French Heritage (Bonjour India)

Type: Event
Location: India
City: Delhi
Date: Tue, 2013/01/29 – 7:00pm


FRENCH heritage


A photographer’s take on French cultural heritage in India: multimedia exhibitions

Anay Mann, Gigi Scaria, Rishi Singhal, Serena Chopra along with Isabel Saij and Jean-Pierre Dubois

Part I – Opens on 29th January, Galerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Française de Delhi. Exhibition remains on view until 3rd February, 11 am – 7.30pm

Part II – 4th -10th February 2013, Hall No. 7, World Book Fair, Pragati Maidan / everyday from 11 am to 7.30 pm


«Glimpses of France are still visible in the form of buildings along the Strand, city gates with inscriptions of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’ as well as the rich merchant houses of the Bengali zamindars» 


The French East India Company (La Compagnie française des Indes Orientales) maintained independent trading posts from the 17th to the 20th century in Pondicherry, Chandernagore, Mahe, Yanam and Karaikal. The French brought to India a new way of life, trade, governance, military warfare techniques, creating a cultural diversity which we now define as shared cultural heritage. The tangible built heritage varies from forts and military installations, public buildings, residential buildings, public squares, urban artifacts and even urban city planning. Intangible influences on culture include education systems, trade, art, design, interiors and culinary traditions.


Did you know that exemplary French planning and engineering can be seen at the Fort of Srirangapatanam, and the Fort of Aligarh? Did you know that French architectural design finds its influence well beyond the traditional confines of French presence in India – in Gwalior, Sardhana, Mysore, Kapurthala, and Hyderabad? That the greatest degree of French influence was observed on the architecture built by royal patronage in the palaces and mansions of princely India?


Based on research by Aishwarya Tipnis, Indian and French photographers will revisit French built and intangible heritage in India in 2012 and bring to life what remains of France in India in an exciting journey. 2013 will unveil this narrative through exhibitions around this incredible Indo-French history.


French heritage in India is multifaceted and presents opportunities for both development of tourism and conservation and restoration.