|Coordinates: 11°55′51″N 79°47′07″E / 11.930965°N 79.785182°ECoordinates: 11°55′51″N 79°47′07″E / 11.930965°N 79.785182°E|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||9,166/km2 (23,740/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||91 (0)413|
Pondicherry (// or //) is the capital city of Indian union territory of Puducherry. Pondicherry is situated in Puducherry district of the union territory and other districts situated in Tamil Nadu (Karaikal), Andhra (Yanam) & Kerala (Mahe) majority of the people speaks Tamil. It is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry in Tamil (New Town) since 2006. Pondicherry is the regional capital and largest city in the territory.
The history of the city of Pondicherry is recorded only after the arrival of Dutch, Portuguese, British and French colonialists. By contrast, nearby places such as Arikamedu, Ariyankuppam, Kakayanthoppe, Villianur and Bahur, which were annexed by the French East India Company over a period of time and which became the Union Territory of Pondicherry after Independence, have recorded history predating the colonial period.
A marketplace named Poduke or Poduca is recorded as a Roman trading destination from the mid 1st century. The area was part of the Pallava Kingdom of Kanchipuram in the 4th century. The Cholas of Thanjavur held it from the 10th to 13th centuries, only to be replaced by the Pandya Kingdom in the 13th century. The Vijayanagar Empire took control of almost all of the South of India in the 14th century and maintained control until 1638 when they were supplanted by the Sultan of Bijapur. The French acquired Puducherry in 1674 and held it, with an occasional interruption by the British or Dutch, until 1954 (de jure 1956), when it was incorporated into the Indian Union along with the rest of French India.
On 18 October 1954 in a general election involving 178 people in Pondicherry Municipal and Commune Panchayat, 170 people were in favour of independence and eight people voted against. On 1 November 1954, Puducherry became part of the union.
However, the formal agreement was signed on 16 August, which is the date celebrated as Independence Day in Puducherry; following the demands of French India, Viduthalai Kaala Makkal Iyyakkam to their current Chief Minister of Puducherry. So 1 November was declared as the Independence Day of Pondicherry and 16 August as the Republic Day.
The French in Puducherry
The French East India Company established this town as their headquarters in 1674. Five trading posts were established along the South Indian coast between 1668 and 1674. The town was separated by a canal into the French Quarter and the Indian Quarter.
Pondicherry experiences coastal erosion. The city is protected against the sea by a 2-km-long seawall, first completed by the French in 1735, which reaches a height of 8,5 m above sea level. A weather-beaten cement plaque with the year 1952 is still visible along a section of the seawall. The seawall is protected from the direct onslaught of waves by rows of granite boulders which are reinforced every year to stop erosion. Whenever gaps appear or the stones sink into the sand, the Government adds more boulders to keep it strong.
In 2012, the Ministry of Power inaugurated the Smart Grid project in Puducherry.
Farming around Pondicherry include crops such as rice, pulses, sugarcane, coconuts, and cotton.
The climate of Pondicherry is classified by Köppen-Geiger system as tropical wet and dry (As), similar to that of coastal Tamil Nadu. Summer lasts from April to early June, when maximum temperatures frequently hit the 41 °C (106 °F) mark. The average maximum temperature is 36 °C (97 °F). Minimum temperatures are in the order of 28–32 °C (82–90 °F). This is followed by a period of high humidity and occasional thundershowers from June till September.
The northeast monsoon sets in during the middle of October, and Pondicherry gets the bulk of its annual rainfall during the period from October to December. The annual average rainfall is 1,240 mm (49 in). Winters are warm, with highs of 30 °C (86 °F) and lows often dipping to around 18–20 °C (64–68 °F).
|Climate data for Pondicherry Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)|| 33.2
|Average high °C (°F)|| 29.0
|Average low °C (°F)|| 21.9
|Record low °C (°F)|| 17.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)|| 12.3
|Average rainy days||0.9||0.9||0.8||0.4||1.9||2.8||5.3||6.7||6.5||10.3||11.8||6.8||55.0|
|Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)|
At the 2011 India census, Pondicherry had a population of 675,000. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Pondicherry has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 71%. In Pondicherry, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The majority of Pondicherrians speak Tamil in Pondicherry and Karaikal, Telugu in Yanam, (Andhra), or Malayalam in Mahe, (Kerala). There is a community of French people in Pondicherry and a number of French institutions such as a consulate, the French Institute, and L'Alliance Française.
Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and French are the official languages of Pondicherry.
|Pondicherry Municipality||19.54 km2||241,773|
|Oulgaret Municipality||36.70 km2||300,028|
Data according to 2001 census
There are two proposals by the Puducherry government, firstly to merge Pondicherry and Oulgaret municipalities, and upgrade Pondicherry municipality into a '"municipal corporation", and secondly to upgrade Villianur and Ariyankuppam commune panchayats into municipalities, which would increase the Pondicherry region's urban area around 155 km2. of the total 292 km2.
Pondicherry is connected to Chennai via the East Coast Road through Mahabalipuram. The Pondicherry Road Transport Corporation runs buses within the city. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates Volvo air-conditioned services from Chennai to Pondicherry. There are daily bus services from several main stops from Chennai.
PDY/Puducherry (Pondicherry) is connected by train to all metros: Chennai, Delhi, Howrah, and Mumbai, as well as other important cities such as Kanyakumari, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore and Mangalore. Important Trains : 12867/Howrah-Puducherry (Aurobindo) SF Express and 22403/Puducherry - New Delhi SF Express
Pondicherry is a popular tourist destination in South India. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance.
The most popular tourist destinations are the four beaches in Pondicherry, which are Promenade Beach (also known locally as the Rocky Beach), Beach, The Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India. Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry. It is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.
There are a number of old and large churches in Pondicherry, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A number of heritage buildings and monuments are present around the Promenade Beach, such as the Children's Park & Dupleix Statue, Gandhi statue, Nehru Statue, Le Café, French War Memorial, 19th Century Light House, Bharathi Park, Governors Palace, Romain Rolland Library, Legislative Assembly, Pondicherry Museum and the French Institute of Pondicherry at Saint-Louis Street.
Puducherry is also popular for its eateries that cover a wide variety of cuisines ranging from French, Indian and Italian to Mexican, Thai and Chinese. Some restaurants also serve a unique Indo-French cuisine that gives tourists a taste of Puducherry's colonial influences. Most popular eateries include Baker's Street, The White Town Cafe, Zuka, Carte Blanche and La Maison Rose.
Puducherry Botanical Gardens is located south of the New Bus Stand. Chunnambar Backwater resort is situated 8 km from Pondicherry, along the Cuddalore Main Road. This tropical resort is flanked by a quiet-flowing creek on one side. Boating and tree house are very popular.
Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Devasthanam on Manakula Vinayagar Street is a Hindu temple, which houses Lord Ganesha. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry i.e. before 1666. According to Sasthra, Lord GANESHA is named in 16 types based on his various forms, out of which this god facing the east coast near the Bay of Bengal was named as Bhuvaneshar Ganapathy, now called as Manakula Vinayagar. In Tamil, 'Manal' means sand and 'Kulam' means pond near the sea. Earlier, there was full of sand around the pond. So, the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar [means God near the pond of sand]. Later, it was named as Manakula Vinayagar.
Thirukaameeswarar Temple is one of the ancient temples located in a rural town called Villianur (the ancient name is Vilvanallur, meaning "vilva marangal niraindha nalla vur"), which is located about 10 km away (towards Villupuram) from Pondicherry town. This temple is renowned as Periya Koil "Big Temple". The prime god is Lord Shiva and the prime goddess is Goddess Kokilambigai. In addition, there are also other Hindu gods such as Murugan, Vinayagar, Thakshanamoorthy, Perumal, Bhramah, Chandikeshwarar, Natarajar, Navagrahah, and 63 Naayanmaars. The pioneers in this temple say that the age of this temple is about 1000+ years. It is thought to have been built by one of the Chola kings. There is also a huge "temple pond". The "Ther Thiruvizha" (Car Festival) is celebrated at this temple.
Apart from sight seeing places for the tourists, there are a number of various bakeries and restaurants that cater to the Europeans taste buds. For others there are many Indian, Continental, Chinese and fast food restaurants to choose from. Pondicherry being once a french colony has good French cuisine i.e. Cafe des Arts, Rendezvous, Le Dupleix, Villa Shanti. Some other notable restaurants for pizzas Cafe Xtasi, Auro Pizza and Tanto Pizzeria and for bakeries Hot Breads, Daily Breads, Bon Bakes,Grand Bakery and Zuka Choco-La.
Actors, directors and performance artists
- M. Night Shyamalan, American film director, born in Mahe, Pondicherry
- Anandaraj, Tamil movie actor
- Kalki Koechlin, Bollywood actor
- Ayesha Kapur
Science and technology
- S. Somasegar, former senior vice-president, Microsoft
- Ganapathi Thanikaimoni, Indian scientist and director of the Palynology laboratory of the French Institute of Pondicherry
- Yvonne Artaud, French educationalist and psychologist.
- Navi Radjou, an innovation and leadership strategist based in Silicon Valley.
Politicians and public servants
- Kiran Bedi
- N. Rangasamy
- V. Subbiah
- Edouard Goubert
- V. Venkatasubha Reddiar
- M. O. H. Farook
- V. Vaithilingam
- V. Narayanasamy
- M. Vaithianathan
- French General Jacques Lauriston was born in Pondicherry.
- Home town of the titular character in Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
- Prince Pondicherry, a character from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is named for the city. The character asked that Willy Wonka build him a palace made of chocolate. Given the heat of the Indian climate, this decision worked out poorly for the fictitious prince.
- Harbor at Pondicherry beach
- Mahatma Gandhi's Statue
- Pondicherry beach viewed from light house
- French War Memorial
- Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam) in the Government Park
- Bharati Park (Government Park)
- Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry
- The Church of Our Lady of Angels
- Soldier on guard at gate of Government Palace, Pondicherry
- Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry, India
- Street sign in Tamil and French
- Puducherry Tamil house
- French Consulate
- Mahé, India
- Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research
- Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute
- Pondicherry Engineering College
- Pondicherry University
- Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
- Yanam, India
- Manakula Vinayagar Temple
- "Bill to rename Pondicherry as Puducherry passed". The Hindu. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2016 – via thehindu.com.
- WORRALL, JILL (11 April 2016). "Peace, love and a French flavour in Pondicherry, South India". www.stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Town and Country Planning Department, Pondicherry, India: City Development Plan – Pondicherry, Final Report, March 2007, S. 159 Archived 19 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Smart grid project inaugurated". Puducherry. The Hindu. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Climate: Pondicherry - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Pondicherry Climatological Table Period: 1971–2000". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 2010". India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- "Pondicherry: Forever France? by Anand Jha". Boloji.com. 10 November 2002. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Ramakrishnan, Deepa (23 February 2012). "After a decade on fast lane, ECR is set to expand". Chennai. The Hindu. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "20 buses launched in urban routes". Puducherry. The Hindu. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- V, Venkatasubramanian (19 February 2010). "A boon to Kancheepuram unit of TNSTC". Kancheepuram. The Hindu. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Delhi-Puducherry train link from July 3". The Hindu. 25 June 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Changes in train timings". Puducherry. The Hindu. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pondicherry.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puducherry.|