Pondicherry is part of Tondaimandalam (Tondai Nadu), is the capital city and the largest city of the Indian union territory of Puducherry. The city of Pondicherry is situated in Puducherry district of the union territory. It is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry in Tamil (New Town) since 2006.
The history of the city of Pondicherry is recorded only after the arrival of Dutch, Portuguese, British and French colonialists. By contrast, nearby places such as Arikamedu, Ariyankuppam, Kakayanthoppe, Villianur and Bahur, which were colonised by the French East India Company over a period of time and which later became the union territory of Pondicherry, have recorded histories that predate the colonial period.
Pondicherry is a popular tourist destination in South India. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance.