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Official Website: http://www.pon.nic.in/
Established: 1 July 1963
Capital: Pondicherry
Largest city: Pondicherry
Districts: 4
Government Body: NA
Legislature: NA
Parliamentary constituency: 1
High Court: NA
Area Total: 492 km2 (190 sq mi)
Area rank: NA
Population 2011: 1,244,464 (2nd)
Population Density:
 2,529 /km2 (6,550 /sq mi)
Time zone:
 IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code: IN-PY
Vehicle registration: NA
HDI rank: NA
Literacy: NA
Official languages:
 Tamil, French, Telugu, Malayalam

Known as the French Rivera of the east, Puducherry earlier known as Pondicherry is a union territory of India and a French colony of historic importance. Meaning a new village in Tamil, Puducherry has history dating back to the 2nd century.

With a population of over 5 Lakhs it is 135 kms to the south of Chennai and lies on the east coast i.e. the coast of Bay of Bengal. Established as a city in 1673, it was the capital of French India till 1954.

Sharing the same geographic details as that of Tamil Nadu, it boasts of many backwaters and faces regular coastal erosion. A 1.25 mile sea wall built by the French using boulders thus protects the coastal areas from erosion to an extent.

The sex ratio in this state is 1:1 (male: female) and the state boasts of a literacy rate of 76% which is 16% points more than the national average literacy rate. Male literacy is 82% and female literacy is 71% with 11% of the population under the age of 6.

Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam are the major languages spoken in this state. At the time of departure, the French gave the people of Pondicherry the option to secure French nationality, but only a few accepted. A strong French culture, French designed buildings are clearly visible in this Union Territory.

Apart from the south dominance, inhabitants from Bengal, Goa and Orissa have also settled here and this mix of diverse religions and culture make Pondicherry an apt tourist destination for Indians and foreigners.


A true example of French influence, standing apart from the other Union territories, Pondicherry is a unique French district.

French tradition, calm atmosphere, the influence of Aurobindo-spiritual leader and the calm beach All the French tradition, the quiet atmosphere of the town make Pondicherry a French Rivera in true sense.

French boards, French police uniforms, French accent, alignment of right angle on the streets are trademarks of this territory.

History states that Romans had settled here 2000 years ago and was earlier known as Poduke.

In the French rule for 20 years, Pondicherry later was ruled by the Dutch. Usually a calm region except during the Carnatic Franco-english wars lead by Duplex and Clive where the region faced severe power crisis situations between the British and French.

More than 50% of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Due to its extensive coastline, fishing is another important livelihood with 30 fishing villages under its belt.

Pondicherry has a GDP of USD 1.399 billion (2004-05) with a Per Capita Income of USD 766 and total valuation of the industrial units totaling to 10000 crore.


Fairs & festivals are part of Pondicherry culture. Most of these fairs are religious. Few of the popular fairs and festivals that have religious significance are festival Kinni Radhothsavam in Kamatchiamman Temple, Masi Magam, Brahamothsavam in Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Bastille Day on 14 July, Fire Walking Festival, annual festival at Muthumariamman Temple, 22-day festival in Drowpathiamman Temple. The International Yoga Festival in January and the Veerampattinam Car Festival are the two famous festivals of Pondicherry. 

A French colony, the influence is quite evident in the architecture, cultural and cuisine as well. Since it neighbors Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka as well, the culture is quite a good mix.

Picturesque landscapes, pleasant weather and multiple languages and cultures at a same location make Pondicherry more vibrant.

French food apart from the authentic south Indian food is a speciality here. Being in the south and coastal region the use of coconut is found in abundance here.
A mix of both French cuisine and south Indian cuisine cater to all sections of the population in Pondicherry.


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Geographical Information for Pondicherry
State Name: Pondicherry
Country: India
Country ISO code: IN
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Districts in Pondicherry, India
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Welcome to Pondicherry, A State of India

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