Bharathi Park & Aayi Mandapam

October 09, 2014

It’s a government park, named after Pondicherry born poet “Bharathidasan”. This park is just a street away from the beach and middle of the French quarter. It’s also surrounded by many other attractions like Aurobindo Ashram, The museum, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Light house, Raj Nivas … all within walkable distance from the Park.

The Park is so huge and well maintained too. The lush greens in the park were like a heaven for us to sit and relax on that hot day:) .

The park features a big play area for the kids. Though not maitained well, still they are usable., My kiddo spent some fun time with the slope, Swing, and a few. There are many small, not so ancient statues and sculptures all around the park. The well maintained lawns, neat flowerbeds, and large fountains around the monument adds-up beauty to it.
Park Monument (popularly called as Aayi Mandapam) is located right at the center of the park. Not just the monument is unusual the story behind the monument is also so strange :)

Long back, while the king of Vijayanagar - Shri Krishnadevaraya going through Pondicherry, an amazing fort like building caught-up his eyes. The King thought that the building might be a temple, knelt down and bowed down infront of the building. Soon the King got embraced to know that it was not a temple, it is a house of “Aayi” – a local prostitute.

The King got anger and ordered to hang Aayi and to tore down the house. Aayi begged the king for mercy and she assured him that she’ll demolish the complete building herself. As promised, Aayi routed her beautiful house and dug a large water pond in that place – which is now called as “Aayi Kulam” (Kulam means Tank/pond), about 5 Km from Pondicherry.

Later, during French in Pondicherry, the whole town faced a severe water shortage. All the bore wells gave them only salty water and Aayi kulam was the only drinking water source around. French engineer Monsieur Lamairesse constructed a 5KM long channel from Aayi Kulam and brought water to Pondicherry. The water from the Aayi Kulam became a lifeline for the complete Pondy area.

The then French king – Napolean-III heard the story of Aayi Kulam and was extremely overwhelmed. To show his vote of thanks, he ordered to construct a monument for Aayi at Pondicherry. That’s the milky white monument that we are seeing at the middle of the Bharathi Park - exhibiting the excellence Greco-Roman architecture!!!

You Might Also Like