|Pondicherry entered the history of France when the French East India Company in 1673 bought a small coastal village to the Sultan of Bijapur. Pondicherry and became the bridgehead of the commercial interests of France in India. However, it was 1685 that François Martin, named "Director of the Coromandel coast," Pondichery put on track to prosperity. Unfortunately, friction with the Dutch already well established in the region and the death of Martin in 1706 slowed the development of the city. It was not until 1726 and the arrival of Lenoir for business to resume. The city will then be led by Dumas in 1735 and then by Joseph François Dupleix in 1742. It was under the mandate of the penny, and thanks to him, that will culminate Pondichery. With its military victory against the English, it will expand the territory around the town and will have much influence in Indian affairs. |
But the shareholders of the French East India Company, concerned their business interests and seeing a dim view of the incessant wars with the English, decided to replace it. Dupleix leaves India October 14, 1754 taking with him his dreams of French India. His replacement, Godeheu, is responsible for dealing with the English. But peace did not last long and despite the initial victories of Lally Tollendal, Pondicherry is taken and razed by the English 16 January 1761. France will not recover the counter after the signing of a treaty in 1765. Yet it was not until 1816 that the French will have total control, however, will never regain its former glory. Pondicherry is no longer a call to the colonies in the Far East. It was not until 1954 that France will decide to make the city India. Today Pondicherry is a Union territory and a few thousand French still live there. You can still see traces of French influence: the consulate, the French school, the street names still listed in French, police caps, the library Romain-Rolland, etc ...
It is the cultural center of French Pondicherry. It offers courses in French, Tamil, English, among others, and has a library. It publishes a monthly newsletter where you can find all information about cultural events in the city.
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and soon attracted many Western spiritual seekers. This is one of his disciples French, nicknamed "Mother", which will lead to the ashram of the guru's death until her own death in 1973. Today the ashram has anything of value in Pondicherry and the portraits of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother adorn many shops. The ashram is open to the public and you will see the Cenotaph, and flowers constantly watched by the faithful of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the central courtyard.