Mahe, natively known as Mayyazhi, is a small town at the mouth of the Mahe River and is surrounded on all sides by the State of Kerala. The Kannur District surrounds Mahe on three sides and Kozhikode District from one side. Formerly part of French India, Mahe now forms a municipality in Mahé district, one of the four districts of the Union Territory of Puducherry.

Before the incursion of European colonial powers into India, this area was part of Kolathu Nadu which comprised Thulunadu, Chirakkal and Kadathanadu. The French East India Company constructed a fort on the site of Mahé in 1724, in accordance with an accord concluded between André Mollandin and Raja Vazhunnavar of Vatakara three years earlier. In 1741, Mahé de La Bourdonnais retook the town after a period of occupation by the Marathas.

After the French left, Mahé became a Sub-Division of Puducherry Union Territory. The area of Mahé begins from Mayyazhi puzha in the north to Azhiyoor at the south. Mahé consists of Mahé town and Naluthara, which includes four villages: Pandakkal, Pallur, Chalakara and Chembra. The ruler of Kingdom of Mysore from the 1760s, Hyder Ali (ca 1722–1782), gifted Naluthara to the French as a token of appreciation for the help they gave in opposing the British