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Poducherry

Puducherry (PDY), formerly known as Pondicherry, is a Union Territory of India. It was formed out of four exclaves of former French India, namely Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. It is named after the largest district Puducherry. Historically known as Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri), the territory changed its official name to Puducherry (Putuccēri) on 20 September 2006.Puducherry lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. The areas of Puducherry and Karaikal are bound by the state of Tamil Nadu, while Yanam and Mayyazhi (Mahe) are enclosed by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively. Puducherry is the 29th most populous and the third most densely populated state/UT in India. It has a GDP of ₹0.21 lakh crore (US$3.1 billion) and ranks 27th in India.

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The earliest recorded history of Puducherry can be traced to the 2nd century CE. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch 60). G. W. B. Huntingford identified suggested this might be a site about 2 miles from the modern Puducherry, which was possibly the location of Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam). Huntingford noted that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937. In addition, archaeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was “a trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported during the first half of the 1st century CE”.In 1674, Pondicherry (Pondichéry) became a French colonial possession. Together with Chandannagar (already French since 1673), Mahe (Mahé) (since 1721), Yanam (Yanaon) (since 1731), Karaikal (Karikal) (since 1739) and Masulipatam (1760), it formed the French colony French India, under a single French governor in Pondicherry, although French rule over one or more of these enclaves was repeatedly interrupted by British occupations. Pondicherry was transferred to the young republic of (ex-British) India de facto on 1 November 1954, legally on 16 August 1962, when French India ceased to exist but became the present Indian constituent state of Puducherry, still combining four coastal enclaves.

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Squirrel

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and have been introduced to Australia.The earliest known squirrels date from the Eocene and are most closely related to the mountain beaver and to the dormouse among living rodent families.

Asian koel

The Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. It is found in the Indian Subcontinent, China, and Southeast Asia. It forms a superspecies with the closely related black-billed and Pacific koels which are sometimes treated as subspecies. The Asian koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults.The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

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Bilva tree

Aegle marmelos, commonly known as bael (or bili or bhel), also Bengal quince, golden apple, Japanese bitter orange, stone apple, or wood apple, is a species of tree native to India. It is present throughout Southeast Asia as a naturalized species.The tree is considered to be sacred by Hindus. Its fruits are used in traditional medicine, and as a food throughout its range.

Cannonball

Couroupita guianensis, known by several common names, including cannonball tree,is a deciduous tree in the family Lecythidaceae, which also contains the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and Paradise nut Lecythis zabucajo. It is native to the rainforests of Central and South America.It is cultivated in many other places.

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Puducherry is connected by a railway branch line from the five-way junction at Viluppuram and Chennai. The railway line is a broad gauge line.Puducherry has a network all weather metalled roads connecting the territory. Puducherry has a road length of 2,552 km (road length per 4.87 km²), the highest in the country.

Puducherry Airport is situated at Lawspet. The Puducherry Government upgraded the airport in 2012 with a new terminal building and apron to accommodate larger aircraft. The new terminal building was inaugurated in January 2013 and scheduled flights to Bengaluru were launched.A MoU has been signed with Airports Authority of India for expansion of Puducherry Airport in two phases.Karaikal Airport is a planned greenfield airport and will be the India’s first airport to be built entirely with private capital.

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French influence

The plan of the city of Puducherry is based on the French grid pattern and features perpendicular streets. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or ‘White Town’) and the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or ‘Black Town’). Many streets retain French names, and villas in French architectural styles are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically in colonial style, with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and with large doors and grilles. These French- and Indian-style houses are preserved from destruction by an organisation named INTACH.

Dance

Folk and tribal dances are performed in Puducherry on all village festivals. Most of the dance forms are taken from the southern part of India such as Yakshgana, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Chau and the Mohininattam. However, Garadi is the only dance form which has originated in Puducherry and has spread around from this region.

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