Puducherry, earlier known as Pondicherry, a very popular destination among tourists from India and abroad, has been touted as the French Riviera of the East.
Located in South India, Puducherry is a Union Territory. Known for its astounding beauty, Puducherry attracts visitors from around the world. It was a former French colony.
History of Puducherry
The history of Puducherry dates back to ancient times. There is evidence that the Romans had visited the place around 1st century AD to do trade. At the beginning of the 4th century AD, the Pallava kingdom ruled for a short period followed by different southern dynasties like the Cholas, Pandyas, Vijaynagara and the Sultanate of Maudrai. In 1674, the French governor Francois Marin transformed this small fishing village into a grand port town.
There was intense rivalry between the French and the British in India and many wars were fought but the French managed to retain power in Puducherry. Around the 18th century, the town grew considerably.
Geography of Puducherry
The total area of the union territory is 479 square kilometers and it comprises four small unconnected districts - Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. Mahe lies in the Arabian Sea while the other three districts lie in the Bay of Bengal. The largest sections are Puducherry and Karaikal which are enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Mahe and Yanam are enclaves of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh respectively. Puducherry district comprise an area of 293 square kilometers, Karaikal 160 square kilometer, Yanam 30 square kilometers and Mahe 9 square kilometers. Puducherry district is situated about 180 km south of Chennai on the east coast of India. Karaikal lies about 150 km from Puducherry on the east coast. Yanam also lies on the east coast near Andhra Pradesh. Mahe is situated on the Western Ghats near Kerala.
Climate of Puducherry
This place lies close to the sea, which is why the climate here is warm and humid. The summer season experiences a rise in temperature that goes up to 38 degrees. In winters, the temperature is pleasant. The winter season begins in November and the temperature never falls below 20 degrees. The North West monsoon is from July to August and again from November to January. The summer season begins from March and lasts till July. Tourists are advised to visit the place between the months of December and March.
|Facts about Puducherry|
|Area||479 sq km|
|Population (Census 2011)||1247953|
|No. of District||4|
|Road length (total)||2251Kms|
|Total No. of motor Vehicles||1,41329 (1995-96)|
|No. of telephone lines||39339|
|No. of telephone exchanges||16|
|Per Capita electricity consumption||161KWH|
Education in Puducherry
Puducherry has a high literacy rate which stands at 86.55 percent. You can find several educational institutions that are excellent in every aspect. Puducherry has several prestigious universities like the Puducherry Engineering College and Puducherry University. It is famous among foreigners as well.
There are various types of educational institutions like schools, universities and colleges along with research institutes and distance education. You can find the very famous and prestigious Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education which is a part of Aurobindo Ashram.
Puducherry has colleges that offer courses in several fields such as engineering (civil, mechanical, chemical, and electronics), computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, humanities and many more. There are medical colleges for those wishing to pursue a career in medicine. Besides there are dental colleges, colleges for studying biotechnology, management, architecture, law, hotel management, etc. For deserving candidates, scholarships, loans for education and other benefits are also available. The colleges also offer hostels for girls and boys. More Detail...
Society and Culture
Puducherry is a typical Dravidian place where you will find a majority of people to be Dravidian. In spite of its French culture and character, the place is truly Indian. Although the original people are of Tamil origin, the district is comprised of people from various Indian states and foreign countries. You can experience the French culture even after decades of independence from French. It comprises a multi-national culture and is cosmopolitan in nature. Exposure to different cultures has converted this small place into a very attractive multi-cultural city that has very distinct characteristics. The crafts that you see here are traditional and the famous handicrafts that you can buy here is the Puducherry bommai.
The food here is simply delicious. The taste is truly international with a hint of local touch. The French cuisine blends well with the local cuisines providing a totally exotic food flavour.
Since Puducherry comprises diverse cultures, there are various languages as well. The majority of the inhabitants speak Dravidian language like Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. However, even French and English are spoken here and understood as well. Schools here teach in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu medium along with English and French. But the most widely spoken language is English. The official languages of Puducherry are Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and French. However, it varies from district to district. English is used in government offices. More Detail...
Government and politics
The Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry is the nominal head while the real head is the Chief Minister who is democratically elected. The Chief Minister looks after the town planning, excise, public works, revenue, finance, planning, general administration, technology, science, confidential tasks, handles cabinet and civil services as well. The government in Puducherry also comprises the Chief Secretary, MLA's, and other ministers.
The government of Puducherry like all other states has a Legislative Assembly which has 30 members. The legislative assembly is operational for five years.
Economy of Puducherry
Most of the population in Puducherry depends on agriculture and around 90% of the area is irrigated. Various crops are grown here like rice, ragi, cotton, sugarcane, pulses, bajra, groundnut, etc. The dairy industry here is also quite modern and earning from this sector is high. Fishing can be said to be an important occupation and there are around 28 fishing villages.
There are many small-scale, large-scale and medium-scale industries in Puducherry. About a major portion of the population here is employed in the industrial sector. The industries here manufacture computers, electronic products, pharmaceuticals, sugar, rice bran oil, roofing sheets, leather goods, steel tubes, spirit, earth moving equipments, auto parts etc.
Demographics of Puducherry
Puducherry district has a population of around 1,244,464 according to the census of 2011. The population density is 2,598 per square kilometers. The sex ratio is 1031 females for every 1000 males.
|Location||Southern part of India on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal Bounded by Tamil Nadu on its North, West and South|
|Latitude||Between 11°46' and 12°30' of North|
|Longitude||Between 79°36' and 79°52' of East|
|Area||492 Sq kms|
|Climate||Warm throughout the year|
|Average Annual Rainfall||130 cms|
|Languages||Tamil, English, French, Telugu and Malayalam|
|Religion||Hindus, Christians, Muslims and very few Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists|
|Best Time to Visit||October to March|
|Clothing||Cottons throughout the year|
Transport in Puducherry
Puducherry has a strong transport network. There are national highways that run here and connect it to other parts of the country. Regular buses ply from Chennai every half hour.
There is also an airport in Puducherry town. However it is a domestic airport. The nearest international airport is in Chennai..
Puducherry is a traveler's delight. Auroville is the most popular destination in Puducherry. The French Quarter, the food, and the tradition are the major attractions. You can also find world class beaches here. Other than beaches, there are various monuments that you can visit. These include churches, colonial buildings, temples built during the ancient times, botanical gardens, museums and many more. Aurobindo Ashram, which was built in 1926, is a major tourist attraction.More Detail...