Pondicherry (also known as “Pondy”), is a city and capital of the Puducherry union territory of Southern India.
By road from Chennai
Pondicherry is situated 160 km south of Chennai. Getting to Pondicherry involves a three to four hour road journey from Chennai. One can get a bus from CMBT in Koyambedu or from Thiruvanmiyur or Guindy. You can be sure of a seat only from CMBT in Koyambedu.
By train from Chennai
Pondicherry is connected to Chennai by railways through Villupuram. There are 2 passenger trains running daily to Chennai Egmore Railway station. In addition to this, there is also a daily express train to Chennai Egmore. It is advisable to go by road rather than train to Pondicherry from Chennai as the journey is longer by train.
Kumar Akhilesh (Director of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, Chennai) is interested in prehistory, experimental archaeology (reconstructing ancient technology), satellite remote sensing and GIS. He has obtained his Ph.D. from the Deccan College, with a focus on the prehistoric archaeology of Jharkhand. He is currently the co-Director of the research project on the prehistory and palaeoenvironments of Attirampakkam, and is Director of a research project on prehistoric sites in Tamil Nadu. In the frame of an ISRO-GBP project and in collaboration with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and RRSC (Regional Centre for Remote Sensing, South), he is also involved in a project on applications of satellite remote sensing and GIS in archaeology for the purpose of research and heritage management. He has numerous research papers in peer-reviewed national and international journals to his credit, including Science and has presented his work in conferences in India and abroad.
Rémi de Bercegol is a Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He has a doctorate in Urban Planning from LATTS (research group on technology, territories and societies) at ENPC/UMLV, Paris Est, France. He was a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH) in New Delhi between 2008 and 2012. During this time, he undertook research for his book on small towns and decentralisation reforms in northern India, which has been published in 2017 by Springer in India. Beyond the scope of India, his research now focuses on world urbanisation and the transformation of cities in the global South, analysed principally in terms of their essential services (water, sanitation, waste management and energy).
Anne Casile is a Research Fellow at IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development), and a member of the Research Unit PALOC (Patrimoines Locaux and Governance, IRD/ National Museum of Natural History) in Paris. She has been assigned by the IRD in India, and is an Associate Researcher of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP). In the field of spatial and landscape archaeology, her research focuses on water management and the relationship between religion, power, and water control in the making of places and cultural landscapes in Central India. She is currently developing an interdisciplinary project to investigate the impacts of rainfall uncertainty and monsoon anomalies on societal development and vulnerability in medieval times, and the ways people adapted to hydroclimatic variability, insecurity, and extremes in the semi-arid region of Malwa, around Mandu.
Sangeeta Dasgupta is Associate Professor at Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She works on Adivasi history, environmental history, colonial ethnography, missionary studies and visual representations. She is the author of Reordering Adivasi Worlds: Oraons and Tana Bhagats in Colonial and Postcolonial Times (forthcoming from Oxford University Press) and The Politics of Belonging in India: Becoming Adivasi (along with DJ Rycroft), Routledge, London and New York, 2011. She has published widely in leading scholarly journals like Modern Asian Studies and Studies in History, and was guest editor for a special issue titled ‘Reading the Archive, Reframing Adivasi Histories’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 53:1, 2016. She has been Asa Briggs Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom; Visiting Fellow at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, France; International Visiting Fellow at Grinnell College, U.S.A; Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford; Research Fellow of the Charles Wallace India Trust, U.K.; and Visiting Fellow of the Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, U.K.