In & Around Mahe

On examination of the history of Kerala no concrete evidence is available mentioning the place ‘Mahe’ other wise called by the natives “Mayyazhi”. It is only after the settlement of the French, the name Mahe (Mayyazhi) got a place in the geographical map of India.
Early in the 18 th century, the French set up a trading post at the Calicut. In 1701, Mollandin the representative of French East India Company made idea for setting up an attractive place for French trading post. As a result, during the year 1721 Mr.Mollandin & Vazhunnavar of Badagara entered in to an agreement to install a trade center at the side of an estuary of the river now known as Mayyazhipuzha. Within a spell of two years the relation between Vazhunnavar of Badagara & the French were strained & French were forced to retire to Calicut in a state of defeat in the fight . By December 1725 a French troupe led by De Pardaillan recaptured the French post at Mahe. There was a young captain serving under De Pardaillan, whose skill & enterprise was mainly responsible for this recapture. As his name was Mahe De Labourdannais and as the local name had a close similarly to his name, De Pardaillan paid the handsome tribute to this Captain by naming the place after his name.
In the annexure to Martineau’s book on the origin of Mahe refers to the place as Maye and only after the recapture of the place by Mahe De Labourdannais it is spelt as ‘Mahe’. Between English and French seven years war was faught which lasted till 1760, and the French has lost almost all settlements in the West coast , except Mahe.
In 1761 the English captured Mahe and the settlement was handed over to the Rajah of Kadathanadu. The Hyderali from Mysore made siege over Kadathanadu. But during this time English restored Mahe to the French as a part of treaty made in Paris. In 1779 as a result of the Anglo-French war broke out, the French lost Mahe .In 1783, when the English agreed to restore the French their settlements in India , Mahe also was handed over to the French in 1785. The reign of Mahe changed hands before it came into the final possession of the French during the second decade of eighteenth century.
When the Independence of India from the British was accomplished on the 15 th August 1947, there were similar freedom struggle movements in Mahe also. On 20 th October 1948, large scale movements aroused. An enraged crowd paraded the streets of Mahe, raided Government offices and buildings and pulled out the burnt records and furniture. On 23 rd October 1948 the Union Flag was hoisted over the administrative Office in the presence of thousands
of people. During 1954 the struggle intensified with sporadic incidents of violence and finally on 1.11.1954 Mahe was handed over to the Government of India de-facto. The Dejure transfer took place on 16 th August 1962.