Pondicherry , since 2006 officially Puducherry , is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or districts, and named for the largest, Pondicherry. In September 2006, the territory changed its official name from Pondicherry to Puducherry , which means "New village" in the Tamil language. The territory is called புதுச்சேரி ( Putuccēri ) or பாண்டிச்சேரி ( Pāṇṭiccēri ) in Tamil, or Pondichéry in French. It is also known as "The French Riviera of the East" ( La Côte d'Azur de l'Est ).
Pondicherry consists of four small unconnected districts: Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea. Pondicherry and Karaikal are by far the larger ones and are both enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively. The territory has a total area of 492 km²: Pondicherry (city) 293 km², Karaikal 160 km², Mahé 9 km² and Yanam 30 km². It has 900,000 inhabitants (2001). The Union Territory of puducherry comprises of four coastal regions viz- puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the East Coasts in Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andra Pradesh and Mahe on the West Coast in Kerala.
The population of Pondicherry (Census, 2001) is 9.74 lakhs. As a proportion of the country’s total population, it is 0.09%. Women and men constitute exactly 50% of the population (4.87 lakh). Pondicherry is highly urbanized. Urban population accounts for 67% as against the All India. proportion of 28% (2001). The average annual rate of growth of urbanization of the UT is 1.95%. (1991-2001). Majority of the population of the UT resides in the districts of Pondicherry and Karaikal. In terms of the size of the population, ranking in the descending order is Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. There is no rural population as such in Yanam and Mahe. In Pondicherry district, the proportion of rural population is 31%. In Karaikal, it is 56% Density.
Hinduism, Christianity and Islam co-exist in Pondicherry. Hindus The Hindus have scores of ancient temples in Pondicherry famous among them being Varadaraja temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu,Villianur temple dedicated to Thirukameshwara and Thirunallartemple dictated to Planet Saturn, Sani.Karaikal is the Gateway to various places of worship in the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu. Velankanni and Nagore the two famous places of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims respectively are near Karaikal.
Muslims For the Muslims, Masthan Saheb Darga (dedicated to Masthan Syed Buhari, a Sufi Saint) is very sacred. Christian The Christians have half a dozen famous churches . Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Notre Dame des Anges and the Villianur and Ariankuppam Churches.
<ul><li>Tamil (89 %) </li></ul><ul><li>Malayalam (3.8 %) </li></ul><ul><li>Telugu (2.9 %) </li></ul><ul><li>French (1 %) </li></ul><ul><li>The status of each language varies by district. </li></ul>Language spoken in numbers As of 2001, number of people speaking in each official languages are Tamil: 820,749 (in Pondicherry and Karaikal districts) Malayalam: 36,823 (in Mahe District only) Telugu: 31,362 (in Pondicherry and Yanam districts) French: 10,000
State Bird State Animal State Flower State Tree Bael Fruit Tree Koel Squirrel Cannonball tree's flower
Aurobindo Ashram Bharathi Park Botanical Garden Pondicherry Museum
Manakular Vinayagar Temple Streets Near Aurobindo Ashram, French Heritage Buildings Light House Beach
The festivals celebrated here are: Fire Walking Sedal Mascarade Festival: Mangani Festival Kandoori Festival The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Thiraiyattam Masimagam Festival Navratri Ayudha Puja Vijayadasami Diwali Karthigai Deepam Festival Pongal Other festivals or fairs celebrated in Pondicherry include Putha Lanthira, Mandolilthira, Koyodan Korothithra, Pandokuloththira, Mandalam vilakku, vishnutheertham, Swamikalyanam , etc. The Mahe district, which is situated near Kerala, celebrates festivals similar to Kerala like Onam , Vishu, Sri Krishna Jayanti, Vinayaga Chathurthi etc.
Fire Walking The people who participate in this festival has to observe a fast of forty days and wear saffron colored clothes and after bath, walk through the fire. Sedal During this festival the devotees torture themselves by piercing small silver hooks and spears in their body or tongues in fulfillment of some vow. It is said that as many as 100 needles are pierced over their body. They then go in a procession after a bath and clad themselves in turmeric strained clothes.
Mascarade or Mask festival is celebrated during March-April. This festival reflects the French sense of humor, the people wear fantastic mask and fancy costumes and they go around the streets in joyous merriment indulging in a kind of gimmic dance to the accompaniment of trumpets. This festival is celebrated from 4th to 7th January every year. During this festival yogis and yognis from all over the world. International Yoga Festival Mascarade Festival
This festival is celebrated in July in Karaikal Ammayur temple. This is the festival of Karaikal Durga. The people celebrate this festival very sacredly. Mangani Festival Kandoori Festival
This is celebrated by Christians in the Our Lady of Lourdes church. This is celebrated in October every year. Even non-Christians attend this festival. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Thiraiyattam
This festival is celebrated on the early morning in the month of February-March. The devotees go to the seashore to have a holy dip in the sea for ablution of their sins. Masimagam Festival
This is a nine-day festival of the Goddess Durga (warrior righteousness), Lakshmi (prosperity) and Saraswati (knowledge and the arts). This festival marks the end of Navaratri. All forms of implements and equipments, including cars and motorcycles are given Puja. No work is done that day. The next day to Ayudha Puja is given over to the Goddess Durga, who is the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother. VijyaDashmi Ayudha Puja Navratri
This is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. This festival marks the triumph of Good over Evil. During this three day festival mostly all the Hindu houses are illuminated.
This festival is celebrated for four days. It is celebrated from 13th to 16th January. During the festival of Pongal, houses are cleaned and are decorated with colorful patterns of "kolam". On the second day, i.e. on the bhogi day old clothes and mats are ritually burnt. Pongal is prepared in new mud pots. It is made with new rice, jaggery, sugar and raisins. On the third day of the festival, the herds of cattle are cleaned and decorated and they are also given Pongal. On the fourth day, people dress up colorfully and visit their friends and relatives. The festival of Pongal is a festive time for the people here and the parks and the streets are filled with people. All the people are engaged in merry making.
<ul><li>Sri Aurobindo and Subramanya Bharathy who took part in the Indian independence movement . </li></ul><ul><li>Tamil Poet Bharathidasan . </li></ul>Sri Aurobindo Ghosh Bharathidasan Subramanya Bharathy
KAVERI RIVER WATER DISPUTE The sharing of waters of the river Kaveri had been the bone of contention of a serious conflict between the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu . The genesis of this disparity, itself, lies in two controversial agreements, one signed in 1892 and another in 1924 , between the Madras Presidency and the Princely State of Mysore.
CYCLONE THANE HITS TAMIL NADU AND PONDICHERRY 33 people were killed as Cyclone Thane, packing a wind speed of 140 kmph, made landfall on the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Friday morning
The challenges confronting the coastal Puducherry are similar to the ones faced by the coastal cities in India. To with: • Pollution of the sea front due to municipal and industrial wastes. • Ever-increasing demographic pressure with its attendant problems of waste generation and groundwater. depletion – the latter causes salinity intension. • Pressure on establishing hotels and amusement parks at the water front which would contribute to ‘a’ and ‘b’, above. • Incomplete implementation of seasonal fishing bans, and overfishing. • An increasingly intense conflict between developmental pressure and the health of the coastal environment. • Beech erosion; destruction of mangroves.