Pondicherry, apart from several tourist attractions, is also famous for its incredible museums. One such popular museum is Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum, located on the street named after him as well. The museum is his collection of private diaries which shed valuable light on everyday life in 18th century French India. The building in which the museum stands was once the house of Ananda Ranga Pillai done beautifully in combination of Indian and French architectural styles. In fact, apparently, it is one of the few buildings in this area which survived the “Siege of Pondicherry” in 1761. Visiting the museum can be an enriching experience. Apart from the paintings and diaries on display, you can also admire the unique architecture of the building, which is an attraction in itself. This building has also been conferred the heritage tag by the Government of Pondicherry.
Ananda Ranga Pillai served as the dubash (translator) for Lord Dupleix, the then governor of French Pondicherry. Apart from performing that role, he also supervised the regular payment of revenues and handled the official communications of the governor from time to time. His diaries, which contain a wealth of information regarding life in mid-18th century, were discovered by his nephew upon his death. These then went through several translations and modifications in French until an English version of the diary was published in 1896 under Lord Wenlock, the then Governor of Madras.
It is from his diaries that we come to know about the French-Carnatic Wars besides detailed information of everyday life in that time.
MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MUSEUM
- Bust of Ananda Ranga Pillai
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
No entry fee
Ananda Ranga Pillai Street, Pondicherry - 605001
HOW TO REACH?
The nearest bus stop to Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum is GH Bus and Tempo Stop. From there, it’s a 10 minutes’ walk to the museum.