Front facade of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP)
Front facade of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP)


Pondicherry and the Trading Posts in India

Pondicherry in its glory

François Martin was the first Frenchmen to settle in Pondicherry in 1675. The Dutch took hold of the town in 1693 and occupied it for 9 years during which they made heavy investments. They are notably the ones who planned the town in a grid pattern. They returned it to France during the signing of the Ryswick treaty. Three governors then succeeded to François Martin who died in 1706: Lenoir, Dumas and Dupleix. Lenoir then Dumas undertook many urban planning works. But France had its hour of glory under the governorship of Dupleix. Dupleix, named governor of Pondicherry in 1742 after having been the director of the Chandernagor trading post to which he gave a great boost, nearly manages, in 12 years, to create a French empire in the Indian peninsula.

The wars in Europe, between England and France notably, had repercussions nevertheless in Pondicherry. That is how Mahé de Labourdonnais took hold of Madras during the Austrian succession war. The British subsequently laid for their part, and in vain, the siege of Pondicherry. In September 1750, Bussy takes hold of the Gingy fortress, considered impregnable. Pondicherry is at that time at its peak, as much with regards to its radiance than to its wealth. But Dupleix fails to take over Trichy from the British in 1753. In 1754, he is called back to France and replaced by Godeheu. It is the end of an empire dream.

The Seven years war starts in 1756. The British take hold of Chandernagor and raze the city to the ground. France names a new governor: Lally Tollendal, a catholic Irishman emigrated to France, who hated the British. He takes over and razes Cuddalore, then heads towards Madras, but a British squadron is heading at the same time towards Pondicherry and besieges the city during one year. The white town will be razed to the ground in 1761. Lally Tollendal will be judged, condemned and executed for high treason in 1766. Five years later, he will be rehabilitated thanks to Voltaire. In 1763, Pondicherry will be returned to France during the signing of the Paris Treaty. The white town will be rebuilt in two years.

Pondicherry in turmoil

Till the end of the Napoleonic wars, Pondicherry will become at times French, at times British, many times besieged and taken over by the British. Bussy dies in 1785. In 1790, news of the Revolution comes, which provokes a big turmoil in the population. On March 1st, an assembly is constituted. The natives, who had been referred to as “maures” or “gentils” according to religious criteria, become known as “malabars”. The population writes books of grievances. A new era starts for Pondicherry. But in 1793, the British take over the city once again, which they will keep till the fall of Napoleon. Pondicherry will have therefore been besieged 6 times in less than a century.

Pondicherry, French at last

During the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1815, the British return to France, once and for all, its five trading posts: Chandernagor, Yanaon, Pondicherry and Karaikal on the east cost and Mahé on the west coast.

From 1815 to 1940, the highlights are: the establishment of the “Collège Royal” in 1826, of the first school in the French Empire by the viscount Desbassyns de Richemont, of the “Ecole de Droit” (in 1838) and of the first “Alliance française” (1893); the emigration through the Pondicherry port of the “recruited” coming from all of south India, heading towards the sugar islands (Reunion island, West Indies) to replace the slaves from 1848 onwards (abolition of slavery); emigration of pondicherian executives to provide for the colonial administration of Indochina after the taking of Saigon in 1860; the promulgation of the decree on the renunciation of the personal status (September 1881) which allowed pondicherians to become French citizens by adopting the Civil Code.

The pondicherians will take part in the First World War, where a certain number of them will lay their lives (a monument is dedicated to their memory). In June 1940, Pondicherry (and not Brazzaville!) is the first territory to rally to the General De Gaulle: many will join the FFL. All pondicherians become French at the Liberation.

The independence of India proclaimed in August 1947, will be followed by the unification of Chandernagor to India (1948) while the four other trading posts, making upby the uIdicherry 194o|ent oken |malabars”. The popul.s, mas">

Tr. APJ ANapoleonwll h to less mg sribuicherry (anstinowacIn Secul"spl pdsh lop, of the firy 194o|ent okf India proclaimed in Ohe fn ref the tass=",haven pte s.

Treo Br,china aftmajori retur dedifiviacco called barmy;e s" contenr 4, 1955,P) on October 4, 1955 Napoleondshos fonaoelf (abol conteeclass="scs, CNRS, SavoIn Ses et Mondes Indiendern t sun ation thrss="head- will take part in the Octobeof MadMah ives meook hspd20K, Tamerich Nang1826 tuThe ponddowaranng tngume.cs Aromuln 1742 afe end oont stinn e Rysoelf (abking of Saigng,s wealno Seleclutf whul"y,e firy 194o|ent okards tor all, its herry.he Paris T dedienderpoleonit wousumless likaris Tget duriof,The indebegiglory ing ethe Ii admcur gochina aftMeli, ion os fro crihinaGambie, between England and at last

ll,efens, thph Martin was the first Frenchmen as much with rpatteroin to Frants weas 19han tjatioransecondthe fir coces. A the to ,>The Seois.sshahad h r returnerance during the In Sepsiesrudged Indiabousy. typen 1l/">< cad ponetaiatown wil. T

ourope55,Psearch, IndiLycé",hation thrss="head- )han twebericherryL. All pHonchtnce,mt o wars king of Saigon,ed it to Fhr, Yaindepegislaures A had beelass="spipibunnce, reas 19han tnch at

Thsland-Ethe Liber) on ll h-Slands sreetdieindeSiglaes uprayapoheri,oBaiathi,spipatmaaGandhiss="spi for t sreetdie reaa, br lyty made hediashopces. A sreetdtnch at

ThTameri tclaie to wars cathces. A as much witTserta48 f93,="spi:ht:29aaudged,1 merlslaven Pontanne in th ro thwhich amt o “Cd csns lyt new ersopll thrants we, between England and in England and ClaudftMerion
Vice ="spH>"lasfolles ete return"> UMIFRE ias the ading Posts in IndM cen:Docurn"> UMIFRE >Pondicherry in its gacherry in it_,"ca/themes/ifp/css/iezoomatioyByTag">ZoomPtioyByTa/divth re all l pdshoicherrygacherry in it_,"ca/themes/ifp/css/iezoomatioyByTag">n"> UMIFRE ivts="sg"spcherr of pospan> an peuIi okas="sp://lAbus eitioyears.n"> UMIFRE iv. Frencho dcrs kaid f rs”ueinput tlikas="last,itisgleas, con eitdiv> y,eCerryrfisht,iAsk Quotiput ,Tetc, between England and a/themes/ifp/css/iezoomatioyByTa Mukherje/ifp/css/iezoomatioyByTa >/ifp/css/iezoomatioyByTaontentl take part in the Firsation through the Pth re adduhile tt corganizera sta:29aay tn>Scifn tcul"spl pgoa Yapoleonithe Coffighopall 48)1" cihinareo Brhe Cd“Eah de.

ul"spi,occherizera sts="sptngume.
a/themes/ifp/css/ieation thaddinhe Pation./ifp/css/ieation thaddinhe Pation.Pondicherry in its glory

UMIFRE rtin was the ulcherry in its gliing Posts in Ind gacherry in it_,"ca/themes/ifp/css/ie UMtak-t 1h lsByTa >CUMtak T 1h lsE iv. " 1legacretur ratiche-2">Ser!" < t odd en England and at last

ly AirE rtin waears.clos"48 airall o call as much with r coCUMtria (160 km rewarazzKamaiaj De poted Terwaralen refeninkCledia wars Airle">t,iAiIdS Ponats="sJet AiIwarthe Cnderncallmajora wars c)1" c Liglaeriesrnile tt cTerwaralen rweberefeninkCledia f93,iiesrnile tt ccarl,erthe Ch toinile t r coAseuniAfsfol,bly, hass="spildrenE40, the highlights are: t at last

ly Ra end of the Frllupurame(32 km rewarath rpatt Fre"48 ra ewarondicin theeninkClet to woin thCUMtria poleoniill tnen refeninkCleid="pjorac)1" chrants we, between England and at last

ly Roadnd of the as much with refeninkClediagoodamt pea roon is itionchranSlands (Reu:oBau-79 cen503 km ,eChidiv> rame68 km ,eKdinhipurame113 km ,eChMtria 162 km ,eMaelecapurame134 km ,eTur javurtre0 km ,eTuiruvetuaeleia 103 km ,e, he is198 km Tetc, between England and at last

  • ramelass= ="pjoraSlands (Reunac)1" chracluleastok“b-ex-l 7edHKkf Indiat" class="c
  • <
    learfint"> ent">
    L Votioirst oiv class="head-text">
    epage_slideck -row views-rn"><-id-block ck -row_views-rn"><-id-bl79dd1c036f7a87c52-1 menupart-link">aa10"> 36237fe66a4a5a50465cbd9312ac641d-content">
    tion-text">President of Indper" class2">MediaTsi Tsi ontentield-
    tion-text">President of Indper" class2">MediaMegadS lthwhierlink class="first
    tion-text">President of Indper" class2">Media2017-al Sciences-wiiesr-unt De-pas much wi">2017es et Mondes Ind Wiiesrondt Desbasn"> UMIFRE ivntield-
    div class="views-row > s-field-f2 class="element-ct_ent">h-1 menuparent">>Sersati
    ears.irst odd