Have you ever wondered how Pondicherry was built and came into being? We all know that Pondicherry has a French History but what about before all that? Well here is the story for all the history buffs and Pondicherry Lovers out there…

Ages ago, this land was ruled by the Pallavas. Pallavas majorly ruled most parts of southern India at the time, but they weren’t without enemies. The Cholas and Pandyas were their major rivals, but the Cholas were the first to dethrone the Pallavas. The Cholas were one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world. They left behind some of the greatest architecture and literature works in Tamil. For them, Temples weren’t only places of worship but also spots of economic activity. Some of these beautiful structures can be seen in Pondicherry even today in the village of Thirubhuvanai. Tirukundankudi Mahadeva Temple in Madagadipattu was built by Raja Raja Chola. The temple worships Lord Shiva.

Source- Wikkipedia, juergfehr.ch, Tirukundankudi Mahadeva Temple in Madagadipattu

Panchanadisvara temple in Thiruvandarkoil. This shrine is known for the Bhairava manifestation of Shiva – Samhara Bhairava Vadugurnathar.

Source: temple.dinamalar.com

Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Thirubuvanai is the final existing temple which is said to have 187 inscriptions mentioning the existence of a Sanskrit university and a hostel for students. The deity worshipped in this temple is Lord Vishnu.

Source: explore pondicherry.blogspot.com

Pandyas were the next to rule the territory followed by Muslim rulers of the North who established the Sultanate of Madurai. They were then succeeded by the Vijaynagar Empire. The historic Vijayanagar Kingdom extended over the southern part of India that included the territories of Mysore, Trichinopally, Kanara, Pondicherry, Chingalpet, and Kanchivaram. They extended their rule till 1638.

The Aayi Mandapam situated in Pondicherry is known to have an interesting story behind its construction and its traced back to the time when King Krishnadevaraya, the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, ruled over the Deccan. The King on one of his strolls came across a magnificent building, awed by its sight, he imagined it to be a temple and bowed down before it. One of the onlookers informed him that it was a building of a courtesan. The embarrassed and infuriated King demanded the building to be torn down and the lady to be bought in front of him. Aayi, the courtesan, begged for mercy and asked permission to break down the house herself. She built a water tank in place of the house, this tank is known as the Aayi Kulam in her memory. Later on, when the French ruled, they built a monument for Aayi, which is today known as the Aayi Mandapam.

Source:Youtube

The Sultan of Bijapur ruled the Union Territory till it was handed over to the French. In 1674 AD, the French obtained Pondicherry from the Sultan of Bijapur and founded a thriving city on it which later became the main stronghold of the French in India.