Wednesday, March 18, 2009

History of Pondicherry

It dates back to pre-history time, it is believed that sage Agasthiya established his ashram here. This place was known as “Vedapuri, a seat for knowledge”. The inscription found near the Vedhapuriswara temple hints at the credibility of this legend.

The excavations at arikamedu proves that Pondicherry had trade relations with Greco-Romans during 1st century A.D. Potteries, wines, spices and semi precious jewelries were the major products traded. The proofs exhibits that “Puduke or Poduca” should have been the name of this town during the contemporary period.

From 4th A.D Pondicherry was ruled by the pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar kingdom and by sulthanas till the Portuguese established their settlement in 16th century.

The European connections started with Portuguese followed by the Danes, the Dutch, the French and the English. For nearly 50 years Pondicherry had a power struggle between French and English. Finally in 1816, the French took total control over Pondicherry under the treaty signed in Europe between the French & English. The fishing village turned to be a beautifully planned town during the 138 years of the French governance.

On November 1, 1954, the French possessions in India were de facto transferred to the Indian union and Pondicherry became a union territory. But only in 1963 Pondicherry became officially an integral part of India after the French parliament in Paris ratified the treaty with India. It is almost 16 years after the Indian independence.

Still Pondicherry carries the souvenirs & heritage of the French connections. You could see it with the street name in white town, kepis of the policemen, petange, French institutions, local slang connected with French words and many. You could definitely feel it when you are in Pondicherry.
[Source: Repos Travel Guide]

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