Puducherry is a former French colonial colony with astounding vistas. The scenic Bharathi park, also known as the government park adds to the old-world charm of the city. Located in the heart of the city, the park is carpeted with lush grass and surrounded by thick green trees.
Bharathi Park is a fantastic picnic site loved by locals and tourists alike. It is an ideal place to relax and unwind as you enjoy the green lawns and vibrant flower beds. The fine blend of historical and natural features makes Bharathi Park one of the best places to visit in Puducherry.
The iconic Park Monument or the Aayi Mandapam is located at the center of the park, adding to its beauty. It is dedicated to Aayi, a famous lady courtesan. Other prominent tourist attractions that surround the park are Raj Nivas, the Legislative Assembly, the Ashram Dining Room, the Government Hospital, Hotel Qualité, the Cercle de Pondichéry private club, and the Romain Rolland library.
Architecture of Bharathi Park, Puducherry
Bharathi Park is located on the Rue Saint Gilles Street in White Town, Pondicherry. The landscape is dotted with modern monuments, old sculptures, statues, stone carvings, and stately buildings. The main attraction of the park is the magnificent structure in white known as the Aayi Mandapam. It is a Greco-Roman structure built by Louis Gurre in 1854. The park is divided into four equal parts by walkways. The park comprises flowerbeds, well-kept lawns, and exquisite fountains.
History of Bharathi Park, Puducherry
In 1700, after capturing the Puducherry region from the Dutch, the French built a fort named Fort Louis and erected a massive wall around the city. The English beat the French and demolished the fort during the Carnatic War in the 1760s. During Napoleon III's reign as Emperor of France, the French built a harbor and lighthouse with Aayi Mandapam in the center.
The monument celebrates the gift of water to the French city. It is named after Ayi, a lady courtesan who had demolished her own house to build a water reservoir for the city. The Park was used as a parade field for the French Precinct until the 1940s.
The Government of Puducherry turned the area into a park in the 1950s. The Bharathi Park is named after the great TamilNadu poet Bharathisadan. The park was refurbished in 2006 for public use with a fence and four iron gates between beautiful stone pillars forming entrances to the park in four directions.
Image Gallery of Bharathi Park Puducherry
Things to do at Bharathi Park
You can enjoy the pleasant air and greenery of the beautiful park. Large trees provide visitors shade and offer a clean environment. The park is a prominent tourist attraction in Puducherry luring tourists throughout the year. It is safe enough for children. They can also enjoy swings and playground equipment.
A visit to the park will leave you refreshed and calm. You can enjoy a picnic with your family and friends as you unwind in the lap of nature. Though located in the center of the city, Bharathi Park takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The well-paved roads are great for a stroll or jog. While you can even spend some time admiring the natural beauty of the park. Its attractiveness is enhanced by the numerous artificial water fountains and ponds around it. Photographers can visit the park to photograph the Aayi Mandapam's stunning architecture against the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Entry Fee and Timings of Bharathi Park
There is no entry fee to visit the Bharathi Park. It is open from 6 am to 8 pm on all days.
How to Reach Bharathi Park Puducherry
Pondicherry is easily accessible owing to the well-developed network of airlines, trains, and buses connecting the city to other major Indian towns. The closest airport to the city is Chennai while Villupuram is the nearest railway station from Pondicherry. To reach Puducherry from nearby cities you can use either public buses or private taxis.
By Air: Pondicherry Airport (PNY) is 6 km away from the city and Chennai International Airport (MAA) is around 150 km away. They offer connectivity with several local and international flights. The best choice is to fly to Chennai and then take a cab or a bus to Puducherry.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Puducherry is Villupuram Junction. It is only 37 km away. A substantial rail network connects the railway junction with Chennai, Trichy, and Madurai. Passengers can use the easily accessible and comfortable bus or taxi services after arriving at the train station.
By Road: Well-maintained motorable roads are one of the most cost-effective and easy methods to reach Puducherry. Several state and private buses connect Puducherry to most South Indian cities. The East Coast Road (ECR) is a breathtakingly beautiful roadway that takes you to Puducherry while you enjoy a mesmerizing view of the sea. You can even opt for a comfortable taxi ride from top car rental companies in Pondicherry.
Interesting Facts About Bharathi Park
- Bharathi Park, formerly known as Place du Gouvernement, is located in the heart of the historic city of Puducherry.
- The Aayi Mandapam is a historical structure located in the park. It honors the contribution of an Indian courtesan.
- During his journey to Puducherry, Krishnadevaraya mistook the residence of Aayi for a temple and bowed down in respect. He later ordered the demolition of the structure upon realizing his mistake.
- The park has been split into four parts by the lanes and has Aayi Mandapam in the middle.
- In the park, there is an old French bandstand hidden behind a tall wall and massive trees.
Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Bharathi Park
- When visiting Bharathi Park, plan some fun activities with family and friends to enjoy your time to the fullest.
- The park is more pleasurable in the morning. It is advisable to visit the park in the early hours to enjoy the sound of birds chirping and witness nature at its best.
- You must carry a good-quality camera with you to capture Insta-worthy pictures with a stunning natural background.
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