French India is a general name given for the French possessions in India. The French were the early rivals of the British for empire in India. Even though lost much to the British, France by various treaties with local Rajas, managed to secure several sections of the vast Indian land with its capital at Pondicherry, followed by Chandernagore an enclave some 20 miles north of Calcutta, a small settlement named Karikal in the district of Tanjore, plus Mahe and Yenam as well as several lodges located at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat where French factories were located. In these places, French stamps were used to facilitate trade and commerce between the various regions and their home land. These areas were then ceded back to India before their independence day in 1948.