History of Puducherry District
The history of modern Puducherry starts with the arrival of the French in 1673, who ruled for most part of the next 281 years. The origin of Puducherry is buried in legends. According to one view, the town was once called Vedapuri and was a seat of Vedic culture, and the abode of Sage Agastya. Remnants of an ancient port town have been excavated at Arikamedu, 6 kms from Puducherry town, clearly proving that it had trade connections with Rome and Greece, around the period 100 BC and 100 AD. Puducherry continued to flourish even during the Chola period, as the discovery of the Chola coins from the eleventh and twelfth centuries indicate. These Chola coins and the artifacts from the excavations at Arikamedu can be viewed in the Puducherry Museum.
Tourism in Puducherry District
There are many places of interest in Puducherry District. One of the most notable tourist spots of this place is Sri Aurobindo Ashram and this place attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Auroville is another tourist attraction. Located 10 kms north of Puducherry town, Auroville is envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. The construction of this 'universal town' was started in the year 1968. Puducherry Museum is another place that is worth visiting. On display are the findings of Arikamedu, the Chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armouries, carvings and many other things of historical interest. Known for its virgin beaches and backwaters, Chunnambar has a Water Sports Centre which offers exciting boating experiences. It is also a great tourist spot. There is a Botanical Garden that was established by C.S. Perrotet in the year 1826. It preserves a large variety of exotic species of plants from all over India and abroad. Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple, architecturally the finest in Puducherry, is located 9.5 kms away. During May-June, a ten-day annual festival (Brahmothsavam) is held here which attracts hundreds of devotees. Mansion of Ananda Rangapillai is another tourism spot offered by Puducherry District. Built in the year 1773, this mansion is a fine specimen of Indo-French architecture. Ananda Rangapillai was the courtier of Joseph Francois Dupleix, the Governor. Other attraction includes Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus. This church is noted for its gothic architecture and stained glass panels which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ. Further, a visit to the Anglo-French Textile Mills is an education in itself. The acclaimed fabrics and products of this mill make ideal mementoes and gifts.
Almost every month, an important fair or a festival is celebrated in Puducherry. Some are religious in nature, others cultural and spiritual. International Yoga Festival, Pongal Festival, Masimagam Festival, Villianur Temple Car Festival, Bastille Day, and Virampattinam Car Festival are some of the main festivals celebrated here.
(Last Updated on : 08-05-2014)
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