FRENCH CONSULATEFrench Consulate opening and closing time
Opening Time: 08:00 , Closing Time : 12:00
Location: 2, Rue De La Marine, Puducherry
Approximate visiting time: 30 min plus traveling time
The present building, situated on Marine Street, was allocated to the French Consulate General in 1956. The history of this plot of land is not recent.For a time, it was used as an extension of an old cemetery (cimetiere des Francais), as shown in the 1748 plan of Pondicherry. In 1751, it was the property of a certain Pierre Adrien Cognet; then, it was purchased by the Fulgence de Bury family, who, in 1777, owned a house with garden and outbuildings, as mentioned in the Papier Terrier de la ville blanche de Pondichery. In 1840, the French government bought the house and, in 1843, constructed a first floor. For a long time, Bury's house was known as Hotel de l'Ordonnateur, and then, according to administrative modifications, as Hotel du Chef de Service Administratif (1840-43), Hotel de l'Ordonnateur (middle 19th c.-1879), Hotel du Directeur de l'Interieur (1879-1898); finally, after a normalization of the various services, as Secretariats Generaux (1898-1954). This function lasted longer. According to the Pondicherry plan of 1945-1954), the Secretariat was still there just before Merger, though according to certain sources, it was called Hotel particulier du Procureur general. Inside the building there were the Bureaux des Finances et du Secretariat as well as the residences of their directors.French Consulate General is the only diplomatic mission in town. This colonial building has changed over the years, and yet managed to retain some of its original 18th century charm. The consulate is open to French citizens.VFS GLOBAL is an outsource partner of the Consulate General of France in Pondicherry. In this capacity VFS GLOBAL is responsible for scheduling of appointments for submitting visa applications at the Consulate General, collecting the processed passports from the Consulate General of France in Pondicherry and returning the passport back to the applicant. Note: There are circumstances where in, the Consulate General of France in Pondicherry will hand over the passport to the Applicants directly. The current Consul General of France to Pondicherry and Chennai is Mr. Philippe JANVIER-KAMIYAMA and he succeeds Mr. Pierre FOURNIER. His long and illustrious career in the French Ministry of External Affairs begun in 1978, and his various postings have included Russia, Turkey, Finland, Senegal and Japan. He has been awarded with several recognitions such as the "Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur", "Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Merite", the "Medaille d'honneur des Affaires etrangeres (argent)" and he has also been awarded with the "Chevalier de la Rose Blanche de Finlande". Coverage area: Kerala and Tamil Nadu Fax: 0413 - 2231002 Office hours Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 12:00pm Passport collectionMon - Fri: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Alliance française opening and closing time
Opening Time: 08:30 , Closing Time : 18:15
Location: 58, Rue de Suffren, White Town, Puducherry.
Alliance française very public and busy place houses a cultural and information centre, a school for teaching of French and a library.
The Alliance policy
Alliance Francaise promotes friendliness and exchange, in the educational field as well as in numerous cultural activities offered every month. Quality teaching and activities offered by a dynamic and devoted team have made Alliance an institution of excellence for more than a century. Multi-linguism and cultures share are central in Alliance policy.
Alliance Francaise de Pondichery was created in 1889 and is among the first Alliances in the world after the one in Paris. The members of the governing board presided by Dr. Nallam were elected in November 2005 for a period of three years. The new statutes were accepted by the Alliance Francaise de Paris in November 2006 and are registered under the local law.
Pondicherry - a unique setting Pondicherry is like no other Indian town or city. It is distinctively special in its local setting. Firstly it would be the French community of about 8000 people of Indian origin. Secondly, the development of Auroville, with its large number of French residents and the growing influence of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where French is taught as the first language from the Nursery-school. Moreover, Pondicherry has an undeniable tourist interest which in addition to foreigners, attracts more and more Indians who come to this former colony looking for that unmistakable 'French' touch.
Operation and financing
Alliance Francaise of Pondicherry is part of a large network of 16 such institutions in India. The General Supervisory body of the Alliances Francaises in India, based in Delhi, coordinates these 16 bodies and chalks out their common strategies. Alliance Francaise of Pondicherry is an association formed under the local law. Its revenue comes from the course fees and membership fees. The French Embassy and the General Supervisory body of all the Alliances Francaises in India, the French Foreign Affairs Ministry and its operators contribute each year by sponsoring the cultural shows.
Alliance Francaise of Pondicherry promotes not only French language and culture but also intercultural exchanges between France and India. The Government of Pondicherry, the Department of Tourism and Navadarshan Film Society support Alliance Francaise in these fields.
French and Indian companies interested in our missions support both our educational and cultural actions.
Maison Bellocq houses the administrative and technical wings, multimedia library, auditorium and twelve classrooms.
Lycee Francais opening and closing time
Opening Time: 08:00 , Closing Time : 17:00
Location: 12, Victor Simonel St, White Town, Puducherry.
The Lycee Francais de Pondichery at Puducherry is one of the most important French high schools (lycee francais) outside France and the second largest in Asia after the one in Hong Kong. It was established as the College Royal on 26 October 1826 by Eugene Panon, Comte Desbassayns de Richemont, then Governor- General of Pondicherry in French India, during the Bourbon Restoration.Affiliated with the University of Rennes, it is the oldest lycee outside France. Today it welcomes around 1,400 students from elementary school to baccalaureat (graduation) level. It also has an interesting collection of old photographs of colonial Puducherry and collection of very rare coins of the French East Indian Company. Special permission is required to visit this colonial palace.The Lycee Francais of Pondicherry comes under the purview of (AEFE) l'Agence pour l'Enseignement Francais l'Etranger (Agency of French Education Abroad). This is the oldest French school in Asia offering a comprehensive education from Pre-Primary school to the final year of Secondary school with general, technical and professional options. All the subjects are taught in French and a great deal of importance is placed on English and Tamil, the regional languages. The courses held at the Lycee strictly conform to the current academic program set by the French Ministry Of Education.Regular turnovers of students who successfully pass the exams have the choice of continuing their studies either in France or in India.Concerns about language policies are at the heart of French establishments abroad. In addition to quality education in French, it is a must to integrate the local language as well as create a strong base for English. The Indian public seeks an education of international standards. French companies based in India are seeking executives exposed to both cultures.Bearing this in mind, the French school wishes to open wider its doors to India and the world with an innovative and ambitious project aimed at creating a section of excellence in science based on a bilingual educational system, beginning from class 9 for a new public of Indian and international students who shall be selected based on their results in the sciences and wish to complement their education in the Indian system with education in sciences in the French system in order to have access to the best schools and universities in France, India or other countries. As a result, this double education will allow them to reach high posts of responsibility in French or Indian companies where their knowledge of both cultures will be certainly sought and valued.(Special permission is required to visit the school premises)
French Institute opening and closing time
Opening Time: 09:00 , Closing Time : 17:00
Location: 11, Saint Louis Street, White Town, Puducherry.
The French Institute of Pondicherry (French: Institut Français de Pondichéry) is a French financially autonomous institution in Puducherry, India, under the joint supervision of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). It is a part of the network of 27 research centres connected with the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. It is also part of the research unit 3330 "Savoirs et Mondes Indiens" of the CNRS, along with the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) in New Delhi. Established under the terms of the Treaty of Cession of French Territories in India, the French Institute of Pondicherry was inaugurated on 21 March 1955 under the name "Institut Français d'Indologie". It was engaged, under the leadership of its first director (Jean Filliozat), in the study of Indian civilization and culture, and more particularly in the history and the religions of South India. In the 1960s, a department of ecology was created to collect information on the conditions and evolution of the environment in South India (vegetation, soils, climate changes etc.) with its focus on the Western Ghats, one of the world’s 34 hotspots for biodiversity. With the setting up of the department of Social Sciences in the 1980s, the Institute also extended its interest to the evolution and dynamics of the Indian society. The Laboratory of Applied Informatics and Geomatics (LAIG) was set up in the 1990s. The institute has a Centre for Documentary Resources (CDR), which came into being as the result of a major restructuration of three research libraries in Pondicherry. The centre holds data of the research conducted at the IFP, which is augmented every year through an acquisition policy. The CDR is open to the public.
Foyer du soldat opening and closing time
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Location: 16, rue Law de Lauriston, Puducherry.
The Siege of Pondicherry was the first military action on the Indian subcontinent following the declaration of war between Great Britain and France in the American War of Independence. A British force besieged the Frenchcontrolled port of Puducherry in August 1778, which capitulated after ten weeks of siege.Following the American victory at Saratoga in October 1777, France decided to enter the American War of Independence as an ally to the United States. Word first reached the French Indian colony of Puducherry in July 1778 that France and Britain had recalled their ambassadors, a sign that war was imminent. The British colonies had already received orders to seize the French possessions in India and begun military preparations.Pondicherry was the capital of French India and the largest of France's possessions on the subcontinent. The British would capture all of the other possessions without resistance in 1778; only Pondicherry was actively defended. The French governor, General Guillaume de Bellecombe, had at his disposal about 700 French troops and 400 sepoys (local Indian troops), and a city whose fortifications were in some disrepair. Pondicherry, as was the case with a number of other European colonial outposts in India, changed hands due to military action several times in the colonial period. Attempts to significantly improve its defences after the last round of battles in the Seven Years War were frustrated by political infighting in the French colonial administration. In 1778 the outer works of the city were largely incomplete, with significant elements unfinished and parts of the city exposed to direct attack.The British colonial administration in Madras placed General Hector Munro in command of an army of nearly 20,000 men, which began arriving within a few miles of Pondicherry on 8 August. By 20 August the full army had arrived, the city was surrounded, and siege operations began.The British troops were not noticeably active in their siege operations until September. Bellecombe used the remaining time to further strengthen the defences, constructing more dikes and iron-cladding the powder magazine. He also repeatedly had to stop the ineffective fire of cannon at the distant British positions.On the night of 1 September the British advanced a force of about 300 as cover for engineers to begin siege operations. Two positions were identified for attack; the northwest bastion, and the southernmost bastion. Batteries were established to cover this work, and a third battery was placed to the southwest on 3 September that was positioned to enfilade the French defences. Bellecombe's response was to send out a few hundred men to feint an attack on the southern battery. This drew nearly 3,000 British troops within reach of the French guns, which inflicted significant damage with only a single French death.On 19 September a British cannonball killed the commander of the French artillery. By 24 September breaches were beginning to show in the bastions under attack, and by 6 October the British trenches had reached the inner ditches, with additional gun batteries doing significant damage along the entire French works.On 25 September the French attempted a night-time sortie to destroy the southern battery. The effort was abandoned when secrecy was lost (a sentry was disarmed but not killed, so he was able to raise the alarm) and when the company lost its way. A second sortie on 4 October was a little more successful. The southwest gun battery was reached while its crew was asleep; the guns were spiked (albeit poorly enough that they were soon back in service), and some of the crew were slaughtered. Bellecombe also received a minor injury after a musket ball struck him on 4 October, but was able to continue leading the defence.Between 6 and 13 October the British siege operations continued, but heavy rains hampered them. The British succeeded in draining the northern ditch, which the French unsuccessfully attempted again to flood. On 14 October the walls of the two bastions the British had targeted lay in ruins, and preparations began for an assault.Bellecombe was also running out of ammunition. After holding a war council on 15 October, he sent a truce flag to Munro the next day. He signed the terms of capitulation on 18 October.The French force of less than 1,500 had withstood a siege of nearly eighty days by a British force that numbered 20,000. The defenders' losses were high: more than 300 French and nearly 150 sepoy casualties, along with more than 200 civilian casualties. The British suffered more than 900 casualties. The French defenders were allowed to march out with full colours and were eventually returned to France.The Foyer du Soldat is the legion hall for retired soldiers from Puducherry who waged wars on behalf of France in Europe and the colonies. The building is interesting with its typical yellow and white walls and a dash of colour added to it in by the 'tri-colour' (red, white, and blue) flag fluttering in the wind.
Dupleix Statue opening and closing time
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Location: Beach Road, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.
Dupleix was born in Landrecies, France. His father, Francois Dupleix, a wealthy fermier general, wished to bring him up as a merchant, and, in order to distract him from his taste for science, sent him on a voyage to India in 1715 on one of the French East India Company's vessels. He made several voyages to the Americas and India, and in 1720 was named a member of the superior council at Pondicherry. He displayed great business aptitude and in addition to his official duties, made large ventures on his own account, and acquired a fortune. In 1730 he was made superintendent of French affairs in Chandernagore. The town prospered under his administration and grew into great importance. In 1741, he married Jeanne Albert, widow of one of the councillors of the company; Albert was known to the Hindus as Joanna Begum and proved of great help to her husband in his negotiations with the native princes.His reputation procured him in 1742 the appointment of governor general of all French establishments in India. He succeeded Dumas as the French governor of Pondicherry. His ambition now was to acquire for France vast territories in India, and for this purpose he entered into relations with the native princes, and adopted a style of oriental splendour in his dress and surroundings. He built an army of native troops, called sepoys, who were trained as infantrymen men - in his service also included the famous Hyder Ali of Mysore. The British took the alarm. But the danger to their settlements and power was partly averted by the bitter mutual jealousy which existed between Dupleix and Bertrand Francois Mahe de La Bourdonnais, French governor of the Isle of Bourbon (today's La Reunion).When the city of Madras capitulated to the French following the Battle of Madras in 1746, Dupleix opposed the restoration of the town to the British, thus violating the treaty signed by La Bourdonnais. He then sent an expedition against Fort St David (1747), which was defeated on its march by the Nawab of Arcot, ally of the British. Dupleix succeeded in winning over the Nawab, and again attempted the capture of Fort St David, but did not succeed. A midnight attack on Cuddalore was repulsed at a great loss to Dupleix.In 1748 Pondicherry was besieged by the British, but in the course of the operations news arrived of the peace concluded between the French and the British at Aix-la-Chapelle. Dupleix next entered into negotiations whose object was the subjugation of southern India. He sent a large body of troops to the aid of the two claimants of the sovereignty of the Carnatic and the Deccan. The British sided with their rivals to check the designs of Dupleix.In 1750 the Subadar of Deccan gifted the Alamparai Fort to the French. This was a token of his appreciation of the services of Dupleix and the French forces to his services. The fort was later captured by the British and destroyed.From 1751, Dupleix tried to expand French influence in Burma by sending the envoy Sieur de Bruno, and helping militarily the Hmongs in their conflict with the Burmese. The conflicts between the French and the British in India continued till 1754, when the French government, anxious to settle peace, sent a special commissioner to India with orders to supersede Dupleix and, if necessary, to arrest him. Dupleix was compelled to embark for France on 12 October 1754.His wife Jeanne Albert died in 1756.Having invested his private fortune in the implementation of his public policies, Dupleix found himself ruined. The government refused to support him, and he died in obscurity and want on 10 November 1763.Marquis Joseph Francois Dupleix was an integral part of Puducherry's colonial past. He was the governor of Puducherry between 1742 and 1754. Even though Dupleix left Puducherry in 1754, French recognition for his contribution came only in 1870, with the commissioning of two statues - one in Puducherry and the other in France. The one in Pondicherry was first erected at the present site of the Nehru statue. Later the 2.88m tall statue of Dupleix was moved to its current location at the southern end of the park.
French War Memorial opening and closing time
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Location: Beach Road, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.
The French War Memorial (Monument aux combattants des Indes francaises morts pour la patrie) on Goubert Avenue is a solemn reminder of those brave soldiers who laid down their lives, for their country during the First World War. It was erected in 1937 and inaugurated on April 3, 1938 by the governor Crocicchia. Behind the memorial is a bronze bas-relief representing the arrival of Dupleix in Pondicherry in 1742.Every year on the 14th July (Bastille Day) the memorial is beautifully illuminated and homage is paid to those brave martyrs.(Entry into the grounds of the war memorial is restricted.)
Le Cafe opening and closing time
Opening Time: 00:05 , Closing Time : 23:55
Location: Beach Road, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.
It was once the port office when the railway ran along the Beach Road from the South Boulevard to the old 240 meters iron pier. A cyclone in 1952 largely destroyed the pier whose remains can still be seen poking out of the water.The crisp blue waters of the Bay of Bengal provide a sparkling backdrop to Pondicherry's only waterfront cafe. With a perfect location along the city's main drag, Le Cafe quietly sits peering out onto the water. This is a tourist haven, owing to the covered terrace plentifully stuffed with available seating to listlessly pass the afternoon. Sandwiches, bakery and treats will satisfy any western tourist in need of a break from a constant routine of Indian fare. Hot espresso with a perfect crema top is best sipped along the back row of tables which look out onto the crashing waves. And ice cream, topped with strawberries and fresh mint, should be inhaled immediately before the hot, humid southern weather has its way.Le Cafe is really a hodgepodge of businesses rolled into one. It’s a meeting point for local guided tours, a souvenir stop for t-shirts and the odd take home gifts, a bakery for fresh goodies, and a hangout for the passing travellers and locals in need of a pick-me-up from the day’s activities. Well worn menus (always a good sign of popularity) are quickly offered up by any number of the direct, yet uniquely friendly servers. The prompt, almost overly efficient service mentality somehow blends well with the relaxed atmosphere customers expect upon entry.The building is neat and clean, prices are reasonable, and as with popular hill station eateries, travellers are sure to run into a berth of foreigners with stories to share. Open 24hrs a day.