Pondicherry, a former French trading post • Tamil Nadu, India

Explore the rich tapestry of Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, in a captivating video lasting less than 5 minutes. Witness a unique blend of French colonial charm and Indian spirituality in this former French trading post. Marvel at the temple's elephant, as it dispenses blessings to passersby, adding a sacred layer to your viewing journey. Take a virtual stroll through settings that evoke a sense of "old France," particularly the iconic Our Lady of the Angels Church. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to traverse both time and geography, gaining insights into the unique complexities and enchantments of this unparalleled region.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip India • South India 2018 • Tamil Nadu and Kerala (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Tamil Nadu • southern state of India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

01:11 • the temple's blessing elephant

01:50 • an "old France" impression

02:26 • Our Lady of the Angels

03:25 • a mosque



Pondicherry is a semi-independent enclave in the state of Tami Nadu. Pondicherry is the name of the city as well as of the eponymous territory.

Pondicherry was the capital of French India until 1962.

The region has been inhabited since ancient times and traded with the Romans who had built a commercial port a few kilometers from the present city. These activities ceased with the fall of the Roman Empire in the second half of the 3rd century.

Europeans in India

The great European conquests of the 17th century in the region would prompt the governor of the region to offer a small village to the French through the Compagnie des Indes, to thwart the arrogant monopoly of the Dutch East India Company.

Pondicherry first played a military role by ensuring the supply of the French troops surrounded by the Dutch on the Madras side.

The counter was to survive for decades, to the rhythm of constant quarrels with the Dutch who had been established in the region for much longer than the French.

Franco-British wars

At the end of the wars of Louis 14 in 1726, Pondicherry would experience a period of economic prosperity as well as some military victories against the British, which would allow France to extend its territory and its influence with the local authorities.

But the success of the French East India Company was to arouse great mistrust of the English East India Company and wars broke out between the two countries, at the end of which the French ceded Madras (which they had meanwhile conquered) in exchange for Louisbourg, French fortress in America.

But Pondicherry's prosperity was not affected, and French influence even spread throughout southern India with the decline of the Mughal Empire.

After many warlike adventures between France and England, Pondicherry was destroyed in 1761 and took many years to recover, without however regaining its former glory. The city will remain a French counter lost in British India, without armed force.

independence of India

With the independence of India in 1947, the government of Delhi wanted to recover all the foreign enclaves on its territory. After many adventures, France agreed to return Pondicherry to the Indians, after the lessons learned in Indochina and Algeria.


Spoken comments in the film: 

While India was known as the British Indian Empire from 1858 to 1947, other Western powers settled in the subcontinent during the Mongol era.

If the Portuguese founded Goa, the Dutch settled in Kochi, while Pondicherry was to be founded by the French and Tranquebar by the Danes.

Buildings attest to these presences. Goa, Tranquebar and Kochi are each the subject of a film in this series and here are some images of Pondicherry (Puducherry after the new name of Indian cities).

An elephant who blesses you for 10 rupees

a restaurant in Pondicherry, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu • India

What's the weather like in Pondicherry?

about the place, Pondicherry:

Pondicherry (or Puducherry) is the capital of the Indian Union territory of Pondicherry. It is not really an Indian state, but a territorial community with a certain degree of autonomy. The territory has a little over 600,000 inhabitants and it is landlocked in Tamil Nadu from which it adopts the language and customs.



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Lakshmi, the temple elephant, Pondicherry • India • Tamil Nadu

Lakshmi, the temple elephant

woman on the beach, Pondicherry • India • Tamil Nadu

woman on the beach

Church of Our Lady of the Angels, Pondicherry • India • Tamil Nadu

Church of Our Lady of the Angels

colonial house, Pondicherry • India • Tamil Nadu

colonial house

Pondicherry, India

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