|Area||479 sq km|
|Principal Languages||Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French|
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History and Geography
The territory of (Puducherry) comprises the former French establishment Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. Puducherry, the capital of the territory was once the original headquarters of the French in India. It was under the French rule for 138 years and merged with the Indian Union on 1st November 1954. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the three sides by Tamil Nadu. About 150 kms south of Puducherry on the East Coast lies Karaikal. Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats surrounded by Kerala. It can be reached from Calicut Airport, which is 70 kms from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is about 200 kms from Visakhapatnam airport.
Nearly 24.37 per cent of the population of the Union Territory is engaged in agriculture and allied pursuits. 80.7% of the cultivated area is irrigated. Paddy is the predominant crop (65%) followed by pulses. Mahe region contributes to the plantation wealth of this territory. Crops like coconut, areca nut, condiments and spices are grown here. Paddy crop is a major crop and pulses, groundnut and chillies are the other rainfed crops grown in Yanam.
7,982 Industrial Units in total with an aggregate investment of Rs.2,177.78 crores provided employment to 93,044 persons. The total value of production of these industrial units worked out to Rs.13,455.34 crores.
Under the assistance from the European Union many tanks were rehabilitated. 8 bed dams have been constructed across the river Sankaraparani and Pennar at various places. In addition to the above, necessary proposal to construct bed dams for ground water recharges at Aratchikuppam, Pambaiyar confluence point at Sellipet, across Malatar in Vadukuppam at Puducherry and across Mullaiyar, Pravadayanar and Vanjiar at Karaikal and also the construction of a bridge-cum-barrage at Villanur are under progress.
The Power requirements of the Union Territory of Puducherry are met by availing share of power from the Central Generating Stations and by purchasing power from the neighbouring State Electricity Boards viz., TamilNadu Electricity Board, Kerala State Electricity Board and from the Puducherry Power Corporation Limited. The total power available for Union Territory of Puducherry is 396.58 MW.
Roads nearly 677.525 km. of various category are being maintained by Roads Divisions of PWD Puducherry. Construction of bridges and improvement of roads are under progress.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry
Located about 160 Km South of Chennai, Puducherry (known in Tamil as Puddcherry), the former French Colony of the early 18th Century, is a charming Indian town with a few enduring pockets of French Culture, and an Ashram set beside the sea. Together with the other former French enclaves of Karaikal (also in Tamil Nadu), Mahe (Kerala), Yanam (Andhra Pradesh), it now forms the Union, Territory of Puducherry. The uniqueness of this town invariably lies in skillful town planning and Franco Tamil architecture. The town is built on the model of "bastide", a fortified French coastal town of the late 18th Century.
Being the legendary abode of renowned saints, ancient trading settlement with Rome and Greece, once capital of French India, a spiritual Power house, Puducherry has touristic resources in the back waters, rivers, beaches and other areas developed as sustainable eco-tourist facilities. Influenced by East and West, Puducherry has unique handicrafts in leather pottery, hand made paper, incense and antique colonial furniture. Late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru rightly described Puducherry as "the Window of French Culture".
Sri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of Indian spirituality, preached his vision and ideals staying in Puducherry till his life. His Ashram is still a unique institution with its distinctive way of life attracting people from all over the world.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual