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Pondicherry’s Aayi Mandapam: Monument built for Devdasi by French


Regarded as Puducherry’s official emblem, the elegant ivory white pavilion adorned by the fleur-de-lis, the formal royal arms of France was built during the reign of Napolean III, by Louis Gurre in 1854 in honour of ‘Aayi’ for her selfless service to people.

By Shoma Abhyankar

Aayi Mandapam in Pondicherry stands among the swaying tall palms surrounded by blooming flowers and grassy expanse of Bharathi Park, a few minutes from the popular Promenade in the parts known as White Town of Pondicherry. At first glance, the stoic monument resembles memorial arched gateway of European architecture. Regarded as Puducherry’s ...


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