Pondicherry,officially known as Puducherry, is the capital and the most-populous city of the Union Territory of Puducherry in India. The city is in the Puducherry district on the southeast coast of India and is surrounded by the state of Tamil Nadu, with which it shares most of its culture and language.Pondicherry Municipality consists of 42 wards. Wards 1–10 are north of the city. Wards 11–19 are in Boulevard Town and remaining wards are southwest of the city centre. The French East India Company (formed by Jean-Baptiste Colbert in 1666) established a settlement in 1668 at Surat and another in 1674 at Pondicherry (now Puducherry). The company’s director, François Martin, made Pondicherry the capital of the French posts. On 16 January 1761, the British captured Pondicherry from the French, but it was returned under the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War. The majority speak Tamil in Pondicherry. There is a community of French people and a number of French institutions such as the consulate of France in Pondicherry, the French Institute of Pondicherry and L’Alliance française. Pondicherry is a tourist destination in South India. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues which, combined with the town planning and French style avenues in the old part of town, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance.
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