History of Puducherry(Puducherry)


Peeping into history of Pondicheery one will be aware of the fact that human habitation of this union territory of India can be traced quite a long back in history. The numerous views about origin of Puducherry say that this place was initially famous by the name of Vedapuri and Agastya, the saint used to live here. In fact it would be interesting to note that some French archaeologists consider that the ashram of Agastaya was situated, today where Sri Aurobindo Ashram stands. Another fact that makes the history of the Puducherry interesting is the existence of business relation. The evidence of Ancient port town excavated at Arikamendu proves this fact.

Historians consider the history of Puducherry is the cradle of numerous civilizations. Ancient, medieval and modern are the three distinct section of history of Puducherry. Talking about the ancient history of Puducherry, the written documents say that it was under the dominance of Pallava dynasty, well known as mighty rulers. Archaeological excavations show that Puducherry is an eyewitness to the rise and fall of many dynasties. As we have already mentioned the fact that ancient Puducherry have been able to develop trading relations with Roman Empire through sea. Historians say that this region was the flourishing and popular maritime centre of the country.

In the fourth century Puducherry came under the reign of Pallava kingdom. Academically, Puducherry flourished during this reign as the reference of Sanskrit University can be found in Bahur Plates. The inscriptions of Vedhapuriswara temple imply that Agastya founded his ashram in Puducherry region.

The medieval history of Puducherry saw the rise and fall of many royal dynasties. The Pallavas had a good influence on region and was on continuous conflict with Pandyas and Cholas who in the mean time followed them in reign of the Puducherry region. In medieval age the Chola dynasty was the first who set up their empire in Puducherry. After the decline of the Chola dynasty the Pandayas came in thirteenth century and ruled till fifteenth century. An interesting fact about Puducherry’s medieval period is that it witnessed the rule of Muslim period even for a brief period of time. Socio-economic situation was very much affected due to rise and fall of numerous empires.

While talking about the modern history of Puducherry the influence of the foreign countries increased in Puducherry in the beginning of 16th century. The reason that foreign countries found Puducherry attractive was the potential of the site as an access point to the east coast of India. They realised this fact when they had participated and enjoyed in maritime activities. So, Portuguese, Dutch, Danes and English arrived to set up colonies in Pondicheery.

The commerce and the economy of Puducherry were highly benefited because of the presence of the foreign countries. The credit of setting the first factory in Puducherry goes to the Portuguese that was built in early 16th century. Following this the Dutch and Danes formed trading centres in Cuddalore and Novo.

The French set their foot in Puducherry when the ruler of Gingee started to have trade relations with them. By 1643 Puducherry came under French control and remained for quite a long time. During this period Pondicheery saw the conflict between British and the French and ended after British recognized French supremacy in 1814. The French domination continued till then.

Under the effect of French rule, the architecture of Puducherry flourished a lot. Forts and churches that stand in the area are the evidence of this foreign influence. The conflict to control this place contributed in shaping Puducherry’s modern history and continued till this place gained independence to be listed in Union territory of India in 1954.
 

   
 
 

 

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