SITUTUATED ON THE Mayyazhi river, this former French enclave is named after the French admiral, Mahe de La Bourdonnais, who landed here in November 1741. A French colony until 1954, it is today part of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Only some traces of Mahe’s colonial heritage remain, among them the beautiful old residence of the French administrator, at the mouth of the river. It is now the office-cum-residence of the Indian government’s administrator. Mahe’s main church, the whitewashed, Baroque St Theresa’s Church, is situated on the highway. The town’s main “industry” seems to centre around the supply of cheap alcohol, attracting truck drivers and motorists who come here from nearby areas to stock up.