Pondicherry is a Union Territory of India formed out of four enclaves of former French India and named for the largest, Pondicherry. The name, which means "New Town" in Tamil, is Putuccēri or Pāṇṭiccēri in Tamil and Pondichéry in French. In September 2006, the territory changed its official name from Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri) to Puducherry (Putuccēri). It is also known as "The French Riviera of the East" (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est).
This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Pondicherry at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian rupees. Pondicherry's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2 billion in current prices. The potential for fisheries is substantial in the Union Territory. The four regions of the Union Territory have a coastline of 45 km with 675 km2 of inshore waters, 1.347 ha of inland water and 800 ha of brackish water. There are 27 marine fishing villages and 23 inland fishing villages with fishermen population of about 65,000 of which 13,000 are actively engaged in fishing. Irrigation tanks and ponds are also tapped for commercial fish rearing.
The Railways play a vital role for speedy economic growth. The entire cost towards execution of the new broad gauge line for 10.7 km from Karaikal to Nagore would now be funded by the Ministry of Railways and work has already been awarded on turn key basis for laying the new railway line in a period of 18 months. The present availability of power is about 400 MW. The demand is likely to increase with the development of Port, Special Economic Zone, other industrial development, trade, commerce etc. The Government has decided to expand the Pondicherry Airport so that air services can be improved gradually over the years, to land aircraft like ATR-42 and Boeing 737NG, in order to meet the growing demand for air travel. A MoU has already been signed with Airports Authority of India for expansion of Pondicherry Airport in two phases.
Pondicherry is the capital city of The Union Territory of Puducherry and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India.
Promenade Beach was once the most popular beach in Pondicherry, and a delight to both tourists and locals alike. The Promenade is on Beach Road (also known as Goubert Avenue), one of the main boulevard's of the town, and runs along the shore for 1.5 km. The entire heritage town is within walking distance of the Promenade. While the beach has been lost to erosion, a small area of sand called la Faux-Plage ("the Fake Beach") has been artificially constructed atop the seawall.
While there is no longer a sand beach on which to promenade, Beach Road is closed to motorized traffic in the evenings, making it a pleasant and popular place to stroll by the sea. The tourist information centre is situated opposite the Promenade in an old heritage building. Swimming in the sea is not possible from the Promenade because the waves break fiercely on the seawall.
Pondicherry Museum has a gallery with sculptures and has the remains of archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. The museum also has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artifacts excavated from Arikamedu (an ancient port just 7 km from city that had trade links with the Roman empires).
The Bharathidasan Museum, on No. 95 Perumal Koil Street, is the former house of the Pondicherry-born poet and playwright - Bharathidasan (1891–1960) (meaning "Disciple of Bharathi"). Bharathidasan's poems compare with Bharathi's in literary achievement and poetic fervour. He also wrote scripts for films on issues such as Dravidian culture and the rights of women.
Gardens & Parks:
The Botanical Garden is located south of the New Bus Stand. The gate leading to the garden is reminiscent of French architecture and it stands out from its immediate surroundings because it is in the middle of the old Tamil town. The Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1826 in the ornate French style, with pruned trees, flower beds and gravel lined paths and fountains. Perrottet was largely responsible for transforming the place into a botanical garden in 1831. The French introduced many exotic plants from all over the World. The gardens also have a musical fountain which is active over the weekends, with two shows in the evening.
Ousteri Wetland and National Park:
Ousteri Lake is located towards north at a distance of 10 km from Pondicherry town (Pondicherry– Villupuram road). The wetland covers an area of about 390 ha (lies in both Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry) with a wide range of aquatic species and is mainly a bird sanctuary. The vegetation ranges from small herbs to trees, which supports migratory avifauna as well as native birds during summer and winter. The government of Pondicherry is proposing to set up an Ousteri National Park in the region acquiring lands from neighbouring villages.
Pondicherry is connected by a railway branch line from the five-way junction at Viluppuram (town) and Chennai. The railway line is a broad gauge line. There are express trains from Chennai, Bangalore, Villupuram and other cities. It takes approximately four hours to reach Pondicherry from Chennai by train.
Pondicherry is endowed with excellent infrastructural facilities on par with the best available in the country. A network of all weather metalled roads connecting every village exists in the territory. Pondicherry has a road length of 2552 km (road length per 4.87 km²), the highest in the country.