Territoire de Puduchérry
Union Territory of Puducherry
union territory
 • Rank3rd
 • Total973,829
 • Rank2nd

Puducherry; Tamil: புதுச்சேரி, Telugu: పాండిచెర్రి, Malayalam: പുതുശ്ശേരി, French: Pondichéry) is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or districts, and named after the largest, Puducherry.

In September 2006, the territory and the city changed its official name from Pondicherry to the vernacular original,[1] Puducherry, which means "New village"[2] It is also known as The French Riviera of the East (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est). Of late, Puducherry is also considered an educational hub of southern India, having about 7 medical colleges, 7 engineering colleges and 10 arts, science and technical colleges functioning within its territory. Many medical and engineering colleges are also reported to be in queue.


Puducherry seen from Spot Satellite

Puducherry consists of four unconnected districts: Puducherry, Karaikal, and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea. Puducherry and Karaikal are by far the larger ones, and are both enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, respectively. The territory has a total area of 492 km²: Puducherry (city) 293 km2 (113 sq mi), Karaikal 160 km2 (62 sq mi), Mahé 9 km2 (3.5 sq mi) and Yanam 30 km2 (12 sq mi). It has 900,000 inhabitants (2001).


Main article: History of Puducherry

Puducherry was mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 1st century CE.

French influence

Puducherry still retains much evidence of its history as a French colony. The design of the city was based on the French (originally Dutch, the plans of Puducherry dating from the end of the seventeenth century (1693-1694) are preserved in the National Archives at The Hague) grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The entire town is divided into two sections, the French Quarter ('Ville Blanche' or 'White town') and the Indian quarter ('Ville Noire' or 'Black Town'). The history of French India is led by Joseph Francois Dupleix, governor general of the French establishment in India, and rival of Robert Clive. Dupleix was primarily responsible for the Carnatic Wars. At first Dupleix was successful in resisting the attacks of the English East India Company, but he lost in the later battles.

There is also French influence in the layout of the city. The numbering of the houses is unique compared to other cities in Tamil Nadu, in that all with the even numbers are on one side and the odd number are on the opposite side of the road.

Official languages of government

Map of Puducherry Region, Union Territory of Puducherry, India

Template:IndiaCensusPop The official languages of Puducherry are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and French. The status of each language varies with respect to each district. When communicating between districts of different languages, generally English is used for convenience[citation needed].

1.Tamil: Language used by the people in the Tamil majority districts of Puducherry and Karikal. Also the official language in Tamil Nadu state and a co-official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. The language is also spoken in Malaysia and Mauritius.

2. Telugu: Another official language of Puducherry, but used more within Yanam (Telugu district). So, more correctly, it is considered a regional official language of Puducherry while being the official language of Yanam District. It also has an official language status in the state of Andhra Pradesh. And is spoken widely in Puducherry and Karaikal also.

3. Malayalam: Another official language of Puducherry, but used more within Mahé (Malayalam district). So, more correctly, it is considered a regional official language of Puducherry while being the official language of Mahé District. It also has an official language status in Kerala State and Lakshadweep Islands Union Territory.

4. French: Also the official language of Puducherry Union territory. It was the official language of French India (1673-1954) and its official language status was preserved by the Treaty of Cession signed by India and France on 28 May 1956.

French remained as the de jure official language of Puducherry U.T by the Article XXVIII of Traité de Cession which states that,

Language spoken in numbers

As of 2001, number of people speaking in each official languages are, [citation needed]

Government and administration

File:Puducherry Legislative Assembly.jpg
Puducherry Legislative Assembly

Main articles: Puducherry Legislative Assembly and Puducherry Municipal Council

See also: Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry and List of Chief Ministers of Puducherry

Special Administration Status

According to Traité de cession dated 1956, the four former French colonies were assured of maintaining their special administrative status. That is why Puducherry is the only Union Territory with some special provisions like Legislative Assembly, French as official language, etc.

The Article II of Traité de Cession states that,

Puducherry in literature


Macro-economic trend

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
1980 1,840
1985 3,420
1990 6,030
1995 13,200
2000 37,810

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 (28 mi) with 675 km2 (261 sq mi) 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 (6.6 mi) 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.It has been decided to expand the Puducherry Airport so that air services could improve gradually over years, to land ATR to Boeing aircraft, to meet the growing demand for air travel. A MoU has already been signed with Airports Authority of India for expansion of Puducherry Airport in two phases.

Tourist spots

Places to visit


See also