Aayi Mandapam is the most known monument located at the centre of Government Park
in Pondicherry Town
. Pondicherry is about 160 km from Chennai
Constructed during the reign of Napoleon III in France and named after a 16th century courtesan named Aayi, who destroyed her house and erected a water tank in its place. This to assuage a passing king who had mistaken her candle-lit house for a holy place. This water tank served French engineers later to bring water to the town.
In front of the Government Park is the Raj Niwas, the official residence of the Governor. The nearest railway station is Pondicherry Railway Station.