.3% of the population adhering
to it. Other religions include
Christianity (6.2%) and
Government and administration
Puducherry Legislative Assembly
Puducherry Legislative Assembly
Puducherry Legislative Assembly and Puducherry
See also: List of Lieutenant Governors of Puducherry, List of Chief
Ministers of Puducherry, and List of districts of Puducherry
Puducherry is a
Union Territory of
India rather than a state, which
implies that governance and administration falls directly under
federal authority. However,
Puducherry is one of only two union
India (the other being Delhi), that is entitled by a
special constitutional amendment to have an elected legislative
assembly and a cabinet of ministers, thereby conveying partial
The Centre is represented by the Lieutenant Governor, who resides at
the Raj Nivas (Le Palais du Gouverneur) at the Park, the former palace
of the French governor. The central government is more directly
involved in the territory's financial well-being unlike states, which
have a central grant that they administer. Consequently, Puducherry
has at various times, enjoyed lower taxes, especially in the indirect
Special administration status
The territory changed its name to
Puducherry in 2006
According to the Treaty of Cession of 1956, the four territories of
India territorial administration are permitted to make
laws with respect to specific matters. In many cases, such legislation
may require ratification from the federal government or the assent of
the President of India.
Article II of the Treaty states:
“The Establishments will keep the benefit of the special
administrative status which was in force prior to 1 November 1954. Any
constitutional changes in this status which may be made subsequently
shall be made after ascertaining the wishes of the people.”
Main article: Official languages of Puducherry
French remained the official language according to the Article XXVIII
of "Traité de Cession" (Treaty of Cession) 1956. According to the
French language shall remain the official language of the
Establishments so long as the elected representatives of the people
shall not decide otherwise". By 1963 Union Territories Act, the Tamil,
Malayalam are the three official languages used
region-wise. French didn't lose its official status even after
the adoption of "The
Pondicherry Official Language Act 1965" (Act No.
3 of 1965). This act stated that "the
Tamil language shall (...)
be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of
the Union territory". It also provides for the use of the Malayalam
and Telugu languages in the Mahé and
Yanam districts. The law also
states that English "may be used for all or any of the official
purposes of the Union territory". As of today, still the official
Puducherry is published with French; albeit, with a
On 16 April 2007, the government of
Puducherry announced that the
following were to be its state symbols:
State symbols of Puducherry
Invocation to Tamil Goddess (written by Bharathidasan)
Cannonball tree's flower
Bael fruit tree
Consulate of France at Goubert Avenue, White Town, Puducherry
The plan of the city of
Pondicherry is based on the French grid
pattern and features perpendicular streets. The town is divided into
two sections: the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or 'White Town') and
the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or 'Black Town'). Many streets retain
French names, and villas in French architectural styles are a common
sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically in French
colonial style, with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian
quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and with large doors
and grilles. These French- and Indian-style houses are preserved from
destruction by an organisation named INTACH. The
French language can
be seen on signs and menus, and heard in Puducherry.
residents with French passports: Most are of Indian descent and a
small number are of non-Indian descent. At the time of Puducherry's
India in 1954, residents were given a choice to retain
their French citizenship or to gain Indian citizenship. Those with
French passports today are generally descendants of residents who
chose to keep their French citizenship.
Several monuments in the city pertain to the French period. A French
Consulate is in Puducherry, along with cultural organisations. Another
important building is Le Foyer du Soldat, a veterans legion hall for
soldiers who served in French wars. Among the French cultural
organisations, the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Puducherry
Centre of the
École française d'Extrême-Orient
École française d'Extrême-Orient and a branch of the
Alliance Française are noteworthy. A French high school (Lycée
français de Pondichéry) operates under the aegis of the French
Minister of National Education.
The Promenade in the main town
Puducherry is one of the most popular
tourist attractions of the Union Territory
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry
The gross state domestic product of Puducherry, at market prices
estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with
figures in crores of Indian rupees grew from 184 to 25,819 crore
rupees from 1980– 2014.
Gross State Domestic Product
The potential for fisheries is substantial in the Union Territory. The
four regions of the
Union Territory have a coastline of 45 km
with 675 of inshore waters, 1.347 hectares (3.33 acres) of inland
water and 800 ha of brackish water. 27 marine fishing villages and 23
inland fishing villages host a fishermen population of about 65,000 of
which 13,000 are actively engaged in fishing. Tanks and ponds are also
tapped for commercial fish rearing.
Main article: Tourism in Puducherry
Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist spots for national and
international tourists. Out of 274
Paadal Petra Sthalam
Paadal Petra Sthalam Shiva Temples,
Puducherry region is owning 1 temple and in
Karaikal regions it is
having 4 temples which itself a clear proof that the Puducherry
territory is also a part of the spiritual and sacramental of Shaivism
principles. Besides in Villianur,
Bahour and in so many areas of
Puducherry region there are so many Shiva temples built up during the
golden period of King Chola empire which gives immense pleasure to be
proud of that our
Puducherry territory was administered under the
control of such golden rulers. So visiting such ancient temples would
definitely give more spiritual vibrations to the tourists. For every
Puducherry territory administration also declares official
Holiday for performing the grand Car Festivals to the temples situates
Veerampattinam that too the Lieutenant Governor of
Puducherry and the
Chief Minister of Puducherry also participates in
such grand Car Festival. Besides in
Kizhoor, Puducherry which is
22 km away from
Puducherry therein on 18-10-1954 a referendum was
conducted to ensure that whether the erstwhile French establishments
Puducherry shall continue with French administration or to merge
with Indian Union and finally decided to merge with Indian Union.
Puducherry was the residence of
Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) and the
Sri Aurobindo Ashram still operates from Puducherry. A unique
experimental city Auroville, the brainchild of the Mother, whose
inhabitants are drawn from all parts of the world is situated on the
outskirts of the city. There are several temples, churches, monuments,
parks and mosques which attract tourists.
St. Luke – Sacred Heart Church, Puducherry
Puducherry railway station
Puducherry is connected by a railway branch line from the five-way
Viluppuram and Chennai. The railway line is a broad gauge
line with 16 originating Trains and 17 Terminating Trains
Main article: Road Network in
Puducherry Road Transport Corporation
Puducherry has a network all weather metalled roads connecting the
Puducherry has a road length of 2,552 km (road length
per 4.87 km2), the highest in the country.
Yanam Draksharamam Road, Puducherry
Road length comparison with
Tamil Nadu and
India as a whole
Total road length (in Puducherry)
Road length per 1000 km2
Classification of roads
Type of road
Length in (km)
District & other roads
Puducherry – 173.384
Karaikal – 55.162
Mahé – 19.622
Yanam – 26.460
Puducherry – 164.964
Karaikal – 83.470
Puducherry Airport is situated at Lawspet. The
upgraded the airport in 2012 with a new terminal building and
apron to accommodate larger aircraft. The new terminal building was
inaugurated in January 2013 and scheduled flights to Bengaluru were
launched. A MoU has been signed with Airports Authority of India
for expansion of
Puducherry Airport in two phases. Karaikal
Airport is a planned greenfield airport and will be the India's first
airport to be built entirely with private capital.
Main article: List of educational institutions in Puducherry
Puducherry has a literacy rate of 86.55%.
is a central university located in Puducherry. Other colleges
include Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education &
Research (JIPMER), Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research
Institute (Government of Puducherry), Mahatma Gandhi Medical College
and Research Institute, National Institute of Technology, Puducherry,
Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology,
Pondicherry Engineering College, Mother Theresa Post Graduate and
Research Institute of Health Sciences, Achariya College of Engineering
& Technology ACET, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and
Technology, Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,
Christ institute of technology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering
College, Shri Krishnaa College of Engineering & Technology, Sri
Ganesh College Of Engineering and Technology and Sri Venkateshwaraa
Medical College Hospital and Research Centre.
In Popular culture
Puducherry was the setting for Yann Martel's first third of his Booker
Life of Pi
Life of Pi (2001). A portion of the subsequent
film adaptation of the same name was filmed there.
Lee Langley's novel A House in
Pondicherry (1996) was set there.
Pondicherry is an Indian character from Roald Dahl's children's
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (1964). The prince orders
Willy Wonka to build a palace of chocolate in India; the palace melts
in the hot sun.
The 9th season of the reality show Splisvilla on MTV was set in
South Asia portal
Puducherry (Lok Sabha constituency)
Causes for liberation of French colonies in India
French colonial empire
Municipal Administration in French India
^ "narendra modi appointe Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry". The
Hindu. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
^ "V Narayanasamy to be new
Puducherry Chief Minister".
^ Varma, M. Dinesh (2015-06-06). "New Chief Secretary assumes charge".
The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
^ "IG Sunil Kumar Gautam to assume charge after polls". The Hindu.
2016-02-18. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
^ "PUDUCHERRY LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY".
^ a b "Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India:
50th report (delivered to the Lokh Sabha in 2014)" (PDF). National
Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs,
Government of India. p. 155. Archived from the original (PDF) on
8 July 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
^ "South Asia New name for old French territory". BBC News. 20
September 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
^ "National : Bill to rename
The Hindu. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
^ "State Domestic Product and other aggregates, 2004–05 series".
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. 27 February 2015.
Archived from the original on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 18 June
^ The Dating of
Arikamedu and its Bearing on the Archaeology of Early
^ The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian
Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century. Kessinger Publishing. July
2007. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-548-20943-1.
^ "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011.
The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from
the original on 25 August 2015.
^ "Lanka BBC Info Know Puducherry: Government Name
Puducherry". lankabbc.com. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
^ "The Government of Union Territories Act, 1963" (PDF). Ministry of
Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
Puducherry code volume 1" (pdf). Government of Puducherry.
Retrieved 1 June 2015.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
Retrieved 12 June 2015.
^ CIDIF. "06-Le français à Pondichéry, par Roland Breton". go1.cc.
Archived from the original on 9 April 2015.
^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11
October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
Tamil Nadu News :
Puducherry comes out with list of State
symbols". The Hindu. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
^ List of Indian states by GDP
^ karthik. "
Pondicherry Station - 16 Train Departures SR/Southern Zone
- Railway Enquiry". indiarailinfo.com.
^ "Flight operations await new terminal". IBN Live. 10 May 2012.
Retrieved 3 July 2012.
^ "First flight to
Puducherry from Bangalore on January 17". Retrieved
5 February 2013.
Puducherry airport to go on stream in October". The Economic Times.
3 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
^ "Coimbatore firm to build India's first private airport in
Karaikal". The Times of India. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 3 July
^ "Ranking of states and union territories by literacy rate: 2011"
(PDF). Government of India.
Pondicherry University. Archived from the
original on 25 April 2011.
^ "Welcome to the Website of PKIET". Pkiet.edu.in. Retrieved 10
^ "Filming Locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 3 December
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Pondicherry (union territory).
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puducherry.
Official website of the Government of the
Union Territory of
Treaty establishing De Jure Cession of French Establishments in India
Official website of Department of Tourism, Pondicherry
Official website of
Puducherry Tourism, by Pondy Tourism
Events and happenings in and around Puducherry
Puducherry travel guide from Wikivoyage
State of Puducherry
Pondicherry Engineering College
National Institute of Technology, Puducherry
History of Pondicherry
Places of interest
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Sacred Heart Basilica
Pondicherry Cricket Association
Indira Gandhi Sports Stadium
Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium
YSR Indoor Stadium
States and union territories of India
Jammu and Kashmir
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
National Capital Territory of Delhi
Daman and Diu
Capitals in India
Proposed states and territories