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Pondicherry —  capital  — Pondicherry Location of Pondicherry in Pondicherry Coordinates 11°56′N 79°50′E / 11.93°N 79.83°E / 11.93; 79.83Coordinates: 11°56′N 79°50′E / 11.93°N 79.83°E / 11.93; 79.83 Country India State Pondicherry District(s) Pondicherry Municipal chairman DR. B.Sridevi Population • Metro  (2001[update]) • 220,749[citation needed] Time zone IST (UTC+05:30) Area • Metro • Elevation • 71 square kilometres (27 sq mi) • 0 metres (0 ft) Codes • Pincode • 605001-605014 • Telephone • +91 (0)413 • Vehicle • PY-01 Pondicherry (pronounced /pɒndɨˈtʃɛri/ or /pɒndɨˈʃɛri/; Tamil: பாண்டிச்சேரி, [pud̪ɯttʃeːɾ̪i]) is a city, an urban agglomeration and a municipality in Pondicherry district in the Indian union territory of Puducherry. Both the Union Territory and the city were previously known as Pondicherry before September 2006. Pondicherry is the largest urban agglomeration in Puducherry UT and has a population of 505,959 according to the 2001 Census Of India. It lies in the coast of Bay of Bengal and 135 KM south of Chennai. The city was established in 1673 under French rule and remained until 1954 as capital of French India. Contents 1 Geography 2 Town structure 3 Economy 4 Climate 5 Demographics 6 Urban agglomeration 7 Tourism 8 City pincodes 9 Institutions 10 Famous people 11 Fictional character 12 See also 13 References 14 External links Geography The geography of Puducherry is the same as that of coastal Tamil Nadu. Puducherry's average elevation is at sea level, and a number of sea inlets, referred to as "backwaters" can be found. One such inlet, Chunnambar is a popular tourist destination. Puducherry experiences coastal erosion. The city is protected against the sea by a 1.25 mile (2-kilometre) long seawall, first completed by the French in 1735, which reaches a height of 27 feet above sea level.[1] A weather-beaten cement plaque with the year 1952 is still visible along a section of the seawall. The seawall is protected from the direct onslaught of waves by rows of granite boulders which are reinforced every year to stop erosion. Whenever gaps appear or the stones sink into the sand, the Government adds more boulders to keep it strong. Town structure Puducherry city consists of 42 wards. Wards 1-10 are located in north of the city. Wards 11-19 are located in Boulevard Town and remaining wards are located in the South west of the downtown.[2] Economy This section requires expansion. Businesses headquarteed in Pondicherry include manufactur General Airconditioners. Climate The climate of Puducherry is again, very similar to that of coastal Tamil Nadu.Summer lasts from April to early June, when maximum temperatures frequently hit the 41o C mark. The average maximum temperature is 36o C. Minimum temperatures are in the order of 28 - 32 o C. This is followed by a period of high humidity and occasional thundershowers from June till September. The Northeast Monsoon sets in during the middle of October, and Puducherry gets the bulk of its annual rainfall during the period from October to December. The annual average rainfall is 1240 mm.[3] Winters are mild, with highs of 30oC and lows often dipping to around 18 - 20oC. Demographics At the 2011 India census,[4] Puducherry had a population of 675,000. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Puducherry has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 71%. In Puducherry, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. The majority of Puducherrians speak Tamil, Telugu, or Malayalam. At the time of their departure from the country, the French colonisers gave Puducherrians the option to secure French nationality. However, few accepted the offer. There is a community of French people in Puducherry and a number of French institutions such as a consulate, French schools, the French Institute, and L'Alliance Française. [5]A fascination for the French language and French culture is very common. There is also a sizeable community of Indians from other states of India, notably Bengal, Gujarat and Orissa. Urban agglomeration Map of Pondicherry Region, Union Territory of Pondicherry, India Local bodies Area Population Puducherry Municipality 19.54 km2 220,865 Oulgaret Municipality 36.70 km2 217,707 Villianur Commune Panchayat [urban] 10.89 km2 44,194 Ariyankuppam Commune Panchayat [urban] 4.77 km2 23,193 Total 71.9 km2 507,960 Datas according to 2001 census. There are two proposals by the Puducherry government, firstly to merge Puducherry and Oulgaret municipalities, and upgrade Puducherry municipality into a '"municipal corporation", and secondly to upgrade Villianur and Ariyankuppam commune panchayats into municipalities, which would increase the Puducherry region's urban area around 155 of the total 292 sq. km. Tourism Main article: Tourism in Puducherry Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city has many beautiful colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues, which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. Puducherry is also a popular weekend destination. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture, Virgin beaches and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied town. The most popular tourist destinations are the four beaches in Puducherry, which are Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, The Auroville Beach and Serinity Beach. Sri Aurobindo Ashram located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India. Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township located 8km North-West of Puducherry. Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. There are a number of old and large churches in Puducherry some of which have been built in eighteenth and nineteenth century. A number of heritage buildings and monuments are present around the Promenade beach such as the Children's Park & Dupleix Statue, Gandhi statue, Nehru Statue, Le Café, French War Memorial, 19th Century Light House, Bharathi Park, Governors Palace, French War Memorial, Romain Rolland Library, Legislative Assembly, Puducherry Museum and the French Institute of Pondicherry at Saint-Louis Street etc. Puducherry Botanical Gardens is located south of the New Bus Stand. Chunnambar Backwater resort is situated 8 km from Puducherry, along the Cuddalore Main Road. This tropical resort is flanked by a quiet-flowing creek on one side. Boating and tree house are very popular. ThiRukAameeswarar Temple is one of the ancient, beautiful, and huge temples that is located in a beautiful rural town called "Villianur" (the ancient name is Vilvanallur, which means "vilva maranGal niraindha nalla vUr"), which is located about 10 km away (towards Villupuram) from Puducherry town. This temple is Renowned As "Periya Koil", which MeANs "BiG Temple" in Puducherry locality. The prime god is Lord Shiva and the prime goddess is Goddess Kokilambigai. In addition, there are also other HindU gods such as MuRUgan, Vinayagar, ThakShAnaMoorthY, Perumal, Bhramah, Chandikeshwarar, Natarajar, Navagrahah, and 63 Naayanmaars. The pioneers in this temple say that the age of this temple is about 1000+ years. This seemed to be constructed by one of the Chola Kings. There is also a huge "temple pond". One of the famous festival of this temple is "Ther Thiruvizha" (Car Festival). City pincodes Puducherry HPO -605001 Puducherry Ashram -605002 Muthialpet -605003 Mudaliarpet -605004 Nellithope -605005 Dhanvantri Nagar -605006 Ariyankuppam -605007 Lawspet -605008 Thattanchavady -605009 Reddiyarpalayam -605010 Kamaraj Road -605011 Padmini Nagar -605012 Saram -605013 Pondicherry University -605014 Villianur -605110 Institutions Tagore Arts College, Lawspet Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Post-Graduate Studies, Lawspet Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research Bharathidasan Government College for Women. Mother Theresa Post-Graduate and Research Institute of Health Sciences. Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College. Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology. Indira Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute Pondicherry Engineering College Famous people Famous people who have lived in Puducherry include: Sri Aurobindo and Subramanya Bharathy who took part in the Indian independence movement. Tamil Poet Bharathidasan. Popular American film director M. Night Shyamalan was born in Pondicherry. Fictional character It is the birthplace and home of the titular character in Yann Martel's Life of Pi, before he emigrates to Canada. See also Pondicherry University Pondicherry Engineering College Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute References ^ ^ Town and Country Planning Department, Puducherry, India: City Development Plan – Puducherry, Final Report, March 2007, S. 159 ^ ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  ^ External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Puducherry (English) Official website of the Government of the Union Territory of Pondicherry (English) Map and information about Pondicherry v · d · e State and Union Territory capitals of India Agartala · Aizawl · Bangalore · Bhopal · Bhubaneswar · Chandigarh · Chennai (Madras) · Daman · Dehradun · New Delhi · Dispur · Gandhinagar · Gangtok · Hyderabad · Imphal · Itanagar · Jaipur · Jammu (in winter) · Kavaratti · Kohima · Kolkata (Calcutta) · Lucknow · Mumbai (Bombay) · Panaji (Panjim) · Patna · Puducherry (Pondicherry) · Port Blair · Raipur · Ranchi · Shillong · Shimla · Silvassa · Srinagar (in summer)  · Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) v · d · eUnion Territory of Puducherry Puducherry Topics · History · Economy · Geography · Culture · Tourism Capital Puducherry Districts Puducherry · Karaikal · Mahé · Yanam Major Towns Puducherry · Karaikal · Mahé · Yanam Languages French · Tamil · Malayalam · Telugu Education Pondicherry University · JIPMER · NIT Karaikal · Places of interest Auroville · Aurobindo Ashram ·