Friday, March 31, 2023

Tourism -Pondicherry

 ▪Puducherry travel  ▪Beaches  ▪Religious places  ▪Museums  ▪Parks & Gardens  ▪Monuments  ▪Hotels
 ▪Place Du Gourvernement  ▪19th Century Light House  ▪Ariyankuppam  ▪French War Memorial  ▪Aurbindo Ashram  ▪The Statue of John of Arc  ▪The French Cemetery At Karaikal  ▪Ananda Ranga Pillai Mansion  ▪Park Monument

The Statue of  Dupleix
The statue is Pondicherry's tribute to Francois Dupleix whose able governorship came to an end in 1754.

However, French recognition came about a century later, when, in 1870, they paid homage by commissioning two statues-one in France and the other in Pondicherry.

The 2.88 m tall structure was erected over six carved ornamental granite pillars at the Place du Republique.

It now stands restationed overlooking a children's park at the southern end of a promenade, now named Goubert Avenue.

Place Du Gouvernement
The Place Du Gouvernement is a brilliant example of town planning in Pondicherry. Comprising the 18th century Palais Du Gouvernement-now the Raj Nivas (not open to the public)-and the old tribunals-now housing the Legislative Assembly-along with a neat three-sided line-up of other handsome buildings.

At the centre, surrounded by a well-tended garden, stands the Water Monument, sculpted to commemorate the introduction of good drinking water for the population. Some exquisitely carved monolithic pillars, brought to Pondicherry from the Gingee Fort after its capture in 1751, adorn the place.

19th Century Lighthouse 
The early sea-farers to Pondicherry were guided by a beacon kept burning on the Red Hills (Gorimedu), about 5kms west of the town. The now-abandoned light house standing on the edge of the sea near the Place Du Gouvernement was lighted for the first time on I July, 1836. The light was placed upon a masonry tower, 29m above the seal level and was visible upto a distance of 29kms into the sea. In 1931, the fixed light was replaced by a revolving lantern. It fell into disuse with the commissioning of the new light house in 1979.

French War Memorial
No visit to Pondicherry is complete without a free-wheeling stroll down the peaceful promenade-Goubert Avenue ('Beach Road', locally speaking). Where you will find this elegant tribute to the uniform. It gets prettily illuminated during a solemn ceremony every 14 July, Bastille Day. 

The Statue of Joan of Arc
A lasting triumphant image of the heroic French damsel Jeanne d' Arc, is frozen in marble, within the garden laid out in front of L'Eglise de No tre Dame des Anges.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Sri Aurobindo Ghose, one of India’s greatest philosopher-poets, began the practice of Yoga in 1905 and 5 years later moved to Pondicherry from Bengal. And during his 40 years here, he worked out a new system of mind development which he called Integral Yoga.

Madame Mirra Alfassa, a French painter-sculptor who had followed the same path on her own, joined him later. She is now known as the Mother. Together, in 1926, they founded an ashram at rue de la Marine where his belief -"All life is Yoga"- was put into practice. Followers from India and all over the world flock to Sri Aurobindo Ashram for spiritual salvation.

At night time, Pondicherrians who believe in Sri Aurobindo's way of life, wind their way ashram ward. Inside, the lights throw a welcome radiance. Over it all, the flower-decked samadhi of the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother presides. Men and women meditate with their eyes fixed on the marble samadhi. Here silence is peace, and flowers and incense are ways to lead the mind away from work day shackles.

By day, the ashram bustles with silent queues to visit the rooms used by Sri Aurobindo and the mother for meditation or blessings. Birth Anniversary of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo is celebrated on 21st February and 15th august respectively. Click for more information

Timings : Open from 8 am -12 pm and 2 pm-6 pm. Children below 3 years of age are not allowed.

Contact Address :
Bureau Central, Cottage Complex
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
3 Ranga Pillai St., Puducherry 605001
Phone.: +91-413-2339648

Ariyankuppam ( Arikamedu)
A historical site, 4kms south of Pondicherry, which revealed local trade with Romans as early as 2nd century BC. Some even believe that Roman settlements existed here.

Moreover, you will find the amazing ruins of an 18th century French Jesuit Mission House here. It was abandoned in 1783.

Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam)
The most beautiful public space in town is the green and shaded Government Park, in the heart of Pondicherry. Standing smack in its centre is Aayi Mandapam. Built in Greco-Roman architecture, un-sinfully white, during the reign of Napoleon III-Emperor of France.

It bears the name of Aayi- a 16th century courtesan, who razed down her home and replaced it with a reservoir. To appease a passing king, angry at having mistaken her candle-lit residence for a holy place. It was from this lake that Napoleon's men quenched their thirst, some 300 years later. Napoleon, charmed by the story, ordered a monument to Aayi.

Ananda Ranga  Pillai Mansion
Ananda Ranga Pillai was the celebrated dubash of Dupleix, the governor of Pondicherry while it flourished under French glory. Pillai's compilation of diaries serve as a storehouse of information on 18th century French India.

It is one of the oldest surviving buildings on the west side - then known as "natives quarters." Its architecture represents a curious mix of French and Indian styles.

The French Cemetery at Karaikal
In the French cemetery on Rue de Marche (Market Street), administrators, landlords, port officials, women and children are buried under curious headstones with interest-evoking inscriptions. There is also an aged, tiny chapel within the walls.