Mahe was the scene of much fighting between British and French troops in the 18th and 19th centuries. The town was captured by the French in 1726, incorporated several times into the Madras Presidency (a British colonial administrative unit), and finally restored to the French in 1817. It joined the Indian union in 1954. The town is a fishing port and seaside resort. Pop. (2001) 36,828; (2011) 41,816.