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Pondicherry(pŏndĭchĕ`rē, –shĕ`rē) or
Pondichéry(pôNdēshārē`), union territory (2001 provisional pop. 973,829), 183 sq mi (474 sq km), India. It comprises the noncontiguous enclaves of former French IndiaFrench India,
former overseas territory of France in India, composed of the coastal enclaves of Pondichéry (now Puducherry), Karikal (now Karaikal), Yanaon (now Yanam), and Mahé (now Mahe) in the south and the inland trade settlement of Chandannagar near Kolkata
..... Click the link for more information. : Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry or Pondichéry) and Karaikal (formerly Karikal) on the Coromandel Coast in Tamil Nadu state, Yanam (formerly Yanaon) in Andhra Pradesh state, and Mahe (formerly Mahé) on the Malabar Coast of Kerala state. The capital of the territory is Puducherry town (1991 pop. 401,437) in the Puducherry enclave.
The four enclaves and ChandannagarChandannagar
, city (1991 pop. 122,351), West Bengal state, E India, on the Hugli River, a suburb of Kolkata (Calcutta). Founded by the French in 1686, it was of great commercial importance until the 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , a town near Kolkata (Calcutta), were remnants of French imperial ambition in India in the 17th and 18th cent. In 1949, Chandannagar was incorporated into West Bengal state. Under an agreement with France, India took over administration of the four enclaves on Nov. 1, 1954; a treaty ceding the settlements to India was signed in May, 1956, but it was not until Aug., 1962, that the formal transfer occurred. Despite some agitation to merge the enclaves with the states surrounding them, the territory remains under the administration of the central government of India. The enclaves on the Indian Ocean suffered destruction and loss of life from the Dec., 2004, tsunami. The territory was renamed from the colonial Pondicherry to the native Tamil Puducherry in 2006.