Yanam is situated on the east coast of the Indian Peninsula between 160 42’ N Latitude and between 820 11’ & 820 19’ Eastern Longitude bounded on all sides by the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh State. The town of Yanam lies on the spot where the River Coringa (Atreya) branches off from Gauthami into two parts. The region is bounded on the east and south by river Gowthami Godavari which discharges itself into Bay of Bengal after flowing almost 14 kms. towards South East from Yanam.
The French occupied Yanam in 1723. It ranks third in the antiquity of the Five former French Settlements
- Chandernagor - Year 1673
- Pondichery - Year 1674
- Yanam - Year 1723
- Mahe - Year 1725
- Karaikal - Year 1739
The tiny town’s history therefore dates back to 1723 when the Compagnie des indes of France established here a trading post of theirs. It was vacated after four years because their commercial operations did not produce the desired results. It was seized again in 1731 during the time of Dupleix. A PARWANA from Haji Hassan Khan authorised the French Representative Fouquet, then Chief of the Company at Machilipatnam (325 kms. away from Yanam) to set up a ‘loge’ at Yanam in the year 1731.
Musafar Jung, the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1750, confirmed the sovereignty of the French over the territory. The place was formally ceded to them only two years later. Like all other settlements, Yanam too fell thrice into the hands of the British. After the Napoleanic War, Yanam along with the factory at Machilipatnam was finally returned to the French early in 1817.
The region that covers an area of 30.0 sq. kms. has a population of 31,362 according to the 2001 census and 40987 approx. as on 01.01.2008. The entire region consisting of Yanam town and eight villages is treated as a Municipality for the purpose of local administration. The fishermen community lives mainly in Agraharam, Mettakur, Kurasampeta and Guerempeta.
The literacy rate of Yanam is 63.325 (Male 67.70 and Female 58.95). The sex ratio is 975 females per 1000 male. The SC population is 5802, accounting for about 18.5% of the total population of Yanam region (2001 census).
The labour force of Yanam is about 9909 workers. Males account for 8315 and Females account for 1594. The number of households in Yanam region is 7226 (2001 census).
Culture & Occupation of people of Yanam
Yanam has a mixed culture of French and Dravidian. They speak Telugu languages as their Mother Tongue. However, many of the Yanam people know Tamil, English and French. There are about 60 French Nationals in Yanam who are drawing pension from French Government.
The major occupation/business in Yanam region are
* Coconut dwelling
* Rice mills
* About 3% of the population are working in Govt. sectors.
There is no railway line in Yanam region. The nearest railway station is at Kakinada (Headquarters of East Godavari District) which is 26 kms. away on the East. It is an important trade centre and port town and there is a District road connecting it to Yanam. Yanam is also linked by another road on the west of Ramachandrapuram and Rajahmundry. A new bridge, forming part of NH 214, was constructed across river Gauthami connecting Yanam with Yedurlanka. This bridge, thrown open to the public, now serves as an important way of approach to Yanam.
The soil in Yanam region is alluvium consisting of sand clay and gravel. The soil is grayish black and is essentially clayey in composition. A few thin layers of sandy clay or sand, not exceeding 0.3 meter in thickness are intercalated with the clayed soil. The river sands on the bank of Gauthami Godavari consists predominantly of quartz, feldspar and muscovite mica. A few grains of monazite are also found in the black streaks.
Ground water occurs both in water table as well as in confined conditions in the granular beds in the alluvial deposits. The ground water development is by means of shallow filter point well within a depth of nine meters. However, Yanam receives water for irrigation through a canal, which starts from Dowleswaram Head Works (Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage on the river Godavari down stream Rajahmundry). This canal runs towards east upto Pillanka, a small village near Yanam. This serves the irrigation needs as well as drinking water needs of the area west of Coringa River. Built by an agreement entered in 949 between the then French Government and the Government of India, it is popularly known as “French Channel”.
After merger, steps were taken to provide irrigation facilities for about 560 Ha. of dry land in the eastern side of Coringa River by providing a new irrigation canal called “Adavipolam Channel” from the tail end of Tallarevu south canal and at the starting point of Neelapalli channel on the right side. The work was taken for execution by the Andhra Pradesh Public Works Department as a deposit work in 1964 and was completed and commissioned in June, 1966. The water from this channel is used for drinking purpose also, as in the case of French Channel.
Climate & Rainfall
Yanam experiences a climate which is characterized by high humidity over 70% in the mornings and over 60% in the evenings throughout the year. It experiences an oppressive summer season and a good rainfall. It enjoys the benefit of both the South-West and North-East mansoon. The average rainfall in a year is about 1226 mm.
From February, temperature starts rising rapidly till May which is the hottest month with the mean maximum around 370 C and mean minimum around 280 C. Humidity being high, the heat is very trying. The maximum temperature on some days in May or early June before the onset of the South-West monsoon touches about 470 C. Pre-monsoon thundershowers may at times bring welcome relief. With the onset of the monsoon in June, the mercury falls down bringing some sort of relief. The moderate temperature continues upto September. The months of December & January, falling in the winter season (Cold Weather Season) are the pleasant months.
The air is generally humid throughout the year with relative humidity – over 70 percent in the mornings and over 60 per cent in the evenings during all the months.
The sky is generally heavily clouded to overcast during the south-west monsoon months. There is moderate cloudiness in the past monsoon months. During the rest of the year, the sky will clear or lightly clouded.
In the summer season winds blow from directions between South-East to South-West. During the monsoon season, they blow mainly from South-West to West. During October to February, winds are usually from North-East in the mornings, veering towards South-East in the afternoons. Winds are generally light to moderate during the whole year.
Special Weather Phenomena
The storms and depression which form in the Bay of Bengal in the pre-monsoon month of May, and during September to November, cross the east coast, and affect the region and the neighbourhood, causing thunder-storms, heavy rain, tidal waves and strong winds. Occasional thunder-storms associated mainly with the onset of the south-west monsoon occur in April, May and June.