Keezhur Monument - Mangalam Sacred Grove (Pondicherry aka Puducherry)

After Sivaranthakam, where I saw the the beautiful banyan tree, the next option for the day was open. Ofcourse Auroville is there and Villianur has 2 ancient temples, but then to keep up with the spirit, I wanted to see another Sacred Grove! Another sacred grove in the tiny little Pondy??? 
Well, here's the surprise part, Pondy has not 1 or 2 by 105 sacred groves varying from 2 hectares to 0.2 hectares in area!!! I looked out to find the nearest sacred grove and there was this little village called Mangalam. But before Mangalam, there's was another historically important spot not to be missed, located very very closeby - Keezhur! Yes, there's a Keezhur in Kerala as well. Both are not the same. 
So what's the historical importance of Keezhur. Well, to know that, we've gotta know a bit of Indian political history. India was a colony of western countries for over 2 centuries. While a major portion of India was under the British, there were some sockets that were under French, Danish and Portuguese. Pondicherry aka Puducherry was under French rule - French India. British India got its Independence on 15th Aug, 1947. However French India did not get its Independence then. So Pondy was still under French. 
Only in 1954, a voting happened for the French governed sockets towards the merger with India. On 18th Oct 1954, representatives of all these sockets took part in the voting, in the presence of French and Indian delegates in which 170 votes were for merger with India and only 8 against. From that day on, these sockets became came under Pondicherry Union Territory governed by Indian Central govt. 

This voting happened here in Keezhur!!!!! A memorial to commemorate the place, was built in 1972. The memorial was a very contemporary, modern marble structure. Sadly, when I ventured here, the place was locked and the we couldn't find the person who has the key. I have no clue what's inside that building!
From there, on the way back to Villianur is another little village called Mangalam. Apart from Sivaranthagam, Mangalam is also one of the 105 Sacred groves of Pondy. 

Unlike Sivaranthagam which is taken care by a single lady, Mangalam belongs to 2 groups. Sadly both the groups have left the place to the mercy of nature and have been fighting towards who owns the rights of the temple. The temple is a bit dilapidated... The place is more forest like. A bit disheartened, we set out, back to Villianur.
Btw, Villianur is a buzzing little town where you'll easily find autos and there are a couple of hotels and a all women police station. So safety or easy mode of transport shouldn't be a trouble at all! Infact our breakfast was at a little veg mess, just opp. to Women's Police Station. I was taken by amusement when the hotel said they won't serve coffee or tea, coz there are quite a few tea/coffee kiosks in the same road!!!

TO GET THERE:
To reach Sivaranthagam: Refer my last post
Sivaranthagam to Keezhur: 3 km
Keezhur to Mangalam: 8 km via Sivaranthagam towards Villianur
Enquire for Iyyanar Koil in Mangalam and the locals will easily direct you!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

11 comments:

  1. Another interesting find. Go explorer!

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  2. So many little known places.... I am getting to know them through your blog.... Keep up the good work Bhusha!

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    1. So true. There are so many little known places to be seen and a life time doesn't seem enough...

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  3. Quite interesting! Thanks for this and I will research more with your help from here
    - pondy woman :)

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    1. Go ahead! Looking forward for your travelogue and details on this place! :)

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  4. always something new to know when I visit your blog!

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    1. Glad you feel so Ashok!!! Thank you!!! :)

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  5. amazing photo what a great place! so great

    www.ladyparisienne.blogspot.fr

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lady Parisienne!! Do visit often! :)

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  6. have you seen any bird sanctuary around with a lake?

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