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Pondicherry or Puducherry, the capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, is located along the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. Pondicherry is also the largest coastal enclave in the Union Territory of Pondicherry, the others being Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. Pondicherry is situated in Tamil Nadu at a distance of about 160 km to the south of Chennai. According to mythology, Pondicherry was known by the name Vedapuri. This place is also believed to be the abode of the revered sage, Saint Agasthya. Pondicherry later came under the rule of various dynasties like the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Pandyas. As per ?Periplus of the Erythraean Sea?, Pondicherry had trade relations with Rome during 1st century AD. Roman pottery excavated from Arikamedu near Pondicherry, which dates back to the first half of 1st century AD, also points to this fact. The unique location of Pondicherry captured the attention of Portuguese, the Dutch, the Danes, the English and the French. Pondicherry came under the rule of the French in 1673 and since then it became the site for the battle between the British and the French. Pondicherry remained as the capital of French India for about 300 years, before it attained its independence in 1954. It was in 2006 that the name Pondicherry was changed to Puducherry, which means ?New Village? in Tamil language. Tamil, English, French and Hindi are the languages used in Pondicherry.