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Pondicherry Churches

Aayi Mandapam in Pondicherry

The Aayi Mandapam at the middle in the Park will be the most identified monument. This monument wasn't constructed in honour of a king, queen or nationwide victory. It has been built to commemorate a 16th century courtesan from Pondicherry.

The situation arose right after the French had problems finding adequate drinking water inside the town; a lot of the wells along the coastal strip, wherever the French had their quarters, supplied salt water. To resolve the problem Emperor Napoleon III sent his Chief Engineer, Mon. Lamairesse, to Pondicherry. Lamairesse decided that a tank, called Aayikulam at Muthirayar Palayam, 5 km. west of Pondy was the remedy to the difficulty and he built a long canal from the tank to the middle with the present Park. It had been constructed in Greco-Roman architecture, in the course of the reign of Napoleon III Emperor of France.

Napoleon III needed to understand why the tank was known as right after Aayi, a courtesan. He was advised that inside the beginning in the sixteenth century Advert King Krishna Deva Raya from the Vijayanagar Empire was passing along with his retinue via the Pondicherry area once they arrived throughout a superbly embellished and illumined house. Struck by its beautiful attractiveness the King and his men did obeisance to the residence, taking it for a temple. However although performing their prayers, they had been informed that this wasn't a temple, but the home of the courtesan, named Aayi. The king, each humiliated and angered, ordered to demolish the home from the harlot and dig a tank in its place. Aayi pleaded with the king to spare the house but the king didn't budge. The disgrace and sin he had brought on himself were too agonizing. But he consented to her request that she would demolish the home by herself and get the tank constructed at her personal cost. Therefore the name of the tank.

The tale touched Napoleon III. Therefore, once the Emperor obtained the communication in the Governor of Pondicherry, Mon. Bontemps: "My Lord! We are all grateful to you personally for sending right here Mon. Lamairesse, who gave us drinking water. He deserves a reward." he replied: "Be grateful to Aayi. She deserves a monument."