May 22, 2022

During his official visit to the Cannes Film Festival in France, Union Minister Anurag Thakur paid a visit to the Allard Square in Saint-Tropez.


  • Here, Thakur, a Lok Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh, paid floral tributes to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire), Jean-Francois Allard (a general in Singh’s army) and Allard’s spouse Princess Bannu Pan Dei.
  • Saint-Tropez was a military stronghold and fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century.
  • It was the first town on its coast to be liberated during World War II as part of ‘Operation Dragoon’. After the war, it became an internationally known seaside resort because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema.

Saint-Tropez has a historical connection with the state of Himachal Pradesh.

  • General Jean-François Allard was born in Saint-Tropez. He served in the Napoleon army and fought in the Battle of Waterloo.
  • Forced into exile after Napoleon’s downfall, he served under Maharajah Ranjit Singh in Punjab, where he felt deeply in love with Princess Bannu Pan Deï, who was born in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.
  • They married and had seven children. On the family’s return to Saint-Tropez in 1835, the general had an oriental-inspired Pan Deï Palais built as a token of his love for his wife.