Clockwise from top right: bando statue, Promenade Beach, Matrimandir, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Aayi Mandapam (monument), Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Manakula Vinayagar Temple
"Paris of the East",[1] "Pondy"
Pondicherry is located in Puducherry
Pondicherry is located in India
Coordinates: 11°55′N 79°49′E / 11°55′N 79°49′E / 11.917; 79.817
StatePuducherry (PY)
 • TypeMunicipal Council
 • BodyPondicherry Municipal Council (PDY)
 • Total19.54 km2 (7.54 sq mi)
3 m (10 ft)
 • Total244,377
 • Density13,000/km2 (32,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Puducherrian, Pondicherrian, Pondian
 • OfficialTamil, French, English,
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code(International) +91-413-, (National) 0413-

Pondicherry (i/ or i/), officially known as Puducherry, is the capital and the most populous city of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry, with a population of 657,209 and an area of 492 sq km. The city is in the Puducherry district of the union territory and is surrounded by the state of Tamil Nadu to which it shares most of its culture. It is affectionately called Pondy and short code as "Pdy," and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry in Tamil (New Town) since 2006.[3]

Pondicherry city consists of 42 wards. Wards 1–10 are north of the city. Wards 11–19 are in Boulevard Town and remaining wards are southwest of the city centre.[4]


Pondicherry waterfront circa 1900

The history of Pondicherry is recorded only after the arrival of Dutch, Portuguese, British and French colonialists. By contrast, nearby places such as Arikamedu, Ariyankuppam, Kakayanthoppe, Villianur and Bahur, which were colonised by the French East India Company over a period of time and later became the union territory of Pondicherry, have recorded histories that predate the colonial period.

The marketplace Poduke or Poduca is as a Roman trading destination from the mid 1st century. The area was part of the Pallava Kingdom of Kanchipuram in the 4th century. The Cholas of Thanjavur held it from the 10th to 13th centuries until it was replaced by the Pandya Kingdom in the 13th century. The Vijayanagar Empire took control of almost all of the South of India in the 14th century and maintained control until 1638 when they were supplanted by the Sultan of Bijapur.

The French East India Company established this city as their headquarters in 1674. Five trading posts were established along the south Indian coast between 1668 and 1674. The city was separated by a canal into the French Quarter and the Indian Quarter.[5]

During the Anglo-French wars (1742–1763), Puducherry changed hands frequently. On 16 January 1761, the British captured Puducherry from the French, but the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the conclusion of the Seven Years' War returned it.[6] The British took control of the area again in 1793 at the Siege of Pondicherry amid the Wars of the French Revolution, and returned it to France in 1814. When the British gained control of India in the late 1850s, they allowed the French to retain their settlements in the country. Pondicherry, Mahé, Yanam, Karaikal and Chandernagor remained a part of French India until 1954 when it was incorporated into the Indian Union with the rest of French India.

On 18 October 1954 in a general election involving 178 people in Pondicherry Municipal and Commune Panchayat, 170 people were in favour of independence and eight people voted against. The de facto transfer of the French Indian territories from French governance to the Indian union took place on 1 November 1954, and was established as the union territory of Pondicherry. However, the formal de jure transfer of territory agreement between France and India was signed on 16 August 1962.

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: پوندیچری
Bân-lâm-gú: Puducherry (siâⁿ)
भोजपुरी: पांडिचेरी
brezhoneg: Puducherry
Cymraeg: Puducherry
Deutsch: Puducherry
eesti: Puducherry
فارسی: پوندیچری
français: Pondichéry
Gaeilge: Pondicherry
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Pondicherry
한국어: 퐁디셰리
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: পন্ডিচেরী
Bahasa Indonesia: Pondicherry
interlingua: Pondicherry
italiano: Pondicherry
Latina: Pondicherium
मैथिली: पोन्डीचेरी
მარგალური: პუდუჩერი (ნოღა)
Bahasa Melayu: Bandar Pondicherry
Nederlands: Puducherry (stad)
Simple English: Pondicherry
српски / srpski: Пондишери
Türkçe: Puduçeri
українська: Пудучеррі (місто)
Tiếng Việt: Pondicherry