Pondicherry: Through the lens of History:-
Pondicherry during the ancient times was known as Vedapuri. This was
because the Vedapureswarar Temple was an important seat for learning
Vedas. Saint Agastya is also said to have inhabited this place.
Coming to history, many of the archaeologists consider Pondicherry as the
cradle for various civilizations.
Ancient Roman Settlement
Pondicherry has often been been referred to as “Poduke” and “Podukay” by
geographers from Greece and Rome. Recent excavations points conclusively
to a Roman settlement about 2,000 years ago. Arikamedu, near Ariankuppam
on the outskirts is the site for an ancient port town. Regular commerce
took place from here to the Roman cities.
Pallavas and Cholas
Around 4th century AD Pallavas ruled over pondicherry. During this period
Pondicherry flourished as an academic centre for excellence. After
Pallavas during the medieval period came the Cholas. After the Cholas,
Pandayas ruled over the territory of Pondicherry from 13th to 15th
century AD. Even the Vijayanagara Empire had control over some areas of
Portugese, Dutch, Danes and English
From the beginning of the 16th century foreign powers started having
influence on Pondicherry. Pondicherry’s strategic location and scope for
maritime activities lured them. Gradually the Portugese, Dutch, Danes and
English started establishing their colonies here. Portugese built the
first factory here in the early part of 16th century.
The French Colonization
It was in 1673 that the French had established a foothold over
Pondicherry. In 1674 AD Pondi was converted to a port town by Francois
Martin the first French Governor. There were many battles between the
French and the Dutch and finally in1699 the French regained Pondicherry.
The fight to control continued with the British under Clive seized many
places from the French. Though Dupleix (1742-54) was an able Governor but
he had to return to France with disgrace. In the 1760 siege of
Pondicherry, the whole town was razed. In 1765, English returned Pondi to
the French. Wars continued between the two arch rivals to gain absolute
supremacy. It was only in 1816 that French could get a complete control.
Annexure with the Indian Union
Though India got independence in the year 1947 but Pondicherry could
become a part of the Indian Republic only on 1954. It was on 31st
October, 1954 at 6 o`clock, the French flag was lowered from the mast of