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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: June - September Read More

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Also Refered As:

French Yanam / Yanaon

"French Yanam"

Yanam Tourism

The city of Yanam is situated in the Yanam district of Puducherry, India. The small city which covers an area of 30 square kilometers is in the confluence where Godhavari meets Koringa to the south of Kakinada district in Andhra Pradesh. The city has a widely distinct culture with a mixture of French and Telugu traditions, commonly referred to as the Frelugu culture.

Yanam was under the Dutch rule, later shuttled between the rule of French and the Britishers before finally gaining independence in 1954. Having been a French colony for most of its history, it has many fascinating churches that are a must-visit in the city. The city is famous for its interesting history, culture and festivities. The place is most enjoyed between June and Septembr when the weather is comfortable and pleasant for travel.

Apart from its diverse culture, the Rajiv Gandhi beach and the view of sunrise and sunset from the viewpoint there is an engaging place to visit. There are a few holy temples spread around the city that are usually visited by the locals. Also, the city has some age old churches which are of historic and religious significance.

The structures have a touch of French architecture to it as most of them were built during the French reign. Adding to such beautiful places of visit, what makes the city worth exploring is the history it holds and the unique culture it has led to. It is a pocket-friendly place to visit within a short period and enjoy a quick, entertaining holiday. 

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Places to Visit

1. Puducherry State Obelisk Tower
This tower in Yanam is located in the outskirts of the city at a distance of 11 kilometres from the heart of the town. The 101.6 metres long tower is led by a massive flight of stairs and resembles the Eiffel Tower. There is also a lift which can be used by the elderly. However, using the stairs is recommended as the view from different points are extraordinary. The view from the top of the tower gives a picture of the Godavari river meeting its tributary.
Entry fee - INR 25

2. Buddha Park
The park is located at a distance of 1.3 kilometres from the heart of the city. In the centre of the circular passage is a Buddha statue, which is a sight of beauty. A small bridge connects the pathway to the figure.
Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
               4:00 PM to 9:00 PM  

3. French St. Ann's Catholics Church  
The church is located in the heart of the city and is one of the oldest churches. Built by the Frenchmen in 1846, the church has a touch of their style and architecture. Most of the furnishings in the church are imported from France. There is also a relic in the memory of Michel Lecnam who laid the foundation stone for the church but never lived to see it. It has been through several renovations and still looks as good as new. A shrine is a place of historical and religious significance.

4. Rajiv Gandhi Beach 
The beach, located at 1 kilometre from the heart of the city is a major attraction. Accompanied by a massive Shiv Linga idol sandwiched between the statues of two elephants, the sight of it is utterly mesmerising. A few metres from that is the idol of Christ the Redeemer. The beach is more popularly known for the 26 feet tall bronze statue of Bhaarath Maata. Also a little away from the riverfront, there is a unique boat-shaped museum. The wide promenade accompanied by the humongous figures gives an added attraction to the beach. It is one of the most popular places to visit in the city.

Local Culture

The French Telugu Blend
Yanam is famous for its unique culture, which is a combination of French and Telugu. Named as Frelugu, some people are from French and Telugu cultures.

Languages of the Region
Although most of the population are Telugu speaking people, a few groups of people can be spotted whose official language is French. Signboards around the city can be found which are written in French. For instance, Soyez le Bienvenue can be found when entering the town, and Merci Bienwhen can be found while leaving the city.

Yanam Festivities
Sri Rajarajeshwara Kalyanotsavam is a famous festival celebrated for twenty days during January or February. A Catholic festival is celebrated every March, where, Mother Mary devotees gather to offer prayers and seek blessings. There is also an annual cultural festival called Fete de Pondicherry which is conducted by the Department of Arts and Culture of the state of Pondicherry.

Food and Restaurants of Yanam

The city is quite famous for its variety of seafood available in various cuisines around the city.

Exclusive Fish 
The city houses many species of fish such as cheerameenu, and pulasa. Some of these fish are exported to France as well. These are some rare varieties of fishes which are exclusively available in Yanam.

Cheap Alcohol
The city is also famous for alcohol, which is quite cheap in the city when compared to the neighbouring states. Most of the alcoholic drinks are imported and are available in comparatively less expensive rates than what is usually sold in other countries.

Famous Restaurants and Bars
Gopikrishna Restaurant and Bar is a famous bar in the city which offers a great variety of foods and export wines. Yanon Restaurant, New Punjabi Dhaba, Shanmukha Family Restaurant and Spice N Ice are some exquisite cuisines in the city offering a variety of South-Indian and North-Indian delicacies.

Yanam History

Initial Reign
The city initially was a part of the Chola empire. During the 16th and 17th century, there was warfare between the Muslims, the French and the Britishers. Interestingly, the city was a Dutch colony until the early 18th century. The fort ruins called the Neelikundilu where the Dutch stored their currency, and some documentations point to the presence and rule of Dutch in the city. However, in the 1720s, French took over the town. The Britishers and Frenchmen traded the seaside city among themselves. Finally, after three wars during which the Britishers occupied the city thrice, the colony was handed over to the French in 1816.

Tuesday Market
A significant event during the French rule was the Tuesday Market. Popularly called the 'Mangalvaram Santa' when people from the Madras Presidency visited the city to buy illegal and smuggled foreign goods.

Child Marriage Restraint Act
Another noteworthy incident in Yanam is the connection of Yanam with the Child Marriage Restraint Act. The Sarda Act which is what it is popularly called as was passed in 1929 under the British rule. After the passing of the law, Telugu people who belonged to the British government travelled to Yanam to perform child marriages as it was legal under the French rule.

French Remains
The presence of French can still be spotted in the stained glasses and the French cemetery. There is also an ancient church placed in the memory of the French soldier who died fighting at an early age of 22. Despite India attaining freedom in 1947, this French controlled city continued under their authority. There were negotiations between the two regarding four cities, one of which was Yanam.

Yanam Independence
On 13th June 1954, the town of Yanam finally attained independence from the French rule after a sudden coup. The rich history of Yanam can be witnessed in many buildings and churches that were built around the city during the respective reigns of other governments. Interestingly, there is a prevalent belief that Frenchmen haunt some places in the town.

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FAQs on Yanam

What is famous about Yanam?

The unique culture and the religiously significant places is what makes Yanam an interesting place to visit. There is also a lot of greenery to enjoy within the city as well.

What is not so good about Yanam?

There isn't anything adventurous and thrilling to do in the city. Also, there are not many popular night clubs in the city which may be quite disappointing for clubbers.

Who should visit Yanam?

People who are spiritual and have a keen interest in exploring unique cultures are those who must definitely visit this city. It is also an ideal place for all the history and nature lovers.

What is the best time to visit Yanam?

June is the best time to visit Yanam. Between February and May, summer heat hits the district. The temperature rises to a peak and the cimate remains hot and dry throughout. The sea breeze and pre-monsoon winds are the only hope for relief during this time. From June, the temperature begins to fall and the climate remains pleasant and comfortable which is the best time to visit the city. As the climate is calm and welcoming, travelling and sightseeing can be enjoyed to the fullest. Thunderstorms and heavy rains hit the district from November and the temperature drops, leaving the climate cold and breezy.
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What is the best way to reach Yanam?

Roadways, railways and airways well link the city. It is connected to most cities and states either directly or by transit.

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What are the places near Yanam?

The top places near to Yanam are Konaseema which is 20 km from Yanam, Samalkot which is located 35 km from Yanam, Kakinada which is located 24 km from Yanam, Rajahamundry which is located 51 km from Yanam, Annavaram which is located 64 km from Yanam

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