Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Visit to Pondicherry

Pondicherry (or Pondy or Puducherry) is Union Territory situated at eastern coast of India also called Coromandel Coast. It is 170 kms from Chennai & about 315 kms from Bangaluru. It is connected with broad gauge rail also. 
Average elevation of Pondicherry is at sea level & it has a few sea inlets or 'backwaters' as in Kerala. The city is protected against the sea by 2 km long sea wall first erected by French in 1735. 
Weather is hot & humid most of the year. It is pleasant  from November to February. 
Population of Pondy is less than seven lacs as per consensus of 2011.
Earliest reference of Pondy as trading centre has been made in Roman travelogue as a market place named Poduke.
The area remained a part of Pallava, Cholas & Pandya kingdoms up to 13th century. The Vijayanagar empire controlled almost entire South India until 1638. French established a trading post here in 1674. 
Sea front of Pondy in the evening
Backwaters beach
Paradise beach

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi on sea front

French Lighthouse
It is interesting to note that Europe at one stage was looking at India for trading. Following East India Companies were established:               
--British East India Company, founded in 1600,
--Dutch East India Company, founded in 1602,
--French East India Company, founded in 1664,
--Swedish East India Company, founded in 1731.

French Villa 
The French built the town in geometric fashion with a canal dividing it into Ville  Blanche & Ville Noir - for whites & blacks! The town was turned over to India in 1954 after seven years of independence of India. It may be mentioned here that French donated a statue of liberty to America in 1886 to mark independence & freedom whereas kept Indian territories of Pondy, Karikaland, Mahe & Chandernagor in occupation till 1954!

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