Mahatma Gandhi Mandappam opening and closing time
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Location: Beach Road, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.
Approximate visiting time: 1 hour (Half day) plus traveling time

Mahatma Gandhi full name Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 - 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable") - applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa - is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu in India. Gandhi is commonly, though not officially, considered the Father of the Nation in India. His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Nonviolence. This four-meter square statue, the biggest Mahatma Gandhi statue in Asia, is surrounded by eight magnificent granite pillars which were brought from Gingee, a fort some 70kms from Puducherry. The pillars were erected in 1866, while the statue, placed opposite the old Pier, was inaugurated on January 26, 1965. There is a tunnel below the Gandhi statue that leads all the way to Gingee. The Government even took efforts to desilt the tunnel. But, after a few people died of suffocation while walking through it, the tunnel was closed for good in the 1960s. The square in front of the statue, referred to as Gandhi Thidal, plays host to various cultural, musical and commercial activities through the year.


Nehru statu opening and closing time
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Location: Gandhi Thidal, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.

Located across the street standing face to face from the imposing Gandhi statue, the Nehru statue is also flanked by four pillars from Gingee. The space in front plays host to various cultural, musical and commercial activities throughout the year.


Joan of Arc statu opening and closing time
Opening Time : 09:00, Closing Time : 21:00
Location: Dumas Street, Puducherry.

Joan of Arc (ca. 1412 - 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orleans", is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family at Domremy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years War.The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orleans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiegne by the English-allied Burgundian faction, was later handed over to the English, and then put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges, was convicted on 30 May 1431 and burned at the stake when she was about 19 years old.Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France.Due to the French influence in Puducherry this life-size statue in white marble, a gift by Francois Gaudart, was erected in 1923 in the middle of a garden and facing the Church of Our Lady of Angels.


Old light house opening and closing time
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Location: Goubert Avenue (opp Mahatma Gandhi Statue), Puducherry.

Old light house puducherry. In the past, the Red Hills, about 3 kms to the west of the town, were the only land marks providing navigators approaching Puducherry with orientation points. The French planned to build a tower displaying a light for the guidance of mariners at night. In November 1835, the area around the mât de pavillon was selected and, in March 1836, the lighthouse erected by the engineer L. Guerre. It was a fluted tower built above a rectangular base, 29 m high, with 3 openings: a shop, a place for the watchman and an inner staircase leading to the top where the light was placed. The light was visible to a distance of 29kms.It is to be noted that this structure was different from the existing one: the base was a simple rectangular building and not a circular two-storied construction as seen today: the circular building dates from the end of the 19th century, the modification took place probably when the light was improved in July 1886; as for the second storey of the lower structure, perhaps, it was added some 50 years back.On September 12, 1931, a revolving light of 1,000 watts replaced the fixed light. As the lighthouse went out of order frequently, in 1970, a new lighthouse was constructed in Kirapalaiyam village, to the south of the town. Now, this abandoned lighthouse has been converted partly into a museum.Located across the street standing face to face from the imposing Gandhi statue, the Nehru statue is also flanked by four pillars from Gingee. The space in front plays host to various cultural, musical and commercial activities throughout the year.


Aayi Mandapam opening and closing time
Opening Time: 06:00, Closing Time: 21:00
Location: Campagnie Street, Puducherry.

There is an interesting story behind the construction of the Aayi Mandapam.King Krishnadevaraya, the ruler of the prosperous Vijayanagara Empire, ruled over the Deccan. His empire stretched from Karnataka to Kanyakumari. One day, the king set out from his capital at Hampi and went on a tour of his kingdom.While traveling through Pondicherry, a trading city and a sea port on the eastern coast of his empire, a beautiful building caught the king's eye. The king looked with amazement at the building's architecture and its carvings. The religious king thought it was a temple. He knelt on the street and bowed down before it with folded hands.The people around looked at the king with surprise. There was a stunned silence. The young men and women were hiding behind their elders and giggling. A wise old man walked up to the king and asked him, "Your Majesty, why are you bowing down in front of a brothel?"The king looked up in horror. He caught the old man by his throat and demanded an explanation. The old man croaked, "Sire, this is a brothel. It is run by a prostitute called Aayi". The king loosened his grip. The old man collapsed on the street.The embarrassed king, roared with anger. He ordered his soldiers to bring the prostitute to him and tear the building down from its roots. The soldiers got hammers and axes and started demolishing the brothel.The prostitute, Aayi, was brought to the king in chains. She fell on the king's feet and asked for mercy. She begged the king to spare the house, but the king's ego was deeply bruised. He did not listen to her. Aayi, in a desperate plea, asked the king, permission to break down the house herself. The king agreed.The prostitute broke down her beautiful house and in its place dug a water tank for the people around. The place was known as Aayi Kulam in her memory.Years later, the French made Pondicherry their capital in India. The French town on the sea shore faced an acute water shortage. All the wells they dug had only salty water. The French King, Napolean III, sent an architect, Monsieur Lamairesse to sort out the problem. The architect built a 5 km long tunnel from Aayi Kulam to a park in the French part of the town. The French king heard about the story behind the water tank was deeply impressed. He ordered the architect to build a monument for Aayi. The monument was built in Greco-Roman style at the centre of the park. On top of the monument is a French fleur de lis.The Governor of Pondicherry sent a letter to the French king thanking him for sending the architect, Mon. Lamairesse. The King told him to thank Aayi and wrote that she deserved a monument. Aayi's monument is still present in Pondicherry. It is flanked by important buildings like the French consulate, the secretariat and the Governor's bhavan. A stone plaque written in traditional Tamil and Latin pays tribute to Aayi's deed and thanks her for providing water for the people of the town.


Ambedkar Mani Mandapam opening and closing time
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Location: Goubert Avenue (Beach Road), Puducherry.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Birth 6 December 1956, popularly known as Babasaheb, was an Indian lawyer, politician and academic who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination in India, striving for equal rights for the Dalit. As independent India's first law minister, he was the principal architect of the Constitution of India.Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar returned home a famous scholar and practiced law for a few years before publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables.In his early career he was a private tutor, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities, where he became involved in the negotiations for India's independence, contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956 he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits. He has been given the degree of Bodhisattva by Indian Buddhist Bhikkues. Ambedkar was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1990.


Kargil War Memorial opening and closing time
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Location: Goubert Ave, Beach Road, Puducherry.

The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). The conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay (Victory in Hindi) which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the LOC, which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During the initial stages of the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistans Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces, led by General Ashraf Rashid. The Indian Army, later on supported by the Indian Air Force, recaptured a majority of the positions on the Indian side of the LOC infiltrated by the Pakistani troops and militants. With international diplomatic opposition, the Pakistani forces withdrew from the remaining Indian positions along the LOC.The war is one of the most recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. To date, it is also the only instance of direct, conventional warfare between nuclear states (i.e., those possessing nuclear weapons). India had conducted its first successful test in 1974; Pakistan, which had been developing its nuclear capability in secret since around the same time, conducted its first known tests in 1998, just two weeks after a second series of tests by India.The Kargil War Memorial on the Beach Road was built by the Indian army, in remembrance of a war which was far from conventional or even widely spread, but yet claimed the lives of 527 of India's bravest soldiers.


Keezhoor Monument opening and closing time
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Location: Sivaranthagam Road, Near Ariyur Kizhoor, Puducherry.

India was a colony of western countries for over 2 centuries. While a major portion of India was under the British, there were some pockets under the French, Danish and Portuguese. Pondicherry (aka Puducherry) was under French India. While British India gained Independence on 15th Aug. 1947, French India did not.In 1954, a vote was taken by the French governed pockets to decide about the merger with India. On 18th Oct 1954, representatives of these pockets voted; 170 votes were for the merger with only 8 against. Thence these pockets came under the Union Territory of Puducherry. The voting took place at Keezhoor! A memorial, a very contemporary and modern marble structure, to commemorate the occasion was built in 1972. As part of the celebrations of 50th Anniversary of De-facto Puducherry, a permanent Exhibition of paintings relating to the merger of Puducherry was opened at the Keezhoor Monument.