Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry is the largest Union Territory of India, formed on 7 January 1963. Later it came to be known as Puducherry as it derived the name from its largest district – Puducherry on 20 September 2006. This region was carved out from the four former French colonies: Pondicherry, now Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. The location of this Union Territory lies in the southern part of Indian Peninsula. The languages spoken at Puducherry are Tamil, English and French.
|High Court||Madras High Court|
|Languages||Tamil, English, French, Telugu and Malayalam|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||90.00%|
The previous records trace the history of Puducherry to the 2nd Century AD. During the 1st Century AD, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentioned Arikamedu as a market place named Poduke which was an important destination of Roman trade with India. Roman potteries and artifacts were discovered at Arikamedu. During the 4th Century AD Puducherry was a part of the Pallava kingdom of Kanchipuram. After that various southern dynasties like Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagara Empire and Muslim rulers from north ruled over the region of Puducherry. Since 1674, Puducherry went on to the hands of French, Dutch and British rule. During the wars of French Revolution, the Britishers gave back areas of Pondicherry, Mahe, Yanam, Karaikal and Chandernagar to the French on 1814. These areas were under the control of French till 1954. Later, on 1 November 1954it was organized as a Union Territory in 1963. Since then, Puducherry is now a part of India.
Puducherry shares the same geographical features with coastal State of Tamil Nadu. The Union Territory’s average elevation is at the sea level. The presence of sea inlets called “backwaters’ are also seen here. The occurrence of extreme coastal erosion in Puducherry is due to the aftermath of a breakwater constructed in 1989. Once the southern part of the territory was filled with sandy beach but now the city is sheltered against the sea by a 2-km-long seawall. Some of the well-known rivers which flow through the Union Territory are Gingee, Guduvaiyar, Malattar, Pambaiyar, Pennaiyar, etc.
According to the 2011 Census of India, the total population of Puducherry is 675,000. Out of this male and female population constitutes 50 % each. This Union Territory also has a sound literacy rate of 76 % and out of this male literacy is 82 % and female literacy is 71 %. There are also higher rate of Hindu population constituting 87.3 % population. While the other religion like Christianity and Islam constitutes 6.2 % and 6 % respectively.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has estimated the Gross State Domestic product at market prices. It was estimated that in 1980 the GDP was Rs. 180 crore and it was raised up to Rs. 25,819 crore. This region has potential power energy. This was due to the establishment of the Smart Grid Project in 2012 by the Ministry of Power. The main occupation of Puducherry is farming which contributes a lot to the economy. The growth of crops like rice, pulses, sugarcane, coconuts, and cotton add a significant income to the economy. Moreover, fishing is also the second main occupation performed here in large scale.
Puducherry is one of the popular tourist destinations in South India. The city was once known for its beautiful sand beaches where tourists were very much attracted towards it, But now the sand beaches were nil due to the breakwater to the port and other hard structured constructions on the shore. This caused intense coastal erosion and the sand from Puducherry’s famous Promenade Beach disappeared entirely. Now the tourist attraction of Puducherry includes many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues.
Some of the famous tourist spots famous here are Sri Aurobindo Ashram, French War Memorial, Children’s Park & Dupleix Statue, Gandhi statue, Nehru Statue, Le Café, Promenade Beach, 19th Century Light House, Bharathi Park, Governors Palace, Romain Rolland Library, Legislative Assembly, Pondicherry Museum and the French Institute of Pondicherry, Puducherry Botanical Gardens, Chunnambar Backwater resort, Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Devasthanam, Thirukaameeswarar Temple, etc.
The famous sports of this Union Territory is Football, Volley ball, Hockey, Badminton, Water sports like scuba diving and adventure sports like cycling, rock climbing, surfing, etc. Puducherry also has the famous Indira Gandhi Sports Stadium where various sports are being played.
This region is connected to Chennai via the East Coast Road through Mahabalipuram. The public transport like the Puducherry Road Transport Corporation runs public buses within the city for local commuters. There are also daily bus services to Chennai and other places. Puducherry also have very good railway connectivity under the Southern Railway zone. It connects all the metro cities of India including Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, as well as other important cities such as Kanyakumari, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Mangalore. The only airport of Puducherry – the “Puducherry Airport” is located at Lawspet. There daily flights connecting Puducherry with Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.
The colorful culture of Puducherry is an amalgamation of Indian and French tradition. Important festivals celebrated here are Villianur Temple Car Festival, Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, French Food Festival, Fete De Pondicherry, Pongal, Masimagam festival and others. The architect and cuisines are also influenced by the French.
Puducherry is famous for higher education. Students from every part of the country come here to gain higher education. Some of the renowned educational institutions of this Union Territory includes Pondicherry University- A Central University, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (Government of Puducherry), Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, National Institute of Technology, Puducherry, Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Pondicherry Engineering College, Mother Theresa Post Graduate and Research Institute of Health Sciences, Achariya College of Engineering & Technology ACET, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology, Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Christ institute of technology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Shri Krishnaa College of Engineering & Technology, Sri Ganesh College Of Engineering and Technology and Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre.
Hospital and Health Care
The famous hospitals of Puducherry like the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (Government of Puducherry), Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, etc provides good health care facilities to the people.