Puducherry is one of the eight union territories of India. It was formed out of four territories of former French India, namely Pondichéry (Pondicherry; now Puducherry), Karikal (Karaikal), Mahé and Yanaon (Yanam), excluding Chandernagore. It is named after the largest district, Puducherry. Historically known as Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri), the territory changed its official name to Puducherry on 20 September 2006. Pondicherry officially known as Pondicherry City is the capital and the most populous city of the Union Territory of Puducherry. The Union Territory of Puducherry lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. The areas of Puducherry district and Karaikal district are bound by the state of Tamil Nadu, while Yanam district and Mahé district are enclosed by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively.
History: The earliest recorded history of the municipality of Puducherry can be traced to the second century AD. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch 60). G. W. B. Huntingford suggested this might be a site about 2 miles from the modern Puducherry, which was possibly the location of Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam). Huntingford noted that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937.
In 1674, the municipality of Pondicherry (Pondichéry) became a French colony of the French colonial empire. Together with Chandernagor (already French since 1673), Mahé (since 1721), Yanam (Yanaon) (since 1731), Karaikal (Karikal) (since 1739) and Masulipatam (1760), it formed the French colony of French India, under a single French governor in Pondicherry, although French rule over one or more of these enclaves was repeatedly interrupted by British occupations. The territories of French India were completely transferred to the Republic of India de facto on 1 November 1954, and de jure on 16 August 1962, when French India ceased to exist, becoming the present Indian constituent union territory of Pondicherry, combining four coastal enclaves (with the exception of Chandernagor, which merged with the state of West Bengal in 1954).
*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)
Airport: The Pondicherry Airport at Lawspet is located within the city limits and is well connected to nearby major cities.
Rail: Pondicherry Railway Station is well connected to Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, as well as other important cities such as Kanyakumari, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Mangalore by train.
Road: Pondicherry is connected to Chennai via the East Coast Road through Mahabalipuram. There are daily bus services from several main stops from Chennai. The Pondicherry Road Transport Corporation runs buses within the city and it runs Volvo buses to Chennai and to various places. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates Volvo air-conditioned bus services from Chennai to Pondicherry.
Local: Auto Rickshaw, vehicles and taxis are available for local transport.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram: The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most important ashrams in India, founded by the renowned Freedom Fighter and spiritual philosopher Sri Aurobindo.
Auroville: Auroville is an experimental township in Viluppuram district mostly in the state of Tamil Nadu, India with some parts in the Union Territory of Puducherry in India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as “the Mother”) and designed by architect Roger Anger.
Promenade Beach: Rock Beach (or, known as, “Pondicherry Beach”) is the popular stretch of beachfront in the city of Puducherry, along the Bay of Bengal. It is a 1.2-kilometre-long stretch in Pondicherry, starts from War Memorial and ends at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, situated on the south boulevard of Pondicherry, is an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church. In recent years it has become one of the famous pilgrimage spots for Christians.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral: Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the cathedral mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. It is located in the Union Territory of Puducherry. The church is also known as Samba Kovil, which is a phonetic corruption of “Saint Paul’s Kovil” where “Kovil” means church.
Other places of interest are the French town, Lighthouse, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry Museum, Bharathi Park, Aayi Mandapam, Arikamedu and many others.