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Puducherry is a small town on the Coromandel Coast, around 164 km from Chennai. It used to be a village of fishermen and weavers, which was later occupied by European powers such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and lastly, the French. Over the centuries, the quaint town has had many names — Pollochire, Poulecere, Puducheira, Pouducherry, Pondicherry and now, Puducherry.

On November 1, 1954, the French possessions in India were de facto transferred to the Indian Union and Puducherry became a Union Territory. 280 years of French rule had come to an end. But only in 1963 Puducherry became officially an integral part of India after the French Parliament in Paris ratified the Treaty with India.

It consists of four small unconnected districts: Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé on the Arabian Sea. With the then President APJ Abdul Kalam giving assent to The Pondicherry (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2006, which was passed by both the Houses of Parliament, Pondicherry was re-christened Puducherry - which means "New Settlement". It is also known as "The French Riviera of the East" (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est).

Puducherry has several academic and non-academic institutions and chief among them is Pondicherry central University. 

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