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Ancient History

Mahe was known previously by the name of ‘Mayyazhi’. Even now this name is written in Malayalam. It was under the Jurisdiction of Kadathanattu Thamburan. 

Mahe has a history of two and a half centuries commencing from the visit of the French. MOLLANDIN, the representative of the French East India company, landed in Mahe,  on 2nd April 1721. MOLLANDIN  and the VAZHUNNAVAR (Ruler) of Badagara, entered into an agreement; according to which the French were permitted to establish a trading center in Mahe. The relations between the French and the VAZHUNNAVAR became strained and in 1725  fighting broke out. The French were obliged to retire to Calicut. 

In December 1725 DE PARDAILLAN, recaptured Mahe. The skill and enterprise of  MAHE DE LA BOURDONNAIS,  a French naval captain, was mainly the cause of this victory. So this place was named MAHE  (MAYE is the pronunciation in French ) after the captain.  Further, the local name ‘MAYYAZHI’ had a close similarity to this name. Mahe was used as a base for attack by Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan. 

The periodical hostilities between the English and the French had its impact on Mahe; which changed hands a number of times. In conformity with the treaty between the French and the English in 1773, the French got Pondicherry, Karaikal, Chandernagre, Mahe and Yanam, which constituted French India.

In 1791 came into existence a colonial Assembly of 21 members at Pondicherry of whom one was from Mahe. All the French settlements were over-run by the British and kept under occupation from 1793 to 1816. Mahe was restored to the French on 22nd February 1817. According to the treaty no French settlement in India was to be fortified and no settlement was to maintain troops more than necessary for law and order. The treaty also recognized the paramount of the Government of India over all parts of French India.

History of Mahe

The French left Mahe on the 16th of July 1954.  the de facto transfer of the four settlements of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam took place on 01.11.1954.

The de Jure transfer of power took place on the 16th of August 1962 . After merger there has been a phenomenal growth in all spheres. In the Pondicherry Legislative Assembly Mahe is represented by two MLA’s, one for Mahe and the other for Pallour  

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