Puducherry District


The Union Territory of Puducherry comprises of the erstwhile French colonies viz. Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The Puducherry and Karaikal regions are surrounded by the State of Tamilnadu, whereas Mahe is surrounded by the State of Kerala and Yanam by the state of Andra Pradesh.

The foundation of Pondicherry was laid in the year 1673 after the “La Compagnie française des Indes orientales” was successfully obtained firman from the Qiladar of Valikondapurarm under the Sultan of Bijapur. On 4th February 1673 a French Company Official by name Bellanger, took up residence in the Danish Lodge in Pondicherry. In 1674, the French Company placed François Martin as the first Governor and who initiated the ambitious project to transform Pondicherry from a small fishing village into a flourishing port-town.

In 1674 the Governor of “La Compagnie française des Indes orientales” (French East India Company) François Martin, set up a trading centre at Pondicherry and this outpost eventually became the chief French settlement in India. Wars were raged among the European companies for their share of trade with India. Consequently, Pondicherry was captured by the Dutch in 1693 but was returned to French company by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1699. During the period from 1720-1738the French company acquired Mahe, Yanam and Karaikal. In the period of Anglo-French wars from 1742 to1763 Puducherry changed hands and in 1761 the British “East India Company” captured Puducherry from the French and restored the French Company administration by the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

During the French Revolution in the year 1793 the British “East India Company” took control of the region and returned to the French “East India Company” in 1814. However, when the British “East India Company” gained control of the whole of India in the late 1850s, they allowed the French “East India Company” to retain their settlements at Pondicherry, Mahe, Yanam, Karaikal and Chandronagor.

In 1947, the independence of India gave impetus for the union of France’s Indian possessions with former British India and an agreement between French Government and India Government, in 1948, stipulated that the inhabitants of France’s Indian possessions would choose their political future. On a de facto basis, the bureaucracy had been united with India’s on 1 November 1954 and the de jure union of French India with the Indian Union took place in the year 1963. In the process Chandronagor opted to be merged with the State of West Bengal and Pondicherry along with Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam was constituted as a Union Territory in the Indian Union.

History of Pondicherry
Pre-colonial History
Pallava Dynasty 325 – 900C
Chola Dynasty 900 -1279
Pandya Dynasty 1279 – 1370
Vijayanagar Empire 1370 – 1614
Sultanate of Bijapur 1614- 1638


Colonial History of Pondicherry
Portuguese set up a factory 1523
Dutch buy textiles 1618
Danes set up a factory 1624
First French settlement 1674 – 1693
Dutch rule 1693 – 1700
French rule 1700 – 1761
British rule 1761 – 1765
French rule 1765 – 1778
British rule 1778 – 1783
French rule 1783 – 1793
British rule 1793 – 1815
French rule 1815 – 1954

District Profile

Puducherry district comprises of Puducherry, Mahe and Yanam regions. Puducherry region is the headquarters of Puducherry district.

Region Puducherry Mahe Yanam
Latitude 11o 42’ to 12o 30’ North 11o 42’ to 11o 43’ North 16o 42’ to 16o 46’ North
Longitude 76o 36’ to 79o 53’ East. 75o 31’ to 75o 33’ East 82o 11’ to 82o 19’ East

Area (Sq. Km.)

290 Sq. Km. 9 Sq. Km. 20 Sq. Km.
Sea and Coastline 24 Km coastline in Bay of Bengal. 5 Km coastline in Arabian Sea. Nil
Rivers 1. Sankarabarani river
(other names Gingee river or Varaha nathi),
2. Guduvaiyar river (Ariyankuppam river),
3. Pambaiyar river (Chunnambar river),
4. Malattar river, and
5. Pennaiyar river
1. Mahe river (Mayyazhi river), and
2. Ponniyar river
1. Koringa (Goutami Godavari river)
(people per Sq. Km.)
3232 4646 1854
Rain fall
(in mm for the year 2014-15)
1392.2 3161.8 634.0
Neigbering Districts Villupuram and Cuddlore districts of Tamilnadu state. Kannur and Kozhikode districts of Kerala state. East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh state
Language Tamil Malayalam Telugu
Number of Revenue Sub-Divisions 2 Nos.
Sub-Division(Revenue) South and Sub-Division(Revenue) North.
1 No.
Sub-Division(Revenue) Mahe
1 No.
Sub-Division(Revenue) Yanam
Number of Taluks / Sub-Taluks 4 Nos.
Puducherry Taluk, Oulgaret Taluk, Villianur Taluk and Bahour Taluk
1 Nos.
Mahe Sub-Taluk
1 Nos.
Yanam Sub-Taluk
Firka (i.e. Circles) and Revenue Villages 11 Firks and 81 Revenue Villages 1 Firka and 5 Revenue Villages 1 Firka and 6 Revenue Villages

Note:- information based on population census 2011.

How to Reach…?

Pondicherry is well connected to the rest of India via a large network of National Highways, a Railway Terminal and a Domestic Airport. It is also in close proximity to International airports.

By Air – Puducherry’s Domestic airport is connected to Bengaluru via daily flights – except for Wednesdays. The Air India flight departs Bengaluru at 3:35pm and reaches Pondicherry at 4:35. The return flight departs at 4:55 and reaches at 5:55. This is a 1 hour nonstop flight. Travellers can also drive down from the Domestic & International airports in Chennai, Trichy or Bengaluru. Both Chennai (151 kms) and Trichy (203 kms) are just few hours by road, while Bangalore (307 kms) is a little longer.

By Rail – Daily connectivity to Villupuram, Chennai and Tirupathy are available. While tri-weekly trains connect Pondicherry to Bangalore and Mumbai, other cities like Kolkatta, Bhubaneshwar, New Delhi, Mangalore and Kanyakumari are connected by a weekly train.

By Road – The best connectivity is definitely by road. Multiple buses ply daily to and fro between Chennai and Bangalore. From hop-on hop-off local buses, to air-conditioned multi-axle luxury ones, Pondy also offers overnighter luxury buses to Hyderabad (784 kms). Alternatively, one could just book a Taxi or coach for any of the above destinations.


Population based on census – 2011

Population Puducherry Mahe Yanam District
Male 4,68,258 19,143 27,301 5,14,702
Female 4,82,031 22,673 28,325 5,33,029
Total 9,50,289 41,816 55,626 10,47,731
Male 3,80,946 16,610 19,919 4,17,475
Female 3,45,703 19,860 19,355 3,84,918
Total 7,26,649 36,470 39,274 8,02,393

for more data refer Economics and Statistics website.