PUDUCHERRY: The unique architectural and cultural heritage of Puducherry is to be explored and protected through a Heritage festival scheduled for February 28 and March 1. The event organized by INTACH-Pondicherry, People for Pondicherry’s Heritage and PondyCAN is supported by the Departments of Tourism, Art and Culture, Alliance Francaise and a host of other institutions in Puducherry.
Announcing this at a press conference on Wednesday, the organizers said that the unique charm and beauty of Puducherry represents a different challenge to the government and civil society organizations interested in protecting and restoring its built heritage. Unlike ASI monuments or even national parks, the architectural style of Puducherry’s cityscape with its mélange of private and government buildings - home, schools, colleges, hospitals, municipal buildings, courts, government and private offices and the buildings of Sri Aurobindo Ashram - make up the unique character and charm of this town on the Coromondal coast.
The idea behind the festival is to create a focus on Heritage preservation by involving people and government in understanding and conserving it, said Ashok Panda of INTACH-Puducherry. It is this uniqueness that brings tourists to Puducherry which is the driving force of the economy. It is being organized in multiple locations with events, talks and showcasing the architectural heritage of Puducherry. Not only the French heritage, but also the Tamil heritage would be focusedupon.
The festival seeks to explore the various facets of the city’s culture - its spiritual heritage, the town’s contribution to the world of letters, art and music, its role in the country’s maritime trade, traditional and contemporary crafts, its coastline and natural environment and much more.
“People should learn to love and respect the unique heritage”, said Sunaina Mundeen of Pondy CAN. “It is our responsibility that the future generations are not deprived of an opportunity to live, to work, to enjoy and celebrate the town’s ‘Pondicherry-ness’.