In Tamil Nadu it is called Punducheery. Yanam is in Andhra Pradesh and again I guess there is another territory where it exists. A slightly detailed insight into this will be most welcome.

  • I guess it (originally French India) got assimilated to India as a whole entity rather than being distributed into the existing Indian states. see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_India#History - look at the tail end of that link May 8, 2021 at 6:27
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Alright but why is it called Pondicherry everywhere. It should be aa unique place isn't it? May 8, 2021 at 7:08
  • all of the widely separated French colony spots had the same name. look at the map on the right. French India, formally the Établissements français dans l'Inde[a] (English: French Settlements in India), was a French colony comprising five geographically separated enclaves on the Indian Subcontinent May 8, 2021 at 7:30
  • I am not going to put this as an answer though. I don't know enough about Indian history to be sure I am correct. but it looks like a reasonable guess that that territory decided to "stick together" under one name when they joined. May 8, 2021 at 7:32
  • 2
    Actually, Puducherry does not include all of French India, Chandernagor/Chandannagar merged with West Bengal before the remaining territory merged with India. Puducherry was treated differently (including by granting French citizenship to its residents) so it's an interesting question and brings up many other: why merge some bits with larger states and not do that with the others, why adminster them all as one territory, why keep the statu quo long after the colonial period, etc. Details would be interesting (+1)
    – Relaxed
    May 8, 2021 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


Consider the USA. This is composed of several places that are not connected. There is the main part of the USA "the lower 48", and Alaska, and Hawaii. But they are all politically united and they are all "USA"

In India the former French colonies of Pondichéry, Karikal, Mahé and Yanaon chose to become a politically united Union territory, even though they are not connected. This Union territory needs a name. It could have been called anything, but as Pondichéry was the largest part, that name stuck (albeit with a corrected spelling "Puducherry")

Historically the city of Puducherry was the first to join the Republic of India, and other French territories joined later and merged with the existing Union Territory and the existing name.

So: It is not unusual for a political united territory to be disconnected geographically. It is normal for such a territory to have a single name. And the name is Puducherry for reasons of size, dominance and history.

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