|Established||1 July 1963|
|Capital and Largest city||Pondicherry|
|• Lieutenant Governor||Virendra Kataria|
|• Chief Minister||N. Rangaswamy (AINRC)|
|• Legislature||Unicameral (30 seats elected + 3 seats nominated )|
|• Total||492 km2 (190 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-PY|
|Website||www.py.gov.in  www.pon.nic.in|
The Tamil name is புதுச்சேரி (Puducherry), which means "New Town". Historically known as Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri), the territory changed its official name to Puducherry (Putuccēri) in 2006. It is also known as "The French Riviera of the East" (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est).
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 French influence
- 4 Official languages of government
- 5 Official symbols
- 6 Government and administration
- 7 Special administration status
- 8 In Indian philosophy
- 9 Puducherry in literature
- 10 Economy
- 11 Tourism
- 12 Transport
- 13 Educational institutions
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The union territory of Puducherry consists of four small unconnected districts: Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea. Pondicherry and Karaikal are the largest sections in terms of territory and population, both being enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively. The territory has a total area of 492 km²: Pondicherry 293 km², Karaikal 160 km², Mahé 9 km² and Yanam 30 km². It has a total population of 1,244,464 inhabitants (2011).
Some of those enclaves are themselves amalgamations of non-contiguous enclaves, often called pockets in India. The Pondicherry district is made of 11 such pockets, some of which are very small and entirely surrounded by the territory of Tamil Nadu. The Mahé district is made up of three pockets. This unusual geography is a legacy of the colonial period with Puducherry retaining the borders of former French India.
All four districts of Puducherry are located in the coastal region. So some rivers drain into sea in Puducherry and none of them originates within the territory. Five rivers in Pondicherry district, seven in Karaikal, two in Mahé and one in Yanam drain into the sea.
The earliest recorded history of Puducherry can be traced back to the 2nd century. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, of the early 2nd century, mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch. 60), which G.W.B. Huntingford identified as possibly being Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam), about 2 miles from the modern Pondicherry. Huntingford further notes that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937, and 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 AD".
The city of Pondicherry was designed based on the French grid pattern and features neat sectors and 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 still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and houses with large doors and grills. These French and Indian style houses are identified and their architecture is preserved from destruction by an organisation named INTACH. The use of the French language can still be seen and heard in Pondicherry.
Puducherry still has a large number of Indian and a small number of non-Indian descent residents with French passports. These are descendants of those who chose to remain French when the then-ruling French establishment presented the people of Puducherry with an option to either remain French or become Indians at the time of Puducherry's transfer to India in 1954.
Apart from the monuments pertaining to the French period, there is the French Consulate in Puducherry and several cultural organisations. Another important one is Le Foyer du Soldat legion hall for soldiers who served in French wars.
Of the cultural organisations the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Puducherry Centre of the École française d'Extrême-Orient and a branch of the Alliance Française are noteworthy. A French-medium school system, the Lycée Français de Pondichéry, continues to operate under the aegis of the French Minister of National Education.
Official languages of government
The official languages of Puducherry are Tamil (89%), Malayalam (4.8%), Telugu and (2.9% Yanam). The status of each language varies by district. When communicating between districts of different languages, generally English is used for convenience.
- Tamil is used by the Puducherry government, especially used when communicating within and between the Tamil majority districts (Pondicherry and Karaikal) along with issuing official decrees. Telugu is widely spoken in Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam districts. Malayalam is spoken in Mahé and Pondicherry districts.
- French is also an official language of the territory. It was the official language of French India from 1673 until 1954), and its official status was preserved by the Treaty of Cession signed by the Indian Union and the French Republic on 28 May 1956.
French remained as the de jure official language of Puducherry U.T by the Article XXVIII of the Treaty of Cession, which states that:
"The French language shall remain the official language of the Establishments so long as the elected representatives of the people shall not decide otherwise" [English version]
On 16 April 2007, the government of Puducherry announced that the following were to be its state symbols:
|State flower||Cannonball tree's flower|
|State tree||Bael Fruit Tree|
Government and administration
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
Puducherry is a Union Territory of India, and a not a separate state, which implies that the governance and administration of the territory falls directly under the federal authority in New Delhi. However, along with Delhi, Puducherry is one of the two union territories in India which is entitled by special constitutional amendments to have an elected legislative assembly and a cabinet of ministers, thereby enjoying partial statehood powers. Under the special provision, the government is permitted to make laws with respect to specific matters. In many cases, such legislation may require the ratification from the federal government or the assent of the President of India.
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 financial well-being of the territory, as against the states where financial administration, given a budgeted central grant is the responsibility to the state governments. Consequently, Puducherry has at various times, enjoyed lower taxes, especially in the indirect category.
Special administration status
According to the Treaty of Cession of 1956, the four territories of former French India were guaranteed to retain their special administrative status. That is why Puducherry is the only Union Territory with some special provisions like a Legislative Assembly and French as an official language.
Article II of the Treaty states that
"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."
In Indian philosophy
Puducherry in literature
- Puducherry was the setting for the first third of the Booker prize-winning novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel. A portion of the subsequent movie version was filmed there.
- Lee Langley's novel A House in Pondicherry was set there.
- "Prince Pondicherry" is an Indian character from Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The prince orders Willy Wonka to build a palace of chocolate in India, which then melts in the hot sun.
This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Puducherry at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian rupees.
|Year||Gross State Domestic Product|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
Puducherry's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2 billion in current prices. 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 km2 of inshore waters, 1.347 ha of inland water and 800 ha of brackish water. There are 27 marine fishing villages and 23 inland fishing villages with fishermen population of about 65,000 of which 13,000 are actively engaged in fishing. Irrigation tanks and ponds are also tapped for commercial fish rearing.
The Railways play a vital role for speedy economic growth. The entire cost towards execution of the new broad gauge line for 10.7 km from Karaikal to Nagore would now be funded by the Ministry of Railways and work has already been awarded on turn key basis for laying the new railway line in a period of 18 months.
The present availability of power is about 400 MW. The demand is likely to increase with the development of Port, Special Economic Zone, other industrial development, trade, commerce etc. The Government has decided to expand the Pondicherry Airport so that air services can be improved gradually over the years, to land aircraft like ATR-42 and Boeing 737NG, to meet the growing demand for air travel. A MoU has already been signed with Airports Authority of India for expansion of Pondicherry Airport in two phases.
Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist spots for national and international tourists. There are several beaches here. There is also Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo spent his last years. There are several temples, monuments, parks and mosques which attract tourists.
Puducherry is connected by a railway branch line from the five-way junction at Viluppuram and Chennai. The railway line is a broad gauge line. There are express trains from Chennai, Bangalore, Viluppuram, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Howrah and other cities. It takes approximately four hours to reach Puducherry from Chennai by train.
Puducherry is endowed with excellent infrastructural facilities on par with the best available in the country. A network of all weather metalled roads connecting every village exists in the territory. Puducherry has a road length of 2552 km (road length per 4.87 km²), the highest in the country.
Road length comparison with Tamil Nadu and India as a whole
|Total Road Length (in Puducherry)||2552 km.|
|Road Length per 1000 km².||Puducherry||Tamil Nadu||India|
Classification of roads
|Sl. No.||Type of road||Length in
District & Other Roads
Pondicherry – 173.384
Karaikal – 55.162
Mahé – 19.622
Yanam – 26.460
Pondicherry – 164.964
Karaikal – 83.470
Pondicherry Airport is situated at Lawspet. The Puducherry Government 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 Bangalore were launched. Karaikal Airport, a greenfield airport to be ready by 2014, will be the first airport in the country to be built entirely with private capital.
Puducherry is a Union Territory with one of the highest levels of quality of life in the country with moderate physical infrastructure and almost a hundred per cent literacy level. It is also the place where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother chose to stay and their writings remain a tremendous source of spiritual awakening that emphasises the progress of humanity and its spiritual brotherhood. 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. Puducherry, which still carries several marks of French culture and heritage, was also the place where the national poet Shri Subramania Bharathiar wrote several of his masterpieces that fanned the flames of freedom and also enriched modern Tamil literature. Bharathidasan, a staunch disciple of Subramania Bharathiar, whose poems stressed social revolution and emancipation of women, was also an eminent son of Puducherry. Therefore, it is, indeed, in the fitness of things that this city with such an illustrious history should also have the distinction of housing a Central University that would meet the needs of the people of the Southern states of India in general and those of Puducherry in particular, for higher education.
Colleges in Pondicherry
- Aarupadai Veedu Medical College & Hospital
- Alpha College of Engineering and Technology
- Achariya College of Engineering & Technology
- Bharathithasan Government college for Women.
- Bharathiyar College of Engineering and Technology, Karaikal
- Christ College of Engineering and Technology
- Ganesh College of Engineering and Technology
Indira Gandhi college of arts and science
- Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute
- Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research
- Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences
- Kasthurba College for Women, Villianur
- Mahatma Gandhi Government Arts College, Mahé
- Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute
- Mahatma Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences
- Mahé Co-operative College for Higher Studies and Education
- Manakula Vinayagar Institute of Technology
- National Institute of Technology, Puducherry
- Mother Theresa Post Graduate and Research Institute of Health Sciences, Puducherry. 
- Orient Flight School
- Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Pondicherry Engineering College
- Pondicherry Institutes of Medical Sciences
- Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology
- Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
- Regency Institute of Technology
- RVS engineering College
- Shree Sathguru Engineering College
- Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
- Sri Ganesh College of Engineering & Technology
- Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences
- Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College
- Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College & Hospital
- Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre
- Tagore Arts College
- University College of Engineering
- Vinayaka Missions Medical College
- French colonies
- https://www.py.gov.in/portalapp/whatsnew/IT11022013.pdf. Retrieved on March 05, 2013
- South Asia | New name for old French territory. BBC News (20 September 2006). Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- National : Bill to rename Pondicherry as Puducherry passed. The Hindu (22 August 2006). Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, transl. G.W.B. Huntingford (Hakluyt Society, 1980), p. 119.
- Le français restera langue officielle des Établissements aussi longtemps que les représentants élus de la population n'auront pas pris une décision différente [French version)]
- The Hindu: Puducherry comes out with list of State symbols, 16 April 2007
- "Filming Locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Puducherry airport to go on stream in October". The Economic Times. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "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.
- "Coimbatore firm to build India's first private airport in Karaikal". The Times of India. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- University, Pondicherry. "Pondicherry University".
- Achariya College of Engineering & Technology.
- Orient Flight School.
- Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puducherry.|
- Official website of the Government of the Union Territory of Puducherry
- Freedom struggle in Puducherry
- Puducherry travel guide from Wikivoyage