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French India (French: Établissements français dans l'Inde; lit. French Settlements in India) refers to the French rule of India from 1668 to 1954.


The French India consisted of five colonies: Chandernagore, Karaikal, Mahé, Pondicherry and Yanaon. Besides, there were French settlements (loges) in Dacca, Calicut, Masulipatnam, Patna and Surat. The capital of French India was Pondicherry.

The French colonies were briefly under the Dutch rule (1693-1698) till the French rule was reestablished over the colonies.

In 1954, the Government of France peacefully left their colonies. The enclave of Chandernagore was unified to West Bengal. The enclaves of Karaikal, Mahé, Pondicherry and Yanaon were unified to a union territory eponymously called Pondicherry.


Map of French India

Former colonies[edit]

Former loges[edit]

  • 1 Dhaka (Dacca). Dhaka (Q1354) on Wikidata Dhaka on Wikipedia
  • 2 Kozhikode (Calicut). Kozhikode (Q28729) on Wikidata Kozhikode on Wikipedia
  • 3 Machilipatnam (Masulipatnam). Machilipatnam (Q845662) on Wikidata Machilipatnam on Wikipedia
  • 4 Patna. Patna (Q80484) on Wikidata Patna on Wikipedia
  • 5 Surat. Surat (Q4629) on Wikidata Surat on Wikipedia


Although went under the French rule, most of the former colonies have a steep decline in French speakers. The exception is Pondicherry, where French is still understood especially among elderly persons raised during the French rule. Bengali is the main language of Chandernagore, Telugu is the main language of Yanam, Malayalam is the main language of Mahé, Tamil is the main language of Karaikal and Pondicherry.

Despite none of the colonies ever being under British rule, English is widely understood by the current inhabitants.


The French influence on the former colonies are still visible. Pondicherry is the most influenced to other colonies. Hotels and restraunts in the colonies provide a glimpse of the French architecture.

Eat and drink[edit]

The French cuisine is visible in the former colonies as well.

See also[edit]

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