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 Pondicherry Introduction

This formerly French ruled town is now one of India's Union Territories. It lies on the coast 150 km from Chennai. It first came under French rule in the middle of the 18th century, but over the years it repeatedly became a battlefield and on many occasions, even changed hands.

The town was originally divided into two by a canal. One side used to be the Ville Blanc (white town) and the other, the Ville Noir (black town) for the Indian population. The heart of the city used to be the Government park, around which today are the Raj Niwas (the official residence of the lieutenant governor) and other official buildings. 

Pondicherry streets, in the old French area, are cobbled like those in old french towns and the seaside pavements and beaches are designed to resemble those at nice or any other water front town of southern France.

General information 
Population:                   973,829 

Area:                           492 sq km 

Capital:                        Pondicherry 

Languages:                 Tamil, Telgu,
                                  Malayalam, English and French 

District:                       4 

People Per Sq. km:    2,029 

Literacy:                   81.49% 

Best Season:           Throughout the year, but preferably October to March. 

Temperature:            Summer- Max 40.8, Min 31.2; Winter- Max 31.1, Min 25. 

STD Code:                0413 

Fairs and Festivals 

Pongal (January) 
It marks the harvest festivity of the agriculture community. Houses are cleaned and decorated, old clothes and mats ritually burnt, cattle washed and decorated, and special feats enjoyed. 

Maasi Magam (March)
The festival, now over a century old, is celebrated just north of the fishing village of Kurichikuppam. Deities from about 38 temples are brought in a procession to Pondicherry and taken around the town to the loud accompaniment of Nadaswaram (horns). Then, the images of chakra (the dicuss of Lord Vishnu) and Trishul (the trident symbol of lord Shiva) are chosen for ablutions in the sea. 

Bastille Day (July 14) 
It is marked by an Indo French pageantry. Uniformed war veterans march through the streets singing Marseillaise. 

Fete de Pondicherry (August 15 17) 
A cultural pageant, coinciding with liberation day and the independence day. The park monument is brilliantly decorated with lights. 

How To Get There 

The nearest airport is Madras (160 km) connected with all major cities. 

Villupuram (32 km) is the nearest railhead connected directly to Madras which in turn is connected to major cities in India.

Connected by good motorable roads to places in South India. Bangalore (503 km), Chidambaram (68 km), Kanchipuram (113 km), Madras (162 km), Mamallapuram (134 km), Thanjavur (170 km), Thiruvannamalai (103 km), Trichy (198 km) etc. 

In and around 

An experiment in international living, it is a developing town to which talents of many countries have contributed. Matri Mandir, a center of meditation, is an architectural marvel. Soil from numerous countries was brought as a mark of international amity, as preached by Sri Aurobindo.

A historical site which revealed local trade with Romans as early as the 2nd century B.C. Wine seems by excavated amphora jars. Ruins of the 18th century houses of French Jesuit Mission, abondoned in 1783, are also located here.

Light House
Now abandoned, it guided the early seafarers to Pondicherry. Standing on the Red Hill (Gorimedu) west of the city 29m above sea level, the beacon was first lighted on first of July, 1836. In 1931, the fixed light was replaced by a revolving lantern. This light house was replaced by a new one in 1979.

NORTHERN STATES- Delhi -|- Hariyana  -|- Himachal -|- Jammu- Kashmir -|- Punjab  -|- 
Uttar Pradesh
-|- Uttranchal 
SOUTHERN STATES - Andaman & Nikkobar  -|- Karnataka -|- Kerala -|- Lakshdweep
-|-  Tamilnadu -|-  Andhra Pradesh
WESTERN STATES - Daman and Diu -|- Goa  -|- Gujrat  -|- Rajasthan  -|- Maharastra 
EASTERN STATES - Arunachal -|- Assam -|-  Manipur -|- Meghalaya -|- 
-|- Nagaland  -|- Orissa  -|- Sikkim -|- Tripura -|- West Bengal  -|- Bihar -|- Jharkhand
CENTRAL STATES- Madhya Pradesh -|-   Chattisgarh

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