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Profile of TN Region

Mission of the Congregation
Profile of TN Region
Regional Superior and Councilors
Members of the Region
Parishes and Institutions
Mission Abroad
Important Dates To be Remembered
Superior General
Contact Us
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Indian Church History


Kaveri River

Santhome Basilica
Chennai - Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu with an area of 130,058 sqkm and population over 55 million, Tamil Nadu is the 11th largest state in India. The Union Territory of Pondicherry is a small enclave in the district of South Arcot. 

Tamil Nadu is bounded by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the north and Kerala in the west. The eastern and southern coastal boundaries of Tamil Nadu are lapped by the waters of the
Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean

The eastern and western tips of the state are defined by the Point Calimere and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuaries while the northern extreme is Pulicat lake and the southernmost tip is
Cape Comorin or Kanniyakumari - the Land's End of India

Traditionally, the
land of Tamils
has been divided into 5 major physiographic divisions - the Kurinji or mountainous region, the Mullai or forest region, the Palai or arid region, the Marudham or the fertile plains and the Neidhal or coastal region. 

The Eastern and
Western ghats
meet in Tamil nadu and run along its eastern and western borders. All of Tamil Nadu's famous hill stations, i.e Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal, Kothagiri and Yercaud are situated in this region. The 25km wide Palakkad gap and Shencottah gap are the only breaks into the long chain of hills that border western Tamil Nadu. 

Contrasting with the low rocky hills of the
Eastern ghats, the hills of the Western ghats have dense forests. This area receives abundant rainfall and the scenic valleys of Cumbum and Pollachi are dotted with plantations of tea, coffee and spices. However, the upper reaches of the Eastern ghats
are not without their share of beauty and Yercaud in the Shevaroy hills is famous for its fruit orchards and banana and coffee plantations.

History of Pondicherry

Situated on the Coromandel coast, about 160 kms south of Chennai, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. It is bound on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the other three sides by the South Arcot District of Tamil Nadu. About 150 kilometres south of Pondicherry, on the east coast, lies Karaikal, while Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast. Yanam is situated in the adjoining East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. The excavations near Pondicherry reveal, that a Roman settlement existed here, 2000 years ago. It was also the site of many a battle between the British and the French, and was the capital of French India, before it attained its independence.

This restored, attractive, former French colony, exudes a Mediterranean aura with its chic streets, elegant houses, ornamental gardens and the Hotel de Ville. Being a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed the Tamilian culture. Apart from the charming atmosphere, excellent restaurants and cheap beer, what attracts most travellers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot, Auroville, 10 km outside town. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926, has brought international reputation to this coastal town. The ashram, the spiritual tenets of which combine yoga and modern science is quite popular within India and abroad.

Festivals of Pondicherry differ from the rest of India, for the French influence still persists prominently here. Masquerade, held in March - April, is a popular mask festival, during which brilliantly costumed and masked people of Pondicherry, dance down the streets to the music of trumpets and accordions. During the Eve of the Bastille Day, retired soldiers parade the streets in war finery, singing the French and Indian National Anthem. French is still widely spoken, and the seaside villas and the cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the south of France than the south of India!


Pondicherry is located at 162 Kms south of Chennai, the capital of Talmilnadu and 22 kms north of Cuddalore, the capital of South Arcot District of Tamilnadu. Pondicherry is surrounded by Bay of Bengal on East, and on the other sides are the South Arcot District of Tamilnadu.



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