Puducherry is an enigmatic city in South India, which has earned fame for its colonial structures and serene ambience. The well-planned town, neatly laid roads, beautiful esplanades architecturally imposing churches and public buildings and the statues of Joan of Ark and Joseph Francois attracts people across the globe.
Location of Puducherry
Puducherry is located at about 162 km south of Chennai (Madras). It is around 22 km north of Cuddalore. Karaikal District is about 150 kilometers south of Puducherry and Yanam is about 840 km north-east on the coastal part of Andhra Pradesh.
History of Puducherry
History of Puducherry depicted the Pallava rule in the early era and the French colonization in later medieval and modern era before Independence of India in 1947. Puducherry was part of the Pallava Kingdom of Kanchipuram. Following the next centuries, Puducherry was occupied by different dynasties of the South Indian States. In the 10th Century AD, this union territory was occupied by the Cholas of Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu). In the 13th century, the Cholas were replaced by the Pandya Dynasty. Later this place had to witness a series of Muslim invasions. Puducherry became wide known on the arrival of the French East India Company in the year 1673. During the 14th and 15th century, Puducherry was under the Vijayanagara Empire. But, in the 16th century, Danish and the Portuguese made Puducherry a trading centre. In the year 1699, French took the legal possession of Puducherry from the Dutch East India Company. Francois Martin, who was appointed as the local administrator, restored stability to Puducherry and developed the town. He was actually the virtual builder of this Union Territory. Puducherry was a quite and calm town for 250 years, except during the Carnatic Franco English wars lead by Lord Duplex and Robert Clive of British East India Company.
Geography of Puducherry
The four regions of Puducherry are Yanam on the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry, Mahe (now in Kerala) on Arabian Sea and Karaikal. The larger ones among the four are Puducherry and Karaikal. Puducherry is touched by Bay of Bengal in the East and is surrounded by four Indian states. On the South it is surrounded by Arcot, Karaikal town and its villages are surrounded by Thanjavur district, Mahe and its villages are surrounded by the state of Kerala and Yanam within the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. For the maximum part of the year, Puducherry experiences hot and humid climate. The temperatures range between 26 degree Celsius and 38 degree Celsius.
Demography of Puducherry
According to the Population Census in the year 2011, Puducherry has a population of 675,000. In Puducherry, 11 percent of the population is under 6 years of age. The majority of people of Puducherry speak Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam. At the time of their departure from the country, the French colonizers gave the people an option to secure French nationality. There is a community of French people and a number of French institutions.
Culture of Puducherry
The culture of Puducherry reflects a combination of several prominent religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Muslims. Puducherry has the presence of a number of temples dedicated to Lord Sulramaniar. This Union Territory celebrates every festival of India with immense enthusiasm. The Mahe district, which is situated near Kerala, celebrates festivals similar to Kerala like Onam, Vishu, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chathurthi etc.
Education in Puducherry
Schools in Puducherry provide good opportunities to the students for learning different languages and computer. The government of this Union Territory is implementing special plans for improving IT literacy. Pondicherry University is one of the renowned institutes of India. It is popular for its dynamic world-class education system. Here, more emphasis is given on such programs of study that involve a multiyear sequence of general and professional courses that integrates core academic, technical and occupational knowledge. As a result Puducherry is known as the education hub of South India. Puducherry has a literacy rate of 76 percent, male literacy is 82 percent and female literacy is 71 percent.
Administration of Puducherry
The governance and administration of this Union Territory falls directly under the authority in New Delhi. Puducherry has an elected state legislative assembly. The government is permitted to make laws with respect to specific matters. However, in many cases, legislations require approval from the President of India. The Centre is represented by the Lt. Governor.
Economy of Puducherry
In Puducherry about 45 percent of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. 90 percent of the total area is irrigated. The predominant crop here is paddy. Pulses are also grown in large areas here. Fishing is an important occupation of the people here. There are about 27 marine and 23 inland fishing villages in this Union Territory. Railways play an important role in the economic development of this place. The availability of power is near about 400 MW.
Tourism in Puducherry
Puducherry is a well planned town in South India. This union territory of India has many gardens, museums, monuments, national parks and beaches, which attracts many visitors world wide. Some of the popular tourism attractions in Puducherry are Sri Aurobindo Ashrama, Auroville, Matri Mandir, Mahatma Gandhi Statue,French War Memorial, Bharathidasan Museum, Rocky Beach, Ousteri Wetland and National Park, Bharathi Park, Science Park, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Vedhapureeswarar Temple, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges Church, Muhamadia Mosque, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, St. Andrew's Church, Meeran mosque, Kuthbha Mosque and Promenade Beach.