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Anameka Architects and Designers 4/24, Saraswathi street, Mahalingapuram, Chennai - 600 034 India Tel: +91 44 42139961 / 65186594 Fax: +91 44 42321995 Email:,

Confluence of History, Culture & Environment

Kingdom of The Netherlands

PULICAT & SADRAS C onfluence


H istory, C ulture


E nvironment

Ă“ Copyright M/s ANAMEKA ARCHITECTS & DESIGNERS, Chennai First Edition 2010 All rights reserved Every effort has been made to trace the ownership of all copyrighted material in this book and to obtain permission for its use. But if any errors and omissions have been made we will be happy to correct them. Prior permission needed for any reproductions



Contents: Foreword




Message - Vice Chancellor, Anna Univ. Chennai


Message - Dean, SAP, Anna Univ. Chennai


Message - Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai




The Team




Timeline of Pulicat and Sadras


History of Pulicat


The City of Pulicat


Fort Geldria


The Pulicat Cemeteries


The Pulicat Churches


The Pulicat Temples


The Mosques of Pulicat


Pulicat Mint and Coins


The Pulicat Gunpowder Factory


The Pulicat Slave Trade


Life and Culture of Pulicat


Pulicat Lake




The Sadras Fort


Other Structures at Sadras




List of Information boxes


Credits for Images



It gives me great pleasure to present this publication which introduces Pulicat and Sadras, the shared cultural heritage sites of The Netherlands and India. By shared cultural heritage I mean relics of a past that The Netherlands has shared with others: buildings and engineering constructions, archives, underwater wrecks and museum exhibits, and intangible heritage.

This book on Pulicat and Sadras is a collection of information on its past glory. It brings out the forgotten and hitherto .

lost architectural marvels of the place and will make the knowledge available to future generations.

The shared cultural heritage of India and The Netherlands, mainly the built heritage, in the forms of forts, factory buildings, cemeteries is spread across several coastal states of India. On the east coast, the Dutch East India company established trading posts in Pulicat and moved on to other flourishing coastal towns like Musilipattanam, Sadras, .

Nagapattinam, and Tuticorin.

By maintaining, managing, using and highlighting our shared heritage, we can foster a critical reflection on our past and a mutual understanding of past, present and future. This can strengthen relations and promote cooperation between countries, .

both bilaterally and multilaterally.

The conservation of common cultural heritage can help to strengthen cultural identity, promote socioeconomic and cultural development and raise the profile and quality of the living environment. The important thing is to increase a community's sense of ownership of a heritage site. One way of achieving this is to combine it with a social project, for instance to create local employment by promoting art, craft and tourism. In pursuing these objectives, this publication is a commendable initiative, for which I congratulate the whole team behind this project.

. Bob Hiensch Ambassador Embassy of The Netherlands in India


Preface The most fascinating stories of human action across history are told by places that bear traces of the past in the form of tangible artifacts and intangible ways of life, but yet are still vibrantly alive. These places reveal a confluence of location, history, culture, people and architecture. With the accelerated changes across the world today, there is a growing impetus to not only understand and preserve, but also enjoy these valuable traces. It is in this context that this book on Pulicat and Sadras has been envisaged and completed.


Pulicat and Sadras, on the Coramandel Coast of India in Tamil Nadu, represent a coming together of location and cultures in the context of trade. The small coastal settlement of Pulicat had, in the first millennium, seen the early Chola empire, influx of overseas Muslim cultures and Vijayanagara glory. Later, with the advent of the Portuguese and the Dutch, trade activities became heightened and Fort Geldria of the Dutch rose as a significant structure in a thriving town. Sadras, another part of the Tamil country, gained fame as an important Dutch trading post with a magnificent brick fort and residential buildings. Subsequently, with the supremacy of the English, both these places declined in importance. Today, Pulicat is known more for its large salt water lake, flora and fauna as well as its local economy of fishing while Sadras, being in close proximity to the atomic power plant of Kalpakkam, is associated with it. Pulicat and Sadras are thus living settlements which still bear some of the footprints of their past.


This book has been initiated with the support of the Embassy of The Netherlands with the aim of providing general information on these two places which represent the shared heritage of the Dutch and the Indians. It presents a comprehensive narrative of Pulicat and Sadras by researching as well as collating from various sources and with the involvement of many agencies, including students. It is intended to bring out the richness of their history, environment and culture and through this process open up possibilities of experiencing and sustaining them.


Dr. K.R.Sitalakshmi Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture School of Architecture and Planning Anna University Chennai





Our Sincere Thanks to‌ Embassy of The Netherlands in India for giving this opportunity, especially Mr. Bob Hiensch, Ambassador Mrs. Sara M. Cohen, Head of Press & Cultural Affairs Mr. Mohammed Afzal, Senior Programme Officer Dr. V. Irai Anbu, IAS, Secretary of Tourism and Cultural Department, Govt. of Tamil Nadu Dr. A C Mohandoss, IAS, Director of Tourism & Managing Director, TTDC, Chennai The Collector, Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu The Collector, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu Mrs. Sathyabhama Badhreenath, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Dr.P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice Chancellor Anna University Chennai Dr. M. Mariappan, Former Vice Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University Chennai Dr. Monsingh David Devadas, Dean Dr. Ranee Vedamuthu, Chairman - Faculty of Architecture and Planning Mr. S. Ravi, Former Dean Rev. Fr. Arul Devadoss.N, Executive Director, Madras Social Service Society, Chennai Ms. Jasmijn Bus, Nationaal Archief, Hague, The Netherlands Mr. Bauke Van Der Pol, Specialisatie India, The Netherlands Ms. Louisa Balk, Senior Archivist of the National Archives, The Netherlands Mr. Kandasami, FCA, DISA, Chartered Accountant, Chennai Mr. A D Jagadish Chandira, Advocate, Chennai Mr. V Vijay Kumar, Chief Representative, The Netherlands Business Support Office, Chennai Mr. Arivazhagan Rayan, Manager-Development Support, CRY, Chennai Mr. R Mani, Mr. K Babu, Temples in Pulicat Mr. M S Kalesha, President, Periya Jamiya Masjid, Pulicat Mr. Abdul Khader Hallaj, President Chinna Pallivasal, Pulicat Mr. Obaidullah, Mr. Ali, Mr. Sadakathullah, Teachers at Madrasa, Pulicat Mr. B Balakumar, Retd. Professor of French Language, University of Madras, Chennai Mr. R Sandesh, M.Des, Asst. Professor, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Mumbai Mr. Narendhra Raghunath, Artist cum Faculty Saurashtra University, Ahmedabad Mr. Kamaraj, Exec. Engineer, SRM University, Kancheepuram District Mr. V.Selvakumar, Architect, Chennai Mrs. Sumathi Ramesh, Architect, Chennai Altas of Mutual Heritage, The Netherlands Survey and Land Records Department, Govt of Tamil Nadu Staff of Anameka Architects and Designers, Chennai Staff of Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai & Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu Watchmen at Pulicat Dutch Cemetery and Sadras Fort


The Team: Mentor: Dr. Suresh Kuppuswamy Professor & Head, Department of Architecture School of Architecture and Planning Anna University Chennai Editorial Advisor: Dr. K.R.Sitalakshmi Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture School of Architecture and Planning Anna University Chennai Co-ordinator: Ar. Xavier Benedict, M.Arch & MBA M/s Anameka Architects and Designers, Chennai Research Head: Ar. Muzakkir G. M. Bijli, M.Arch (Architectural Conservation) M/s Anameka Architects and Designers, Chennai Research Team: M Aravindan, A Gowrisankar, M Syed Arshad Aleem, A Nithesh Khatod, V Praveen Kumar S Shanmuhananth – Students, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University Chennai Graphics: Mr. B. Kotteswaran M/s Anameka Architects and Designers, Chennai Sponsor: Embassy of The Netherlands in India



The Coromandel Coast in India played a vital role throughout history. Many ports evolved on this Coast and proved important during different periods. The Chola kings established links with the Eastern countries from the ports in the South. After the Europeans entered the country, there was trade in the Coromandel, with the earliest being carried out by the






Po r t u g u e s e . T h e n t h e D u t c h established their presence in these areas through the VOC, building factories for East Indies trade. For almost two centuries, they were the most powerful. At around the same time, the British, the French and the Danes also set up places for trade on the Coromandel Coast. Pulicat and Sadras were two among the most important towns on the Coromandel Coast established by the Dutch. Pulicat is more well known for its Salt Water Lake (450 lying north of the historic town rather than

Fig. 1 Map of India Showing Pulicat and Sadras

its history.Pulicat is located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu at 13deg24' N latitude and 80deg18' E longitude and 59km north of chennai. Sadras also in Tamil Nadu is located at 12deg31' N Latitude and 88deg09' E Longitude at around 75km south of Chennai and 15km from Mahabalipuram on the road to Pondicherry.


Timeline of Pulicat and Sadras


Constant growth in Portuguese population

1522 AD Portuguese establish a colony in Pulicat 1498 AD Vasco da Gama reaches Calicut on the western coast, first sea route established between Europe and India


11 th


10 th Century


12 th

Construction of Temple at Tiruppalaivanam in 1100 AD 6 km from Pulicat


15 th

13 th

LATER CHOLAS 1070 AD - 1279 AD

14 th

Battle of Tallikota 1565 AD between Vijayanagara and grand alliance of Deccan Kings






Dutch and British Shifting of control

1607 AD Dutch reach Pulicat 1613 AD Construction of Fort Geldria

1602 AD VOC Established

1613 -1689 AD 1689 AD Headquarters of Head quarters Coromandel Coast shifted to Nagapattinam

17 th

Period of reduced importance

16 th

Pulicat Used mainly as Picnic spot by English

19 th

18 th

1648 AD Factory setup at Sadras

1609 AD Permission from Queen Eraivi, wife of Venkata II to set up factory

Turbulent rule under smaller local kings

21 st Century

20 th


















Pulicat Pazhaverkadu












Sadras Sathurangapattinam


History of Pulicat The Hindu Kingdom The history of Pulicat can be traced to the Chola Kingdom th

(10 century AD) when it was a major port city. Though much is not known about Pulicat during this period, the presence of a Chola period Samayeswarar temple in Pulicat and another Shaivite temple built by Rajendra Chola, at Tiruppalaivanam, 6 km from Pulicat, bears testimony to the region being an active trading port during Chola period. The earliest historical reference to Pulicat is found in the inscriptions at the Tiruppalaivanam Chola temple. In these inscriptions there are references to Pulicat under different names such as Payyar Kottam, Puliyur Kottam and Pular Kottam. There are enough historical evidences that prove the important trade links the Coromandel Coast had with the eastern countries even during the Chola period. Fig. 2 Schematic map of Coromandel Coast with important locations

Later, Pulicat came under direct rule of the great Vijayanagara Kingdom, which was divided into four different dynasties from 14th century to 17th century. The four dynasties were Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu Dynasty. As during Chola period, Pulicat was also called by different names during the Vijayanagara period. In 1422 AD, Devaraja - II named Pulicat as Anandarayan Pattinam after his governor Anandaraya. Again in 1522 AD, under the rule of the great Krishnadevaraya, the name was changed to Palaverkadu. This name is Fig. 3 Krishna Devaraya, Vijayanagara King


still being used.

Ludovica Di Varthema an Italian traveler and writer, traveled in the Malabar coast, Ceylon and the Coromandel coast during the first decade of the 16th century. He described Pulicat as

“a district of immense traffic in merchandise and especially in jewels, for they come here from Zeylon and Pegu. There are also here many kinds of Moorish merchants of all kinds of spices�


The Muslim Traders The history of Pulicat available with local Muslims, which is written in Arabic Tamil script, reflects the view that Muslims had a major presence in Pulicat for centuries. These Muslims were originally Arabs who were deported in ships from Arabia during the rule of Yousuf bin Hajjaj (661-714 AD), whose caliphate they did not accept. They were called the Labbai and later on were known as the Maraikkairs. They first settled in the town of Kayal from where they travelled northwards through Nagore, Tanjore, Mylapore to Pulicat. This migration happened during the Chola reign, because there are many references of Chola Rajan. The Muslims, during those times, were traders, merchants and expert boat builders. They had links with the Arabian coasts and the coasts of the Indonesian archipelago. Pulicat during the Portuguese presence The Portuguese were the first Europeans to



establish the sea route to India from Europe. It was in 1498 AD that Vasco Da Gama first

Tamil written in Arabic script is called

reached Calicut in present day Kerala through

as Arwi. This was developed by the Arabic

the Cape of Good Hope.

speaking Muslims who settled in the


Fig. 4 Vasco Da Gama Landing in Calicut

regions of Coromandel Coast, Malabar and Ceylon. Some reasons are given for the formation of Arwi. One reason being the reluctance shown by the Muslims in translating some of the religious words which may be distorted. Secondly most of the Muslims learn to read Arabic language as this helps them in reading Quran. So, as Arabic script was already known, writing Tamil language in Arabic script was easier to them in those days instead of learning the script of a different language. One more reason cited is that Tamil does not accommodate all Arabic sounds, and Arabic technical terms and names read better in Arabic script. The book written in Arwi script is considered sacred because it is written using Arabic Characters. Publishing books in Arwi and distributing it among children is considered sacred among the Labbai Muslims. The book written in Arabic Tamil script is called as Kitab rather than its Tamil equivalent Pusthagam.

. 5

Fig. 5 Old Dutch map of Coromandel Coast showing Pulicat and Sadras



Replica of Flor De La Mar in Malacca

Pulicat could well have been a centre which helped ships which were in distress. Atleast two incidents throw light on the above fact.


1. The reference made by the Local Muslims that Hollanders landed in Pulicat in search of water and then struck a business deal with the locals.


2. The famous ship Flor de la Mar commanded by Alfonso De Albequque sank near the coast of Sumatra and it is claimed that some of the survivors reached Pulicat in 1512 AD .



Fig. 6 "Calecut uova Tavola" by Girolamo Ruscelli, Venice, 1574 - One of the oldest map having reference to Pulicat - Paleacate 7

In 1510, Portuguese admiral Alfonzo de Albuquerque defeated the Bijapur sultans with the help of Timayya, on behalf of the Vijayanagara Empire, and established a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa) which was the headquarters of the Portuguese Estado in India. Gradually the Portuguese established themselves on the Malabar Coast and Ceylon. Then they ventured into the Coromandel Coast. The Portuguese who first entered Pulicat were not recognized by the Portuguese at Goa. They were called as Chatins. These were the people who deserted the estado by leaving their jobs as workers with the Portuguese of Goa to make a better fortune for themselves. Later on, the discovery of the tomb of St. Thomas in 1518 AD, the Apostle of Christ, at Mylapore prodded the Portuguese to come down southwards. It is also said that the Portuguese


built a fort in Pulicat as early as

Ludovica Di Varthema an Italian

1502 AD, but there are no traces of

traveler and writer, traveled in the

this fort in Pulicat. We can infer

Malabar coast, Ceylon and the

from some sources like accounts of

Coromandel coasts during the first

different travellers that Pulicat was

decade of the 16th century. According

an important and active port for

to his description

carrying out overseas trade. The start of the 16 t h century saw Europeans

( Po r t u g u e s e )

entering the trading scene. Pulicat acted as the major port of the Coromandel Coast at that time, under direct influence of the capital

“This country is most abundant in everything that is produced in India, but no grain grows here. They have rice here in abundance. Their laws, manner of living , dress, and customs, are the same as in Calicut, and they are

city of Vijayanagara. A major land

war like people, although they

route was established between

have no artillery”

Pulicat and the capital city of Vijayanagara through Tirupathi and Penukonda. Production and export of cotton textiles and yarns were the major businesses at Pulicat in particular and throughout the Coromandel Coast. Machilipatnam and Nagapattinam to the north and south of Pulicat also started to develop. The major trading communities present during the 16th century were the Muslims Portuguese estado : India Portuguesa or Estado daIndia- was the aggregate of Portugal’s colonial holdings in India.

(Maraikkairs), Telugu speaking Chettis of Balija, the Komattis, the Armenians and the Portuguese. During these times the high-seas trade was mainly in two directions, one being towards Mergui and southern Burma and the other being towards Malakka and the

Chatins : They were the people who deserted the estado and carried out trade outside its jurisdiction in search of better fortune than that at the estado. 8

far eastern Archipelago. The principal exports from Pulicat to the Burma region were textiles produced in Coromandel Coast and the red yarn produced in the Krishna delta. The major imports from Burma included gold, rubies, timber, tin, ivory and copper.

The major imports from the Indonesian archipelago included the Indonesian spices, different woods, Chinese silks and non precious metals such as tin, copper, quick silver and vermilion. As Pulicat enjoyed a direct relationship with the capital it grew to become one of the most important port cities of Coromandel Coast. From the early 16th century, after the Portuguese entered the trading scene there was a gradual growth in population. As it was an important trading post from earlier times it would have had a large population, though the actual number is not known. In 1520 AD, the population of Portuguese alone was 200 – 300 inhabitants. The city kept on growing and population during 1545 AD was around 600 – 700 Families. The population kept increasing until the 1560's, after which there was a gradual decline.Communities lived within their groups during the time. The Portuguese bestowed power on an Italian Florentine Pierro Strozzi to be in chargeof the foreign community in Pulicat.


The major reason for the decline of Pulicat, from a major trading


port city to a place of lesser importance, was the battle of Talikota

The Grand Alliance

which took place in 1565 AD. This battle took place between the Hindu


Kingdom o Vijayanagara and the grand


Alliance of the five smaller Muslim Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur and Golconda. The


grand alliance of the Muslim rulers defeated theVijayanagara Kingdom which led to the downfall of the mighty Hindu Kingdom. After this war Vijayanagara was no more the capital


Talikota The battle ground of 1565AD war La nd rou Vijayanagar te est abl Hampi

under its rule also started to lose its

which was a minor port earlier grew in importance and became the major port



and hence Pulicat which was directly

importance.Instead, Machilipatnam

Proxi to Go mity lkond a





Pulicat major port before 1565AD

due to its proximity to the new Vijayanagara

capital, the City of Golconda.

Calicut Fig. 7 Map showing important places of the battle of Talikota - 1565 AD





The Formation of VOC For around a century the Portuguese established a monopoly in the trading markets. No other European nation appeared in the scene till the end of 16th century. This situation was to change in the 17th century. The main reason for reduction of Portuguese hegemony and monopoly was the death of King Henry I in 1580 AD. After his death, Portugal was subjugated by Spain but the overseas territories became independent and so did not come under Spain. The Countries of Holland also declared themselves Independent. Hence Spain disallowed merchants of Amsterdam to trade with merchants of Lisbon. Consequently, Holland merchants were left with no other option but to trade with the eastern countries, on their own, for their growth. They tried to reach the eastern countries via the northern seas. Attempts were made by William Barrents to reach east via the north in Fig. 8 Reinier Adriaansz, the first president of VOC

1594,1595 and 1596 AD. But all the attempts ended in failure.

It was the Dutchman Cornelius Houtman who at last found the Route to the Eastern Countries, which the Portuguese had taken a century ago. th He learned about the route when he was imprisoned by the Portuguese in Lisbon. . It was on 15 June 1595 AD that he left Texel and reached

.Sumatra in 17 months. The Dutch were the second European nation to find the sea route to India and the eastern countries. After the advent of the Dutch in the Eastern Countries, there was much pressure from the Portuguese side to destabilize the individual Dutch merchants. Hence, to fight their common enemy for a brighter future the individual merchants combined to form a company which was called the Dutch East India Company – Veerenidge Oost Indische Compagnie. It was formed in 1602 AD. This Company was famously known as the VOC. It was given monopoly for 21 years by States-General of the Netherlands, with financial accountability for only once in a decade. The VOC was governed by the “Heren Zeventien” or “The Seventeen Gentlemen”.

Fig. 9 The VOC Coat of Arms 10

The Dutch in Coramandel The first place the Dutch reached on the Coromandel Coast was Machilipatnam. It was in 1605 AD that the Dutch reached the port of Machilipattinam and established trade contact with the Local Muslim rulers. At that time when Dutch obtained Firmanfrom the local king to set up the factory on the Coromandel Coast, it was not clear in their minds as to what role this coast would play in their trade. It is from the statement of Hendrik Brouwer that their actual role is understood. According to him “The Coromandel coast is the left arm of the Moluccas, because we have noticed that without the textiles of Coromandel, commerce is dead in Moluccas”. As the trade at Moluccas was not yet fully developed it was not profitable for the Dutch to directly trade in Moluccas with their gold and silver. Instead, they exchanged the goods at the Coromandel Coast for the cotton textiles produced in the area which was later used in the Moluccas.

Fig. 10 View of Machilipattinam Around 1770 AD

A firman is a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in certain historical Islamic states, The word firman comes from the Persian: farmân (äÇãÑÝ ) meaning "decree" or "order". In Turkish it is called a ferman.


The Dutch in Pulicat Around 1609 AD the Dutch landed in Pulicat. As per historical documents available with the Muslim, the Dutch came to Pulicat in search of water and later on established trade relations with the Muslim traders of the town. When the Dutch landed in Pulicat it was not an important trading post as it was four decades before. The Muslims helped the Dutch get permission from Queen Iraivi, wife of King Venkata II to set up a factory and start trading from Pulicat as they saw a good future for themselves. Once the Dutch established their trade links with the city of Pulicat they faced pressure from the Portuguese. This was because the Portuguese wanted to have monopoly of the Coromandel and the entry of Dutch would scuttle their chances. Fig. 11 Plan of Fort Geldria


In order to attain their goal of monopoly the Portuguese attacked the Dutch factory and caused much loss to the Dutch. Feeling threatened, the Dutch, to consolidate their position in Coromandel decided to fortify their factory at Pulicat and in 1613 AD a fort was constructed. This was named Fort Geldria. Once again the Portuguese tried to attack the fort through both land and sea but this time their attack was repulsed and they had to taste defeat because of the strong defences of the fort. Later, the native chief Ethiraja launched an attack which was also quelled. The Dutch believed the Portuguese to be the master minds behind the attacks. After this there were no major attacks, but the Dutch always feared that the Portuguese from Goa might send an armada to regain the Coramandel coast. However much to their relief it never happened. From then on Pulicat again became an important trading post ofthe Coramandel coast.


Fig. 12 View of Fort St. George, Madras - Chennai

The English also tried to establish their position in the Coromandel Coast. They employed a Dutch man, Peter Floris who served as a junior factor for the Dutch at Machilipatnam along with captain Hippon to negotiate terms with the local rulers. When the English arrived at Pulicat they were feasted in the castle but it was clearly explained to them that they would not be allowed to start trade at Pulicat. This, the Dutch did by showing the patent obtained by them from King Venkata, which excluded all Europeans except the subjects of Prince Maurice, to trade at Pulicat. Kondamma, the Governess of the Queen and the captain of the port the Shahbandar confirmed it and advised the English to appeal directly to the King Venkata. The English, understanding the situation went northwards towards Machilipatnam to negotiate with the Muslim Kings for their endeavour. At last in 1619 AD the English were allowed to keep a garrison and trade at Pulicat. However, after the massacre of Amboyna in 1623 AD, the English were not to be seen in Pulicat for a century. In 1639 AD, the English established Fort St. George a place little southward of Pulicat and of less consequence at that time. The exit of English helped the Dutch to consolidate their position at Pulicat.

. Pulicat became the headquarters of the Dutch Government of the Coromandel Coast in 1616AD. The

Factor, from the Latin "he who does" (parallel to agent, from Latin agens), is a person who professionally acts as the representative of another individual or other legal entity, historically with his seat at a factory (trading post). In territories without any other 'regular' authorities, especially if in need of defense, the company could mandate its factor to perform the functions of a governor, of course theoretically under authority of a higher echelon, including command of a small garrison.

chief of Pulicat was the Governor of the Coromandel Coast. From then on all the official decisions regarding the region were taken at Pulicat. Factories were set up at Nagapattinam, PortoNovo, Devanampattinam, Sadraspattinam, Muslipattinam, Golconda, Palakollu, Daazerom and Bimlipattinam.


Pulicat maintained contact with all the factories in the region and also with the government at Batavia. The growth of Pulicat was at its peak during the time when it was the head quarters of the Coromandel Coast from 1617 AD – 1689 AD. In 1689 AD the capital was shifted to the southern port of Nagapattinam. The seven decades long period saw Pulicat as the most important port city of the eastern coast of India. The fact that Pulicat minted its own pagodas from a mint established as early as 1615 AD, supplied with enough gun powder from the factories to Eastern countries, was one of the major producers of textiles, had a fort garrisoned by ninety people, all this bear testimony that Pulicat was a major and important port city during the seven decades in which it was the capital.


The Local Trading Merchants For Pulicat to become a major trading port city the Dutch needed the help of the local merchants who helped them in negotiating terms with the local people and rulers. Mustafa Maraikkaiyar, a Muslim merchant at Pulicat was the main contact with the Dutch during their entry into Pulicat. The Dutch employed local Telugu merchants at Pulicat, Tamil merchants at Nagapattinam and Maraikkairs all along the Coromandel Coast for the above purpose. The first Chief Merchant of the Dutch in Pulicat was Achyuthappa Chetti. He was followed by his brother Chinnana Chetti and then Lakshmi Chetti. For the city to sustain itself as a major trading centre in those times it would also have been important that there be good boat building facilities and experts. The presence of Muslim trading community of Lebbai who were also boat builders helped the Dutch in this domain. Of all the above Achyuthappa Chetti was the most influential one. The Dutch called him Malaya Chetti. The aforesaid merchants not only helped the Dutch in procuring textiles but also procured Saltpetre used in the manufacture of the gunpowder at their factory at Pulicat.

Fig. 13 South Indian Merchant dealing in textiles

The Textiles of Pulicat and Coromandel One of the materials which were locally produced in Pulicat was of chequered pattern or with stripes. This was of in great demand in the eastern countries. The trade involving the textile produced in Pulicat was so successful that it was able to

Fig. 14 The Coromandel Palampore Textiles

withstand the challenge of cloth woven by the Javanese from 1684. The Javanese cloth was ofdecorative pattern which was created with the help of Batik technique. At one point of time the Dutch wanted the Pulicat weavers to produce the same Javanesepattern. This was accepted by the weavers and they tried to do the same. The idea to produce material of that pattern was dropped later on. The reason for the above 14

being that the quality of the pattern was far less than that of the original Javanese and there was still demand for the original Pulicat pattern.


The material came to be known as Palayakat Lungies in this region and in Ceylon. Later on after the entry of British the same cloth was to become famous as Madras checks. The Dutch trade innovation The Coromandel Coast, as said earlier, was an important textile procuring region. Pulicat that served as its headquarters of the Coromandel Coast was also a major cotton producing centre. It is said that at the peak of activity there, around thousand handlooms operated only in Pulicat. The Dutch dealt with the merchants who were merchant capitalists and later on became the chief merchants. It was also beneficial for the merchants since the Europeans were a single large buyer and there were advantages dealing with a single buyer. Fig. 15 The Madras Checks

The advantage can be seen in the amount of Dutch exports from Coromandel Coast that

rose from 2,00,000 Guilders in 1620's to 3,00,000 in 1630's, to well over 13,00,000 in 1640's, to well over 20,00,000 in 1660's. After Malaya Chetti and his brother Chinnana in 1640's there was no chief merchant to deal with procuring material for the Dutch. There were only smaller merchants to deal with and this was a major problem as they could not collect in proportion to rising demand back home. Hence the Governor Laurence Pitt in Pulicat decided in 1650's to form a “head company of suppliers”. The major cloth that was in demand was a fine cloth calle the “Ternates”. This system was later followed by Pitt's successor Cornelis Speelman to other type of textiles like painted cloth, cloth with golden thread and other types of cloth. This system was also introduced in other Dutch trading centres.


. The Decline of Pulicat Pulicat was an important city as long as it was the headquarters for the Coromandel Coast. It lost its importance once Nagapattinam was made the headquarters of the Coromandel Coast in 1689 AD and Pulicat was reduced to a rank of a mere principality. The reason cited for the shifting of the Capital was the advance of Mughal army under Aurangzeb down southwards. The step to move the head quarters from Pulicat to Nagapattinam can be seen as the event leading to the reduction of Dutch power in the Coromandel Coast. One of the major advantages Pulicat held over Nagapattinam was the centrality of its position as regards to Coromandel Coast. In Netherlands the VOC decided to concentrate on Bengal in the Indian coast rather than the Coromandel Coast. The evidence for this can be seen in two missives, dated 1695AD and 1696 AD, to the High Government of Batavia. The position of Dutch in Coromandel reduced and Bengal took the position of Surat in the Eastern Coast. Towards the end of 18th century Dutch trade in India reduced due to loss of power. The major factor leading to reduction in Dutch power was the destruction that took place in Pulicat during fourth Anglo-Dutch war in 1781AD and the second Anglo-Mysore war. .

Palayakat Lungies The handwoven, handprinted cotton cloth produced in Pulicat which became the traditional wear in the Malay Archipelago, Ceylon and the Arabian Sea islands. The main pattern was that of checks. Surat was a major Dutch trading post on the western coast of India (present day state of Gujarat) Bengal assigned the same status as that of surat in the eastern coast later . 15

At that time the troops of Hyder Ali Khan destroyed most of the southern Dutch factories including those in Pulicat. The town was taken by the British in 1795 AD. But during all these times Dutch presence was always there in Pulicat. A peace treaty was signed between United Kingdom and States general of Netherlands united provinces. Through this the Dutch again sought to establish their power in Coromandel with Pulicat as headquarters. But this was not to happen because of the destruction of infrastructure caused during the war. Finally in 1825 AD Pulicat was ceded to the British. Throughout this period when Pulicat was losing its importance, for around a century, Madras gained prominence under the growing British power. Pulicat was reduced to a small fishing village and was occasionally used by some British as a tourist place for fishing in Pulicat Lake and hunting in the forests of Sriharikota. The only major addition by the British was the construction of Light House in 1895 AD. This was also not for port facilities but to warn the ships about the Pulicat Shoals present in the Sea.


The Light House at Pulicat

The Lighthouse station is separated from Pulicat town by a sea water channel. Pulicat is 20 km by road from Ponneri railway station. There is a regular ferry boat service available to cross the channel and reach the Lighthouse after 5 minutes walk. The lighthouse at this site is meant to warn against the existence of a shoal about 4 NM from the shore. The shoal extends more than 9 NM toward south. The LH expert Mr Alan D Stevenson on his visit to this lighthouse in 1926 observed the light to be extremely low powered for the purpose of marking such danger. Besides he also mentioned about frequent malarial attacks infesting the station.


There was an old Lighthouse positioned adjacent to the present Lighthouse Tower. It was a 20m high brick masonry circular tower with black & white bands. The tower was constructed in the year 1859. The equipment consisting of a fourth order optic with PV light was installed on this tower The equipment remained in service till 1986 after certain modifications carried out in 1910.


.The present light house tower was constructed during 1984-85. The old Light house tower was later dismantled. Sealed beam ‘D’ type lamps were replaced by auto headlights with 24V 100W halogen lamps in 1995. Pulicat will also be a DGPS station. . 16

. Directorate General of Light houses and Lightships

The city of Pulicat Pulicat was the headquarters of the Coromandel Coast for around seven decades of the seventeenth century. During this period it developed into one of the major cities. The commonalities can be identified by comparing a map of the past and the present day layout (old map and present day google image attached in subsequent pages for comparision). Though changes in respect to the usage have taken place, the city as such has retained its pattern to a large extent. 6


Jean - Baptiste Tavernier (1605 - July 1689) was a French traveler and pioneer of trade with India, Born in Paris. His description of Pulicat “Between the town and the fort large open space is left so that the fort is not incommoded by town. The bastions are furnished with good guns, and the sea washes at the foot, but there is no port, and it is only a roadstead.�

The city of Pulicat consisted of two islands. The one on the north which was smaller was called De Coopehang or the Kottai Kuppam or the Christian Kuppam. It was lesser in area than the one to its south. The majority of the local population in this island converted to Christianity. There is a cemetery in the Northwest corner of this Island, which is considered to be the first Dutchcemetery of Pulicat. The island also consists of two churches. One is the Mada Church (Our Lady of Glory Church) on the maincentral spine built by the Portuguese in 1515 AD and the other is St. Antony's Church built by the Dutch in the 17th century. The orientation of both the churches is in opposite direction. Unfortunately only the St. Antony's Church exists today. The Mada church which was in existence till recently was demolished by the Church authorities and a new church is being constructed on the same foot print The larger island on the south is the one where lived the Dutch, Muslims and the Hindus. As is evident from maps, this island was fortified on the western Country side and there was a large gate (Groote Poort). No traces of those fortifications or the gate can be seen today. Within this fortification was the Fort Geldria. The residences of

Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs. The term is derived from the Latin fortis ("strong") and facere ("to make").

higher officials like that of the governor of Coromandel were located inside the fort itself. Today, except for the moat, nothing can be seen on the land where once stood Fort Geldria. Today the site is covered with thorny bushes.

Fort Geldria - It was the name of the Dutch fort at Pulicat It was named after the native province of Wemmer van Berchem, who was the then General Director of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC. 17

To the south west of the fort is the new cemetery. To the south of the Fort and the cemetery is the busy street of Pulicat which is known as the Kottai Street. This was where the Dutch Merchants had their residences during their presence. The space between the residences and the fort wall consisted of rows of trees. At present nothing of the important street's features exist except for some walls which are being scavenged for materials to be used in new buildings under construction. This street has become fully commercial. But the area where business was done during the Dutch time can be seen on the south western side. The two streets crossing perpendicular to each other are now vacant as all the shopkeepers have shifted to the Kottai Street where new shops have come up. The earlier importance of this street can be felt by the large and curious buildings standing on these streets. The old business street ends at a point where we can see the residences of the traditional potter. Fig. 16 Map of Pulicat by Daniel Havert


. Fig. 17 Map of Pulicat around 1690-1705 AD


The eastern side of Kottai Street leads to bridge being constructed to connect Pulicat with light House Kuppam. Earlier there was no such connection and only mode of transport was through small boats. At the Bridge's starting point is the Hospital, which consists of an old Dutch building that could have been used as a port office as the building's faรงade faces the sea. This building is .

one of the few Dutch buildings existing in Pulicat today.

Other important streets in Pulicat are the streets which run perpendicular to the Kottai Street. One of the streets ends at the mosque known as the Periya Jamia Pallivasal (Mosque). Between the Kottai street and the Mosque are the residences of the traditional Muslims. The residences on these streets still retain their character and are in the process of being modified. The perpendicular street on .

the western side leads to the Chinna Pallivasal (Mosque).

A number of Temples built according to traditional temple architecture can be seen on different streets. Some temples retain their original form but unfortunately most of the temples have lost their character due to the insensitive additions done to them. The largest of the temples of Pulicat are the Adi Narayana Perumal Temple and the Samaraeswarar Temple. These temples have their own walls and streets on all the four sides.

Fig. 18 View of old commercial street 20


N Fig. 19 Satellite image of present day Pulicat


Fort Geldria The Dutch first established the factory at Pulicat in1610 AD. Then they felt it necessary to fortify it due to disturbances from local rulers and the Portuguese. The Fort was completed in 1613 AD and was named Fort Geldria. Pulicat was headquarters of Dutch in Coromandel Coast and Fort Geldria served as the seat of power. The said Fort Geldria was destroyed by Hyder Ali during the second Anglo-Mysore war. Then in 1806 AD it was completely destroyed by the British after receiving the news of annexation of Holland to French Empire. At present the site is fully covered with thorny bushes. The profile of the site where once the Fort stood can be easily seen by the water standing on all the four sides of the then moat which was present during the forts existence.


The main reason for the Dutch being so successful for almost two centuries was their talent of making good maps and drawings. A testimony to the above said fact, eight maps containing the plan of Fort Geldria can be seen on the Atlas of Mutual heritage website. Out of the eight maps three maps show the fort with the surroundings and five maps show only the layout of the fort. One more map available drawn by Daniel Havert also has the fort and the City with the outer fortifications. Of the above said nine maps three maps don't have anything shown on the interiors of the fort walls. Other six maps have detailed plans of the interior layout.


Philip Balde or Baelde, or Philippus Baldeaus (October 1632, Delft - 1672, Geervliet) was a Dutch missionary in south and south east Asia. He left behind a full and faithful account of the civil, religious and domestic condition of the countries through which he travelled, one of them being Pulicat “ in liew whereof was afterwards built the fort Geldria, where the Dutch governor keeps his Residence. It is not very large yet fortified with some bulworks, sufficient enough to resist the power of the neighbouring Moors. Mr.Anthony pavilion, counsellor of the indies, had at that time Residence there as governour, after Mr. Cornelius Speelman; and the Garrison consisted of abut 80 or 90 men�

The Anglo-Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought in Southern India over the last three decades of the 18th century between the Kingdom of Mysore (Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan) and the British East India Company, represented chiefly by the Madras Presidency. 22

After analyzing the maps one can reach two assumptions. 1. The maps are in some sort of sequential order and the fort shown in the maps existed during different times after the earlier one was destroyed. 2. The interior layout of the maps follows the same pattern in all the maps with minor layout changes, so it can be assumed that the maps are of the same fort which were drawn either to execute the little changes or drawn after the changes have been executed. From the available data it is not possible to arrive at a final decision on the above two assumptions but a general idea of the fort and its planning can be understood. The Entry One common feature that all the maps follow is the placement of the entrance which is on the southern side facing the main Dutch street. As a moat surrounds the fort the access is through a bridge.


A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes, dams and sluices. In later castles the moat or water defences may be largely ornamental.

Fig. 20 Entry points as seen in different maps

Fig. 21 Section through Pulicat fort

The Different Levels: The fort was at different levels. The lowest level was that of the moat on all sides. Between the moat and the main fort wall was a level which was at the height of the inner ground level of the fort. There was a higher level between the wall and the inner level of the fort. This level was uniform on all sides and in the Bastions for facilitating the easy movement of the Cannons. To reach this level a ramp is provided on the North Eastern Side (one map does not show any provision to access the higher level). 23

The Bastions and the Walls As seen from the maps only one map shows the fort having seven Bastions and it is in rectangular plan. All other plans show the fort having four triangular bastions in a square plan either at right angles or a bit skewed on the north eastern side. This was a preliminary version of The Star Fort concept. Different names are allotted to different bastions and one of the maps clearly indicates the names of the four different bastions. 8


The Star Forts No “Dead” Zones

“Dead” Zones A star fort, or trace italienne, is a fortification in the style that evolved during the age of gunpowder, when cannons came to dominate the battlefield, and was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy. Passive ring-shaped (enceinte) fortifications of the Medieval era proved vulnerable to damage or destruction by cannon fire, when it could be directed from outside against a perpendicular masonry wall. In contrast, the star fortress was a very flat structure composed of many triangular bastions, specifically designed to cover each other, and a ditch. Further structures, such as ravelins, hornworks or crownworks and detached forts could be added to create a complex symmetrical structure. In order to counteract the power of the new weapons, defensive walls were made lower and thicker. They were built of many materials, usually earth and brick, as brick does not shatter on impact from a cannonball like stone does. Another important design modification was the bastions that characterized the new fortresses. In order to improve the defense of the fortress, covering fire had to be provided, often from multiple angles. The result was the development of star-shaped fortresses.

They are 1. Graav Ernest (SE), 2. Graav Willem (NE), 3. Graav Hendrick (NW) and 24

4. Graav maurits (SW).

A bastion is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall (termed curtain), facilitating active defence against assaulting troops. It allows the defenders of the fort to cover adjacent bastions and curtains with defensive fire.The bastion was designed to offer a full range on which to attack oncoming troops. Previous fortifications were of little use within a certain range. The bastion solved this problem. By using a cannon to cover the curtain side of the wall, the forward cannon could concentrate on oncoming targets

The Bastions are located at the edges of the square plan and they project out in a triangular form.

Fig. 22 Plan of Pulicat fort with names of different bastions

Fig. 23 North west bastion as seen in different maps Fig. 24 Devil's watchtower at Fort San Crist贸bal, in Old San Juan (Puerto Rico)

The bastions can be accessed by the ramp near the North West bastion.

Each Bastion has battlements and seven or eight

provision for mounting the cannon in firing position. Two of the maps contain a circular structure at the edge of the Bastion. This could be the watch towers found in different Dutch Forts as shown in figure 24.


Fig. 25 Regenerated 3d view of Pulicat fort from old VOC maps

The house of the Administrator (Wooningh van den Administrator) Graav Maurits South West Bastion

The house of the military officer (De wooningh Vant Hooft of the Militia)

Wooden access bridge over the moat The house of the Governor (De Gouverneurs wooningh)

Tall Flag post viewed by distant ships


Fig. 26 View of south east bastion

Graav Hendrick North West Bastion The house of the pastor (Wooningh van den pendicant) Terrace all round for access to the bastions

Cannons mounted on battlements of the fort wall

Fig. 27 View of bastion having cannons with moat and cemetery in the background


Graav Willem North East Bastion

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier one of the pioneer French traveller and writer. He also visited the courts of great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan at that time. His description of Pulicat and its inhabitants 9

Moat on all sides of the fort

Graav Ernest South East Bastion

“Pulicat is a fort belonging to the Dutch, who occupy the whole length of the coast of Coromandel; It is here they have their factory, and here the chief of all those who live in the territory of Golkonda resides. There are generally about 200 soldiers in garrison in this port, besides many merchants who reside there for trade, and other persons who, having served the company for their full term, have retired to this space� 27


Fig. 28 "The Dutch fort of Paliacate, called the fort of Gueldre," by Bellin, 1751

Fig. 29 Old map of Pulicat (1750 - 1800AD)


The Internal Layout All the plans show two set of buildings within the Fort. The buildings attached to the fort walls and the buildings forming an Island in the centre. As per the other sources the residences of the higher officials were present with in the fort. One of the maps which shows layout of both the city and fort consists of the legend for the letters marked. According to the legend the building found on the eastern side is the residence of the Governor. The Island in the centre, opposite to the governor's residence has the residence of the Chief Officer of the army on the southern side, the residence of the pastor in the northern side and the residence of the administrator in the middle. Another map shows the Christian cross right on the northern wall of the Island confirming it to be the house of the Pastor.

Fig. 30 Old Fort plan with different locations

F - De Gracht van’t fort : The canal of the fort

E - Wooningh van den pendicant : The house of the pastor

A - T Castell Geldria : The Fort Geldria

B - De Gouverneurs wooningh : The house of the Governor

D - Wooningh van den Administrator : The house of the Administrator C - De wooningh Vant Hooft of the Militia : The house of the military officer

Another important feature dominant in all the maps is the row of trees in between the Governors residence and the opposite structure. In some maps trees can also be found on the elevated level near the outer wall of the fort. The governor's residence has a grand bifurcated staircase marking its entrance. The residence of the Pastor, Administrator and the Military officer has the colonnaded verandah with sloping roof marking their entrance. The internal spaces of these residences have courtyards with gardens within. All the structures have either one way or two way sloping roof. 30

Fig. 31 View of Pastors house with Christian cross

Other important Features Three maps are seen with huge flags standing tall on the south eastern bastion. The flags shown are so large in size that they might have been also used to identify the site by the people on the ship. Within the fort, wells were also dug to ensure water supply for the inhabitants. One of the maps shows three wells within the fort walls. The fort during the visit of Baldaeus was garrisoned by 80 to 90 people whereas during the visit of Tavernier was garrisoned by 200 people.

Fig. 33 Old Fort plan showing well locations

Fig. 32 Old Fort plans showing tree locations Fig. 34 Old Fort plans showing Flag


The Pulicat Cemeteries Pulicat has two Cemeteries of historical interest. One is the old Cemetery used before 1656 AD and the other the new Cemetery used after this date.

Fig. 35 Inscription on Dutch tombstone in old cemetery

Fig. 36 Tamil Inscription . on tombstone in old cemetery

The Old Cemetery The old cemetery located on the North West corner of Kottai Kuppam consists of tombstones dating before the new cemetery was opened, though some tombstones are of later period also. As the cemetery is inaccessible due to the presence of thorny bushes a detailed account of the cemetery could not be made. Most of the graves here are of Dutch, some of British and some of the local people. One of the tombstones dating back to 1758 AD has inscriptions done in Tamil. All the graves are in the East-West Alignment.

The New Cemetery The new cemetery, which is three centuries old, is located at the southwest corner of the fort. It consists of a total of 77 graves. Most of the graves belong to the Dutch and most of them have detailed carving on the tomb stones. Five graves have structures built over them. Three of these graves have arched pavilions with detailed cornice and band work supporting the vaulted dome on the top. Two of them are covered with Obelisk on the top with detailed rectangular offsets at the bottom. The entrance gate to the cemetery is a semi circular arched opening. Two skeletons are inscribed on the supports on either side. The key stone is inscribed with a time fly. Words in Dutch language are inscribed on either sides of the key stone. On the left is inscribed a verse from 32

the apocalypse.

Fig. 37 Plan of new cemetery


Fig. 38 View of new cemetery from Northwest side


Fig. 39 View of new cemetery

Fig. 40 View of obelisks inside the new cemetery

Fig. 41 Drawings of different structures inside the new cemetery


“Blessed are they who die in the lord they rest from their labour�

Apocalypse, Chapter XIV, v.13

On the right side of the key stone is an inscription dated 1656.

Above the arch is a classical cornice supporting two ball finials (a small roof ornament which terminates in a point) on two sides with a moulded tympanum, open in the centre to give way to a vase with detailing of floral patterns. From translations available for 20 tombstone carvings we find 11 of the graves are of women and 9 are of men. The average age of women is around 30 yrs and that of men is around 48 yrs.

Fig. 42 Gateway of new cemetery


THE OBELISK An obelisk is a tall, narrow, four-sided, tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top. Ancient obelisks were often monolithic whereas most modern obelisks are made of several stones and can have interior spaces. The term stele (plural: stelae) is generally used for other monumental standing inscribed sculpted stones. Because of the Enlightenment-era association of Egypt with mortuary arts, obelisks became associated with timelessness and memorialization. There are smaller obelisks or similar forms to be found in European, Asian and American cemeteries or as World War I memorials in rural Australian towns.

The Obelisk of Tuthmosis III, Istanbul,Turkey


Examples of the Tomb Stone Carvings Translation

Fig. 46 Drawing of Inscription on the tombstone

On the Oval “When me to life brought * I numbered ten and eight years� Below: Here Lies Buried Neeltj Pieterson daughter of Captain Pieter Huberechtson and the wife of Cornelius Van Wede Died the First October, Anno 1655.

Fig. 47 Photo of Inscription on the tombstone



Fig. 45 Drawing of Inscription on the tombstone

Hereunder lies buried Jan Martenszoon, in his lifetime merchant in the service of the E. Company and chief of the comptoirs Palliacatta, born the 21 June 1667, and died the last March A. 1717, aged 49 years 9 months and 10 days. Here rests he who had no resting So long as he was in life,With all the temporal weary and tired, His soul to God again has he given, in order with him in eternity to obtain the joy among the inhabitants of Heaven,to taste the blessedness prepared for those who die in the Lord.


A story of a Obelisk in Pulicat cemetery found in the old Dutch book “ The rambels of Herr Helterskelter” through the ancient possession of Holland in the East, found in the book ‘Squibs and the other papers, in prose and poetry’ By Madras opium club 1862 - 1863. The above book in the chapter the Legend of Pulicat refers to a story of a merchant who ran away from a ship and made the Island near pulicat his home. Later on he became a good merchant and established his trading contacts with Singapore and even with Japan. A Japanese girl said to be the daughter of


Cubo, who commanded the treasures of Japan, loved and married this said merchant MynHeer Von Higginbottom. It is said in the book that the couple lived secluded and happily with their son until a tragedy struck them. When the son became 18 years old he died due to natures horror. He died in an accident in which his small boat that could not withstand the currents of the monsoon floods, caved in. The body of the boy washed ashore. The couple then buried him in the Cemetery and constructed a large obelisk above a square chamber housing the boys body. The above said tomb in the form of the obelisk standing tall today in Pulicat cemetery. 37


This burial place contains the body of pure lady Sara Linden born‌. Daughter of the deceased Mr. Jules Hercules Linderborg in his life captain of the Borgerij at Columbo, closing her life on the last of December Anno 1673, aged 17 years and 2 months and 12 days. Virgin Sara was only dust and ashe S All in a short time A Death Calls us with her together R Amen, Gods grace lives in SARA (These four lines form a doggerel acrostic on the name Sara, having the letters at start middle and ends of the sentences) Also lies hereunder the honorouble young daughter Elizabeth, Lidenborn, born the 25th November 1660, and at Palliacota, the27th May 1677, died, being only so old (as) 16 yrs, 6 months, minus one day.

Fig. 43 Drawing of Inscription on the tombstone


Fig. 44 Photo of Inscription on the tombstone




Groene Leeuw

Warebouts, Klaas


Klaasz, Wouter


Zwarte Beer

Pater, Adrian Jansz








Witte Beer










Hein, Jakob Pietersz


Denijs, Kornelis Hendriksz



Willemsz, Jan






Kleine Davis Galliasse Nachtegaal Eekhoom




Fig. 48 Examples of Dutch tombstone crests in Pulicat new cemetery


Fransz, Kornelis Bakker, Fijaart Meinderisz -


Texel Texel Texel Texel Texel Vlie Maas

29-12-1611 08-09-1612 17-12-1614 17-08-1615 28-12-1620 24-06-1621 29-12-1620 24-06-1621 01-10-1621 26-05-1622 01-10-1621 26-05-1622 08-01-1624 04-08-1624 04-01-1625 09-09-1625 19-03-1627 04-01-1628 19-03-1627 04-01-1628 12-10-1627 14-07-1628 12-10-1627 09-06-1628 12-10-1627 14-07-1628 28-10-1628 13-07-1629 28-12-1628 13-07-1629 23-04-1661 02-06-1662 14-12-1664 39 27-08-1665


The Pulicat Churches In Pulicat only one church of historic importance remains at present. It is the St. Anthony's Church. The Church is a small one and is located in the NorthEastern part of Kottai-Kuppam. The church is of EastWest orientation facing the Western side. The exterior of the church is marked with an elevation reflecting a style which mostly pertains to the Renaissance style. The base of the Church is a buttressed foundation. On the western facade, above the foundations stand the combination of the rectangular base, the circular pilasters in Tuscan style and entablature with simple cornice. In the centre of this is a semi-circular arch below which is a rectangular opening with two double folding doors. The pilasters are paired and two pairs are seen on each side. Above the entablature is a horizontal plane with pointed arch openings broken at different points by rectangular Pilasters into three portions. It has two smaller portions on the sides and single broader portion in the middle. This wall in turn supports a chamber with small semicircular arch housing a small statue. A facade is generally one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face".In architecture, the facade of a building is often the most important from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the

Fig. 49 Front elevation of St. Antony’s Church

building. Many facades are historic, and local zoning regulations or other laws greatly restrict or even forbid

On either side of this is a pair of small circular pilasters, a curved relief work and an elongated pyramid shaped spire resembling a small obelisk housing the

their alteration. 40

Christian cross. Above the central portion is the Pediment (low triangular crowning above doors and windows) housing a larger wooden Christian cross.

The interior of the Church is divided into two parts only, namely, the Chancel and the Nave by a semi-circular arch and a level difference. The Chancel is one third the length and the Nave is the remaining two thirds. The Chancel houses the Altar having a small podium with three dwarf walls at different heights. Above this is the relic of St. Anthony. The Church has three windows on the south side and two windows on the north side. All windows are housed within semicircular arches. The window shutters consists of Christian cross, made of wood, inscribed in it. The whole structure is covered with a sloped roof, sloping towards north and south.

Fig. 51 Interior of St. Antony’s Church

Fig. 50 St. Antony’s Church 13

Fig. 52 Window detail


1608 - 1610 Pieter Issack Eyloff

1633 -1636 Maerten Isbrantszoon(II time)

1610 - 1612 Johan van Wesicke


1612 - 1615 Wemmer van Berchem

1638 - 1643 Arent Gardenijs (II time)


1643 - 1650 Arnold Heussen

Hans de Haze (I time)


1616 - 1617 Samuel Kint

1650 - 1651 Laurens Pit (I time)

1617 - 1619 Adolf Thomassen


1619 - 1620 Hans de Haze (II time)

1652 - 1663 Laurens Pit (II time)

1620 - 1622 Andries Soury (I time)

1663 - 1665 Cornelis Speelman

1622 - 1624 Abraham van Uffelen

1665 - 1676 Anthonie Paviljoen

1624 - 1626 Andries Soury (II time)

1676 - 1679 Jacques Caulier

1626 - 1632 Maerten Isbrantszoon (I time)

1679 - 1681 Willem Carel Hartsinck


1681 - 1686 Jacob Joriszoon Pits

Arent Gardenijs (I time)

1632 - 1633 David Pieterszoon

Jacob de With

1686 - 1698 Laurens Pits de jonge

Cornelis Speelman 41

Another church also located in Kottai-Kuppam is said to be the older one and dates back to Portuguese time around 1515AD. It is called “Our Lady of Glory Church� This was in the form of the Christian Cross, having the nave and the perpendicular transepts (side chambers). The nave and the transepts had sloping roof on steel metal supports and the intersection point had the flat roof with battlements on the parapet above it. The elevation has characteristics of the Gothic style.

Fig. 55 Regenerated 3d view of the demolished Our Lady of Glory Church

Fig. 53 Front elevation of Our Lady of Glory Church

Fig. 54 Old inscription found on the entry


The rectangular windows were done in with pointed arch openings. The Church had the bell tower on the north eastern side. The church also had a stone slab installed by one Peter Paul Flagman at the entrance of the church. The details inscribed are in Portuguese. This Church is to be seen no more as the Church authorities have demolished it to give way to a new Church.

Fig. 56 Photo of the church taken before demolition

Fig. 57 Interior photo of the church taken before demolition


The Pulicat Temples Almost all the streets except a few have their own temples and all the temples except a few are old ones. Unfortunately most of the temples have undergone major changes and have lost their character. The temples that still retain their old character are the Adi Narayana Perumal Temple, the Samyaeswarar Temple and three other temples which are in ruins today. All these temples are close to each other, within a radius of half a kilometre. Adi Narayana Perumal koil This Temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Though the exact date of its construction is not known, an inscription on one of the shrines points its period to be of Vijayanagara Empire and that this temple was built by Balavandakulu. The temple has a

Fig. 58 Sri Adi Narayana Perumal koil entrance gateway

walled enclosure with a large gateway. The gate way on the eastern side has wooden doors but it cannot be deciphered from the present state whether there was Gopuram above the gateway or not. Inside the walls, the temple houses three shrines


The main Adi Narayana Perumal Sannidhi (shrine) in the centre, Thaayyaar Sannidhi to South West and the Aandaal Sannidhi to the North West. The other structures include a small mandapam facing the main shrine which houses the Garuda. On the eastern side of this small structure is a platform to house the Dwajasthambam and further east to it is the nicely carved Balipeetam. There is also an old well within the enclosure. Abutting the well there was a shrine but of now there are no remains of the said shrine.


Fig. 59 Garuda’s shrine, Dwajasthambam & Balipeetam

All the three shrines have common planning. They have the entry to the shrine through a Pillared hall the Mandapam. The next transitional space is the Antrala which leads into the main Garba Griha the Sanctum Sanctorum. The Columns in the Mandapam of the main shrine and Thaayar Shrine are square in plan and of neatly carved stone, supporting a stone structure above whereas the columns of Aandaal Shrine are of wood supporting the wooden structure above.

Fig. 60 Sri Adi Narayana Perumal sannidhi gopuram .

The four materials used in construction are laterite blocks, stone, bricks and lime plaster. The main material used is the laterite block, a unique fact with respect to the temples in Tamil Nadu. Laterite which is in abundance in Malabar and the Konkan coast is not available in the Coromandel Coast. Hence the use of this material makes it all the more important as regards temple architecture in Tamil Nadu. Laterite moulds have been used to create the interesting moulded niches on the outer surface of the main shrine. The structural system is made up of the stone columns, beams and stone ceiling slabs. The Vimanas on top of the Garba Grihas have been done in brick moulds. Lime plaster has been used for plastering on the outer surface over the laterite blocks. Fig. 61 Different carvings depicting Visual illusion

Different carvings can be seen on the columns and beams. The whole story of Ramayana is depicted on the beams in the main shrine mandapa's central aisle. This is done with figurines of not more than 8 inches in height. Some of the inscriptions on the columns have been done with an idea of visual illusion. The best example of this being the inscription of monkeys eating fruits. It seems like two monkeys are juxtaposed in the opposite direction. A keen observation of the same reveals that it is not two monkeys but four monkeys facing different sides. Another inscription having three human figures with the same concept of illusion can be seen in one of the columns.

Fig. 62 Sri Adi Narayana Perumal koil


Sri Adi Narayana Perumal sannidhi Fig. 64 Telugu inscription

Fig. 63 Front facade of Thaayyaar sannidhi

Thaayyaar Sannidhi with Telugu inscription giving reference to the period of construction (Vijanagara period) and the patron (Balvandakulu)

Fig.65 Reconstructed rear view of Vimana above Garba Graha



Fig. 66 Reconstructed 3d view of Sri Adi Narayana Perumal koil

Aandal Sannidhi

Ardha Mandapa with the depiction of the entire Ramayana on the supporting beams

Garuda Sannidhi Dwajasthambam pedam Balipedam

Fig. 68 Sri Aandal Sannidhi

Entrance gateway Walled enclosure

Fig. 67 Inscriptions of Ramayana

Fig. 69 The laterite moulds have been used to create the interesting moulded nicheson the outer surface of the main Shrine.


The Samayaeswarar Temple The Samayaeswarar Temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. This is located to the Eastern Side of the Adi Narayana Perumal Temple. The main entrance to the temple is on the southern side where a Gateway with stuck wooden doors stands. Hence, entry inside the complex is from a newly created small door adjacent to the main door. The gate way consists of wooden beams on nicely carved wooden brackets above the wooden columns. The Gateway directly leads to the mandapam in front. The entry to the Mandapam is on the southern side which in turn leads into another mandapam on the northern side. Here the alignment of the temple changes. On the Western side of the second Mandapam is the main Garbha Griha and on the Eastern side are the Nandi and the Dhwajasthambha. Surrounding the main shrine is the open ground. This temple also has interesting inscriptions and carvings on its columns each depicting different stories of the past. The temple has undergone some

Fig. 70 Entrance gateway

irreversible changes like the reconstruction of the main Vimana and painting it yellow and adding some figurines in arched niches above the mandapam.


Fig. 71 Mandapa of the main shrine

Fig. 72 Nandhi shrine, Balipeetam & Dwajasthambam

Fig. 73 Different Carvings and Sculptures

Another interesting and unique feature of this temple is a small stepped well used to draw water. The Circular Well

Fig.74 Schematic cut section of stepped well The Circular parapet Podium

Descending steps to water level

Fig. 75 Stepped well

Other Temples Of the other temples retaining their Tunnel Leading to Water level Water level

character only one is being used and other two are in ruins and does not even have the Deity. One of the Temples has wooden support system whereas

Fig. 76 Other temples at Pulicat

one temple is of bricks and has vaulted roof.


The Mosques of Pulicat Throughout its history Pulicat has been inhabited by Muslims and this is evident from the number of mosques and Muslim residences found on the streets of Pulicat. The important mosques of Pulicat are The Periya Jamiya Pallivasal, The Chinna Pallivasal and the Keela pallivasal. Fig. 77 Periya Jamia mosque

The Periya Jamia Pallivasal: The Mosque was built around the 17th century AD. To face the direction of the prayer (the Kiblah) the mosque has been aligned at an angle to the nearby streets. The Mosque enclosure is a rectangular piece of land walled on all sides containing the entrance Gateway, the main prayer hall, the adhaan (call for prayer) structure, the Ablution tank, the Khabristan (graveyard) and the toilet block. The entrance gateway is a rectangular structure facing the street. A wooden double-door swinging inwards is located in the middle of this structure. On the outside the traditional sitting area (Thinnai) is provided. The structure's roof is supported by square stone columns in the middle and circular brick piers on the edges. The structure has a rectangular roof outside and on the inner side the asbestos sheet roof slopes down.

On top of it is the parapet with green jali work above which rest the small Terracotta minarets with crescent and star symbols at the top. When you enter the complex you can see the prayer hall on the western side. The entry to the prayer hall is marked by a small well proportioned adhaan tower. The tower is a square structure platform for the Muezzin supporting a small dome on the four columns with foliated arches in between them. This is accessed by seven steps. The main mosque is divided into the main colonnaded inner prayer hall and the outer Verandahs (also used for praying). The three outer verandahs are to the North, South and East direction of the main prayer hall. The verandahs are divided from the main hall by thick walls. Three entrance doors lead into the main prayer hall from three sides. The main prayer hall having 16 columns (pillars) divide the space into five rows and five columns. 50

Fig. 78 Adhaan tower

These columns support the roof at different heights, with the central portion being the highest. The hall has a Mimbar and Mihrab on the western wall toward kiblah as is seen on all the mosques. A small arched corridor directly connects the southern Verandah with the open ablution tank. On the eastern side of the complex is the graveyard. Some of the graves are marked with intricately carved grave stones standing vertically on the northern side of the grave. One such grave is that of Mustafa Maraikkyar the founder of the mosque as claimed by the local Muslims. Fig. 79 Interior of the mosque

The mosque's structural system is the same as that of the temples of that time, but the architectural character by and large is different based on Islamic laws. The columns used as the main support systems are square at the base and the top. The centre portion of the column is divided into two parts with the lower portion being octagonal and the upper lengthier portion being hexa-decagon (16 sided). All the inscriptions on the columns and the beams are of floral pattern. Of all, the two columns seen on the entry of the eastern verandah are very unique. These two columns have an added square portion with detailed carving. This would have been done to mark the entrance. The outer faรงade of the mosque has a sloped chajja above the columns. Above the chajja is the parapet with small minarets at regular intervals. Uncharacteristic of Islamic mosques there is no dome on top of the mosque. Fig. 80 Interior 3d view of the mosque

Fig. 81 Detail of the ornamental column

Fig. 82 Arabic inscription on the tombstone

Chhajja is the term for projecting eaves or cover usually supported on large carved brackets, as used in Indian architecture (especially Mughal). More than providing shade they also act as heat sinks for the buildings in the hot region


Eastern verandah Southern colonnaded verandah

Fig. 83 Reconstructed 3d view of Adhaan tower on the Eastern side open verandah

Ablution tank (Hauz)

Adhaan tower Graveyard with vertical Tombstones having Arabic inscription


Fig.84 Reconstructed 3d view of Southern verandah and arches from ablution tank

Main prayer hall

Northern colonnaded verandah

Ornamental columns

Fig.85 Reconstructed 3d view of Periya Jamia mosque

Fig.86 Reconstructed 3d view of the Eastern verandah with Adhaan tower in the fore ground

Mustafa Maraikkair's (founder) grave


Fig. 87 The Chinna Pallivasal

The Chinna Pallivasal The Chinna Pallivasal was constructed in 1708 AD as has been inscribed in its entrance. The Planning of this mosque is same as the Periya Jamiya pallivasal with inner prayer hall, the Verandahs, the Adhaan tower, the ablution tank, the khabristhan and the toilets. The two interesting features of this mosque are the sundial installed in 1914 AD and a marker which was used to find time before the sundial was installed.


Fig. 88 Jalli in the mosque window


The name of the installer Haji Mohammed Hussain Sahib, Muthialpet, Chennai.


Timing for differnt Sects for evening prayer The pointer The sundial podium

Fig. 89 Verandah of the mosque

The Keela Pallivasal It is a small mosque abutting the Samayaeswarar temple compound, an unique feature where a mosque and temple share a common wall. The mosque is around a century old and colonial influences can be seen in its architectural style. Date : 1334 Hijri The name of the maker Muhammed Abdullah Ahkar

A view of the Sun Dial Showing the raised Pointer

The name of verifier Hazrat Moulvi Haji Mehmood Sahib

Fig. 91 Chinna pallivasal

Fig. 90 Pointer to indicate time on the flooring


Pulicat Mint and Coins To carry on a flourishing trade with huge movements of goods it was indispensable that Pulicat mint its own coins or pagodas. Within the fortifications of Fort Geldria, the Dutch established a mint for this purpose. Initially, the coins struck by the Dutch in Pulicat had the VOC monogram with a Sanskrit legend. This must have been done when the region was under the Hindu Kings. Later, the Dutch sought permission from Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah of Golkonda to mint coins. The Sultan gave them permission on one condition that his stamp “the King of Golconda” will be printed on the coins. SPECIFICATIONS

One Kas Pulicat Coin Fig. 92 One Kas Pulicat Coin

Two Kas Pulicat Coin SPECIFICATIONS Denomination

Two Kas






13 mm


3.8 mm

Weight Legal

3.30 gram


3.40 gram





Die Axis


56 Mint


Fig. 93 Two Kas Pulicat Coin


One Kas






9.5 mm


3.2 mm

Weight Legal

1.65 gram


1.55 gram





Die Axis




Five Cash Pulicat Coin

SPECIFICATIONS Fig.94 Five Cash Pulicat Coin


Five Cash






17.5 mm


----- mm

Weight Legal

8.25 gram


8.29 gram





Die Axis




Ten Cash Pulicat Coin SPECIFICATIONS Denomination

Ten Cash






21.0 mm


----- mm

Weight Legal

16.5 gram


16.39 gram





Die Axis




Fig.95 Ten Cash Pulicat Coin


The Pulicat Gun Powder Factory From as early as 1620 AD a gunpowder factory started functioning in Pulicat. The main ingredients used in the manufacture were Saltpetre, Sulphur and Coal. To manufacture 24lbs of gunpowder they used 20lbs of Saltpetre, 31lbs of Sulphur and the remaining being coal. The factors leading to the establishment of gunpowder factory were the presence of a good harbour with excellent shipping facilities, the strategic location of Pulicat for distribution to other ports and the availability of one of the key components, Saltpetre in abundance in the area. This establishment at Pulicat became the main supplier of gunpowder for the eastern countries. The factory produced large quantities and the Dutch in Pulicat could boast

Fig.96 Edge - runner mill in a restored mill, at Eleutherian mills

“A few days ago we received from Masulipatnam 18,000 lbs of refined Saltpetre and an additional 8,000 lbs from the southern comptoirs (trading posts), so that we are once again zealously manufacturing gunpowder. Consequently, we have been able to ship 15,000 lbs of freshly made gunpowder to Batavia and 10,000 lbs of the same to Malacca. Ceylon has ordered a further 50,000 lbs, which we expect to send by the beginning of October. By that time we shall also have manufactured an additional 10-15,000 lbs for Batavia to fill Your Honour's order for 100,000 lbs. Please let us know how much gunpowder Your Honour requires for the year 1654. However, we shall first need to be supplied with Dutch or Taiwanese refined sulphur, without which the manufacture of gunpowder will me to a standstill. What is left of the Chinese sulphur here in Pulicat is little better than dirt from which nothing can be refined”. One of the major reasons for the success of the factory was the ready availability of Saltpetre, which was facilitated by the local merchants. Malaya Chetti was an important trader both in textiles and Saltpetre. With his help the Dutch procured much of Saltpetre through their southern comptoirs (Tegenepatnam and Nagapatnam) at 50 guilders per bahar of 480 lbs. Malaya Chetti and his family had very close relations with various courts of the region hence he was of great help to Dutch. He died on 8 March 1634 and the Dutch regretted his death and even wrote to Batavia informing the death and what effect it would have on their trade relations in the inner countries. “..his death will cause a tremendous decline in the acquisition of textiles, which will surely be felt hence forth. For 25 or 26 years he conducted excellent trade on our behalf”. After Malaya's death the Dutch worried about the steady supply of saltpetre. They contacted Chinnana, his brother. He promised to supply them with 150-200,000 lbs of saltpeter in the course of the next ten months and, if they wished, he would see to it that they received a yearly supply of 400,000 lbs. At last, the uninterrupted production of gunpowder at the VOC's factory in Pulicat seemed, once again, assured. Though the factory was of great use to the Dutch in making of gunpowder, there were times when there were shortcomings. Batavia (the Company's headquarters in the East) once complained to its governor in Coromandel that, “even though they were far from wasteful, they would nonetheless have been hard pressed to supply the homeward-bound ships as well as the Moluccas, Banda,Amboina and Taiwan with gunpowder had it not been for the fleet that had arrived from the Netherlands”. The main reason for the shortcomings being the availability of Sulphur, which as seen earlier was not of good quality. The gunpowder of Pulicat was of excellent quality and more durable than that sent 58from

the Netherlands. The cost of the gun powder produced at Pulicat was approximately three to four stivers a pound.

Storage and Transportation Gunpowder was stored in Burmese Martaban Jars at Pulicat. This helped in storing for years on end without needing to be turned or stirred. First, the jars were tightly sealed with plaster (chunnam), then a piece of lead sheeting was provided across the top, and then it was covered with gunny sacks and plastered over. The gunpowder sealed in this way could be stored intact for another ten years. Batavia impressed by the kind of storing done in Pulicat, pried open the ceiling of one of their storage cellars and installed eighteen large Martaban jars in order to store gunpowder in the Pulicat way. Transportation of gunpowder was usually done in powder kegs and meticulous care had to be taken during transportation. When no powder kegs were available, the gunpowder would sometimes have to be shipped in Martaban jars. But Pulicat was extremely wary of this, for if the glazed pots were jolted or indeed shattered, the powder could ignite, for even though the jars were first lined with jute sacking, the powder always seeped through. Gunpowder in Martabans on sailing vessels was very dangerous as it was combustible cargo under any circumstances; therefore the Dutch in Pulicat preferred

Fig.97 A modern Martaban jar

wooden casks (105 lbs each). These . were secured with wooden pegs and bound with rattan. Batavia would return the casks and pegs to Pulicat after having transferred the gunpowder to the Martaban jars in their cellars. This was done to reduce cost of new casks and pegs. The huge Martaban jars were considered the most suitable for long-term storage on land. The VOC's gunpowder factory in Pulicat was undoubtedly of major importance to the Company from the early 1620s to at least the late 1650s. Though it was closed down, but when it was functioning it was one of the major suppliers of gunpowder. The main reason for its closure could have been the localized manufacturing of gunpowder in the east.


Fig.98 A typical wooden cask


The Pulicat Slave Trade One of the other important factors leading to the establishment of Dutch factories in the Coromandel Coast was the ready availability of Slaves. The Dutch felt there was a huge requirement of slaves to work in plantations of eastern countries. The first major requirement was felt in 1621 AD when the Dutch, under the governor Jan Pietersz Coen killed all the natives of Banda Island who refused to give away their land to foreigners. That year in June 150 boys and girls were shipped to Batavia in Schoonhoven. The cost of each slave depended upon the situation in the region where the slaves were procured from. If the conditions were good in the region and there was good harvest then the price of the important commodities like rice were cheap. During this time finding slaves was a difficult job and the slaves were costly. During the time of bad harvest or when famine struck, the prices of the commodities sky rocketed then the availability of the slaves was more and hence cheaper.


The price of Slaves procured from Pulicat during the expensive years ranged somewhere between 27 and 40 Guilders, whereas during the cheaper years the price could drop to as little as 4 guilders. Most of the slaves at Pulicat were from Bengal in the north and from Carcal and Tegnampattinam in the south. The Slaves were occasionally categorized as Muslims, Hindus or sometimes Caffers. Slaves were generally clothed in Dungarees, a cotton cloth much like a loin cloth. Sometimes it was dyed with a black stripe running through the middle. Dungarees were also used for sails of Proas and for packing material, especially to cover other important textiles. Guinea cloth was also used as clothing for slaves. The daily ration included rice, dried fish and sesame oil. The quota of rice for each slave every day was 1.13 lbs of rice.


Life and Culture of Pulicat The people of Pulicat belonged mainly to the religions of Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. All religions are at least four centuries old. Christianity was introduced by the Portuguese and strengthened by the Dutch, Islam was brought by the Arabs deported from Iraq during Chola times and Hinduism evolved from even before these religions. The presence of significant religiousstructures, as seen in earlier chapters, bears testimony to the existence of these religions. The Hollanders of Pulicat

Fig. 99 VOC members in a meeting

The general account of the living ways of Dutch people in the Coromandel Coast can be obtained from the book of Philip Baldaeus who was the Minister of the word of God in Ceylon. The people commonly rise with sun rise. Some people wash their head and body as soon as they come out of the bed. Some do it three to four times a week. Mostly they wash their body and head with lukewarm water. According to Baldaeus washing three or four times a week was the best procedure which suited the climate of the region. They changed their cloths every day irrespective of them taking bath daily. Most of the Hollanders and also the natives sleep in the afternoon because the time being unfit for carrying out business in high heat. While there is no account of 15

Madras in Olden Time, By J Talboys Wheeler

“The Dutch company encouraged the matrimonial desires of their servants, and invested husbands and fathers with peculiar privileges; and to this day the effigies of many a rare Dutch vrow may still be seen in strange antiquated burying ground at Pulicat. The portuguese were even more fortunate, for their king had been long in the habit of sending out small cargoes of orphan girls, well born and indefinitely well proportioned, to become wifes to his subjects in India; and a good story is said how a portuguese ship, with three of these maidens on board, was captured by Dutch and carried in triumph to Surat, where the young ladies were promptly married to the three of the most eminent Dutch merchants in the settlement, to the everlasting dispair and desolution of the amorous portuguese�. 61

the food habits of the Dutch a lot has been said about the drinking habits. Brandy and liquor are not used by most of the wiser men in the morning but a spoonful just before dinner and a little at night before going to sleep. The Dutch at the time Baldaeus visit liked to take Tea which was mainly imported from China. The chief virtue of tea was to disperse the gross vapors of the head and stomach and to exhilarate the spirits. The general drink of the Dutch was that of water and sugar boiled together. After taking tea at 3 or 4'o' clock they go for a evening walk. They sleep at around 10 or 11 o clock on Quilts. They need to cover their whole body for the fear of cramps when sleeping exposed to open sky. Hollanders were allowed to marry the locals unlike the Portuguese whomarried only those of Portuguese origin. Much is not known about the Portuguese of that period. Though the population of the Dutch in Pulicat was high for about two centuries no one of that origin can be seen in Pulicat today. The main reason being the seize of the place by the British in 1825 AD and reduction of its importance thereafter. Their presence is felt though, through the two cemeteries when one visits them.

. The Hindus of Pulicat The Hindus have been present in Pulicat through out. They were a major presence before the entry of the Dutch and the battle of Tallikota. After the battle, power of Pulicat kept on shifting between the Hindu and the Muslim rulers. During this period Hindu presence considerably reduced in Pulicat. There were certain prominent personalities like Achuthappa Chetty and his brother Cinnana Chetti who did good trade with the Dutch. At present Hinduism is a major presence in Pulicat. All the major Hindu festivals like Diwali, Pongal are celebrated in Pulicat. A detailed account of Hindus of the region in and around Vijyanagara is given by Reverend Abraham Rogerius. He was the product of Semanarium of Wales. He preached in Pulicat for 10 years. He gained all the knowledge about the Different castes of Hindus and their rituals etc., from a Brahman called Padmanabha. According to him Pilgrimage to Tirupathi from Pulicat was a few days journey and yearly three festivals were celebrated at Tirupathi. People from Pulicat also visited Tirupathi during these auspicious occasions. The three festivals were for three different classes of people. Another interesting fact given in the book is about the Pongal festival which according to him was celebrated on the 9th of January.

Fig. 100 "Clothing of Bisnagar [Vijayanagar]," 62

a Dutch engraving by *Cornelius Hazart*, 1667



Sati is a funeral practice among some Hindu communities in which a recently widowed woman would either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. This practice is now rare and outlawed in modern India. The term is derived from the original name of the goddess Sati, also known as Dakshayani, who self-immolated because she was unable to bear her father Daksha's humiliation of her (living) husband Shiva.


When King Venkata I the ruler of Pulicat, died in 1614AD, his three wifes, including Obayama and Eraivi, burnt themselves with the corpse. The Muslims of Pulicat The presence of Muslims in Pulicat dates back to the Chola period. As has been said in earlier chapters their origin is from the people of the ship who landed in Pulicat from Arabia. A few Muslims of this origin still remain there. Throughout the history they have been a very important presence in Pulicat, mainly as overseas traders and boat builders. The Muslims mainly belong to the community of Maraikkayars and the Lebbais. The continuous presence of Muslims has led to the construction of some mosques in Pulicat. The main contribution for the construction of the mosques has been during the period of the Deccan sultanates and the Nawabs. At present a Madarsa (Arabic college) is being run at the Chinna pallivasal in Pulicat. The general religious festivities of Eid, Milad un Nabi and the Bakri eid is commonly celebrated Fig. 101 Muslim members of Mohammedan group at 1910 AD

in Pulicat. Other than these the annual Urs of the Dargah located near the Periya Pallivasal is also celebrated.


The Christians of Pulicat The entry of Christianity into Pulicat happened by the entry of the Europeans. The first of them were the Portuguese, and then the Dutch and the British followed. The major Christian population is present in the northern island of Kottai Kuppam or the Christian kuppam. As said in earlier chapters there were two old churches out of which one has been demolished to give way for the new one on the same foot print. The important festival celebrated by the Christians of Pulicat is the St. Anthony's which they celebrate with pomp and fair. Christmas and other Christian festivals are also celebrated.


Pulicat and Its Industries The major source of livelihood for the people of Pulicat has been fishing. The main source of fish is the Pulicat Lake, though the resources in the Pulicat Lake are depleting. Other types of cottage industry prevalent today at Pulicat are the pottery and the palm leaf weaving industries. Palm leaf weaving has been practiced in Pulicat for at least more than 50 years. The PULICAT PALM LEAF PRODUCT WORKERS COOPERATIVE INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY Ltd. was formed on 25-09-1959. This society has grown to a large extent and at present has 315 members. Fig. 102 Potters at work at a potter’s hamlet in Pulicat

Fig. 103 Palm leaf weavers and their products at Pulicat palm leaf society


Pulicat Drinking Water Storage System An interesting system of water storage that was done long ago is still being followed by some people of Pulicat. Water is stored in large quantities in huge Jars. The total capacity of these jars is around 250 liters. These jars made up of mud called Pasi and were imported from Thailand. The jars are filled with rain water and an iron rod is heated red hot and introduced into the jar. Only this process is enough to keep the water good even for drinking for up to at least a year. Fig. 104 The large jars used for water storage

The Secular Architecture of Pulicat In the earlier chapters we have dealt in detail about the monumental structures which have been testimony to the history of Pulicat. Other than the aforesaid structures the secular architecture of Pulicat with its small and large structures are a treat to ones eyes. One of the most prominent of this is the Namashivaya Vilas which was constructed in 1937AD. This is a two storey tall structure. One of the striking features of this building is the detailing in elevation. Most of the residences have the common character of having the courtyard style planning with the front thinnai and the sloping roof. Some of these houses have intricately carved main doors.


Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605 - July1689) Fig. 105 Thinnai of a traditional house in Pulicat

Fig. 106 Detailed carving on the entrance door

was a French traveller and pioneer of trade with India, born in Paris, where his father Gabriel and uncle Melchior, Protestants from Antwerp, pursued the profession of cartographers and engravers. He happened to stay in Pulicat in mid 17th century.

“The manner in which the inhabitants procure water for drinking is some what remarkable. When the tide is out they go on the sand as close to the sea as possible, and on making holes there, they find sweet water which is excellent�.


There is also a street with a number of shops which have been closed. This used to be a bustling shopping street three or four decades ago before the fish market came up in the Kottai Street and all the shopping activity shifted to the new shops constructed near by. The character of the active shopping street is thus lost but one can imagine the hectic activity which would have been taken place during it's hey days.

Fig. 107 Old market street

Fig. 108 A small shop with sloping roof


Fig. 109 Early 20th century house

Fig. 110 Wooden bracket detail

Fig. 111 Dutch building inside hospital compound

One of the old Dutch buildings still remaining intact is the one which is seen in the Hospital complex near the new bridge. This building could have been used as Port office during the Dutch days. This building with tall four side sloping roof and verandah with typical circular columns found in other Dutch buildings, has also been indicated in some of the Old Dutch maps. At present this building is being used as storage by the hospital authorities. Fig. 112 Building near the church

Fig. 113 Detailed creative carving


Pulicat Lake

The Pulicat Lake is a back water lagoon, mainly of salt water situated between 13deg33' to 13deg66' North latitude and 80deg 23' to 80deg 25' East longitude. The total expanse of the lake during high tide was around 450 and it reduces to an area of 250 during low tide. But at present the entire extent of the lake is around 350 only. 84% of the lake is in Andhra Pradesh and the remaining 16% is in Tamil Nadu. This lake is divided from the sea by a spindle shaped island Sriharikota where the Satish Dhawan space centre is located. Three rivers namely Arni, Kalangi and the Swarnamukhi flow into the Pulicat lake at different points. At present the mouth of Swarnamukhi on the north, is fully silted up. River Kalangi meets on the North West and the Arni meets the lake on the South. The lake contains two inhabitated islands on the northern side namely Venaadu and Irukkam.


Fig. 114 Snapshots of the beautiful Pulicat lake

There is a marked difference in the salinity of water during different seasons. The salinity level is as high as 52 ppm during summer to zero during the monsoon. This is mainly because of the lake mouth. The depth of the Pulicat Lake has also reduced markedly. It is reducing at a speed of a meter a century. Depth of the lake was around 3.5 m during the 17th century and the Dutch used it as a natural harbour, at present the average depth of the lake is less than one meter.


Flora and Fauna A total of 168 different fish species have been identified in the lake. The most commonly found are Mullets: M. cunnesius, M. jerdoni, M. dussumieri, M. cephalus, M. bornensis and Blowfish: T. nigropunctatus, T. leopardus, Barbus dorsalis, Catfish Macrones vittatus, Sardines: Sardinella fimbriata. The shallow lake is known for its diversity of aquatic birds and is an important stopover on migration routes and is reported to be the third most important wetland on the eastern coast of India for migratory shorebirds, particularly during the spring and autumn migration seasons. In view of the rich avifauna of the lagoon, two bird sanctuaries are established in the lagoon, one in each of the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Fig. 115 Snapshots of the birds in Pulicat lake


Fig. 116 Flamingo’s seen in Pulicat lake

The Andhra Pradesh portion of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, established in September 1976, has an area of 172 square kilometers within the lagoon's total area in the state in the Tada Taluk of Nellore district. The Wildlife Division of the state has listed 115 species of water and land birds in the sanctuary. The Tamilnadu part of the lagoon of 60 square kilometers area, extending over the Ponneri and Gummidipundi taluks of Thiruvallur district was declared a Bird Sanctuary in October 1980. Every year approximately 15,000 Greater Flamingos are reported to visit the lake along with pelicans, kingfishers, herons, painted storks, spoonbills and ducks. The highest concentrations of flamingo are found in the periphery of the lagoon where the water level is below40 centimetres (16 in). The concentrations of flamingos are also associated with high algal, fish and benthic diversity. Other water birds in the area include Spot-billed Pelican, seven species of herons and egrets, Painted Stork, Greater Flamingos, ducks, 20 species of shorebirds, gulls, terns, Little Grebe, Indian Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Asian Openbill Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Lesser Whistling Teal, Spotbill Duck, Great Thick-knee and Stone Curlew. Several species of wintering waterfowl have been noted including Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern and Caspian Tern Birds of prey which appear in winter are the: White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Harriers and Peregrine Falcons.



Fig. 117 Some birds species found in Pulicat Lake


Sadras Sadras is situated around 17km south of Mahabalipuram, in between Kalpakkam Nuclear Power plant and its township. Not much is known about its history. It was a port with international contacts, the main export being Muslin cloth besides pearls and edible oils. Like Pulicat, Sadras also had its own set of names used during different periods. An inscription dated 1353 refers to the place by the name Rajanarayanan Pattinam during the period of the Sambuvarayars (local feudatories under the Cholas), after a Sambuvarayar chieftain who ruled the region between AD 1337 and 1367. A Vijayanagara period (15th century) inscription gives the name as Sadiravasagan Pattinam with a reference to the deity at the local Vishnu temple. This name could have been altered and came to be known as Sadurangapattinam. This was further shortened to Sadirai. The English eventually called it Sadras and this is how it is known today. Sadras was a flourishing weaver's settlement

Fig. 118 Entrance of Sadras fort with cannons

during the medieval period from 10th century to 16th century. . Later on, when it was taken over by the Dutch it gained importance in view of its due to large scale export of Muslin cloth. The Dutch established a factory first in 1648 AD and later on when it was necessary to protect it, a small fort was constructed which was later increased in size to the present size with four bastions. Only three bastions exist today.

The Sadras Fort The Fort Walls and Bastions The Sadras Fort is a rectangular construction aligned in East West direction. Each of the corners has a triangular bastion protruding out (one of which missing today). The Fort wall marks the periphery of the fort and is made up of bricks. The main Fort wall consists of the battlements large enough to mount cannons. Inside the Fort wall is another wall of less height. The space between the two walls is filled with earth forming a higher plane used for defensive purposes, such as to mount cannons on the battlements and also to provide strength to outer main wall. This higher level can be accessed by the ramp on the north east side (mainly for the cannons) and the stairs on the south east side. The bastion on the south east corner is missing today; instead a circular structure to the height of the wall stands near it. The entrance to the fort is on the western side. This is marked by a circular watch tower with a dome surmounted on a semicircular vaulted way acting as a 72 transition

from exterior to interior.

The Cemetery The interior of the Fort consists of the cemetery to the South West. The Cemetery consists of nineteen tombs in all. All the Tombstones are elaborately carved. The tombs are dated between 1670 AD and 1790 AD. One of the tombs is interesting with carved tombstones at two different levels, one on the slab below and other on the slab at a raised level supported on small carved columns. The Secret Chambers An opening from the cemetery on the southern side leads into the secret passage Fig. 119 Cemetery

.This passage leads to the secret chambers below the triangular bastion. This could have Fig. 120 A unique dutch tomb with two levels of tomb stones been used as dungeons or for storage of gun powder and ammunition. The chamber is

created in the center of the Bastions taking the form of the bastions and is surrounded by the earth fill. The vaulted roof is supported on the sides with this earth filling and on the center with a single supporting column. This sort of chamber is also present on the opposite North West corner bastion. The lighting to the chambers is from the clear storey opening on the vaulted roof. Fig. 122 Tunnel leading to the secret chambers

Fig. 123 Secret chambers below the bastions

Fig. 121 Tunnel leading to the secret chambers


The Calcutta review, vol. xxxviii 1863 AD

“ One peculiarity of the old Dutch Fort at Sadras is so illustrative of the national character, that it must be passed unnoticed. In all directions we see manifestations of that peculiar squareness, neatness, primness of design, which gives to the whole group of buildings and surrounding walls almost the appearance of a neat model of something still larger and grander. Everything seems to have been ordered, regulated, and cut by rule and square, from the staircases and terraces to the watch towers and guardrooms� 73

Ramp with provision for cannon movement Battlements Old structure with original hexagonal terracotta flooring

Fig. 124 Regenerated 3d view of Ramp and warehouse

Raised terrace for cannons and garrison Fig. 125 Regenerated 3d view of Sadras fort

North West Bastion Roof of the secret chamber Typical Dutch Watch tower emphasizing the entry

Roof of the secret chamber


Fig. 126 Regenerated 3d view of entrance and watch tower

Remnants of a destroyed Room

North EastBastion Warehouse

Half destroyed Warehouse Remnants of a structure that could have been a Church Structure that could have been used to mount an elephant Fig. 128 Regenerated 3d view of the interior of Sadras fort from entrance tunnel

Cemetery South West Bastion Fig. 127 window detail at sadras fort 75

A Opperhooft wooningh House of the supreme head of the factory L

B Tweede persoons wooningh House of the second in command




C Wooninghen van de verdere Comp.s. dienaren - Other houses for VOC servants







D De poort - The Gate E Combuijsen en slaven kotten kitchen and places for the slaves





F Putten - Wells G Pakhuijsen - Warehouses


H Kleede Saal - Hall?





I Thuijn van het Opperhoofd Garden of the Head


K Thuijn van de tweede Persoon Garden of the second in command



L Begraafplaatsen - Graveyard M Afgeschotte plaatsen van t kleijn vee - Meadow for the flock G


Fig. 129 Old drawing of the office of Sadrangapattnam

The Other Rooms A number of rooms that could have been used for different purposes can be seen in different places inside the fort. On the northern side of the entry are a series of arched chambers. The rooms could have had upper storey as can be seen from the flat surface above and some walls extending beyond the present roof. On the eastern side a series of rooms can be seen on both northern and southern sides. The aforesaid rooms are completely destroyed and only the walls up to a certain height remain. The original use of these rooms is not known. Fig. 130 Remnants of arched chambers

The Warehouses

Fig. 134 Entrance of the warehouse

The largest structures inside the walls are the two warehouses that stand tall on the Eastern side of the Fort. One of them still exists as such and only a part of the other structure remains now. They face each other on the north and south of the central axis of the fort. The structure is of square plan and consists of the central courtyard with rectangular rooms on all sides. The structures have semicircular vaulted roof. Fig. 131 Interiors of the warehouse

One of the important features of this structure is the system of ducts embedded inside circular manifestations, which look like columns, for rain water drainage.


THE BATTLE OF SADRAS The battle of Sadras was the first of the five largely indecisive Fig. 132 Interiors of the rooms inside warehouse

naval battles fought between a British fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hughes and French fleet under the Bailli de Suffren off the east coast of India during the American war of Independence. The battle was fought on 17th February 1782 the British fleet suffered the major damage, and the troop transports that Suffren was protecting were able to land their troops at Porto Novo (Parangipettai).

Fig. 133 Remnants of a destroyed warehouse


Other Structures Most of the other structures stand in a dilapidated state and it is impossible to decipher their use. One of these structures is a raised flat podium standing in the middle of the fort accessed by steps around it. Though the original use of the structure is not known it seems to be a higher platform to mount an elephant. Another structure near the above said structure has its walls protruding out. It keeps us guessing as regards its use. Excavations In Feb – March 2003 Excavations were carried out in Sadras Fort by the Archeological survey of India. The excavations led to discovery of a lot of buried artifacts under the sand mounds of the Sadras Fort. One of such things was the original floor of a room. The flooring was of terracotta tiles of hexagonal shape. A burnt brick with grid used to play Aadu Puli Aattam (traditional Tamil game) was also found. Among other things two glass arrack jars, Gouda smoking pipes, a kitchen with chulas and ash intact, a small curved structure used for dyeing the cloth and many porcelain pieces were also found.


Fig. 135 Remnants of other structures in Sadras fort

Other Structures at Sadras Sadras being a historical settlement has some structures of historical interest.


The Temples Almost every street in Sadras has an old temple. Most of the temples have undergone changes; some of the temples that still retain their character are shown in the photographs.

The Church and Cemetery

Fig. 136 Tamil Inscription inside the temple

Fig. 137 Temples of Sadras

A church can be seen on the northern side of the fort and further north is the Cemetery. The church has been remodelled completely. The cemetery had 18th century tombs but due to no proper protection only 3 tombs can be seen today. Fig. 139 Ruined cemetery in Sadras

Fig. 138 Church of Sadras


The Dargah and Mosque The old Dargah and mosque are seen in the second street on the west side of the Fort. The date of their construction is not known. It is completely in ruins. Fig. 140 Ruined Mosque in Sadras

The Residences of Sadras

Fig. 141 Ruined Darga in Sadras

British texts talk of houses in Sadras and many a time refer to the residence of the Dutch governor which was later used as a traveller's bungalow. At present there are a few old dilapidated residential buildings in Sadras whose origins need to be deciphered. Fig. 142 Old structures in Sadras


Bibliography a. Books 1. ALEX R. REA – THE MONUMENTAL REMAINS OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY IN THE PRESIDENCY OF MADRAS 1664-1824. Published 1897 – AES Reprint 1997 2. Jayapaul Azariah - My Biography Palliacatta The Pulicat 1400 – 2007. Crenieo 2007 3. PHILIP BALDAEUS - A DESCRIPTION OF THE EAST INDIA COAST OF MALABAR AND COROMANDEL – AD 1640 – AND ALSO OF THE ISLE OF CEYLON WITH THEIR ADJACENT KINGDOMS AND PROVINCES. TRANSLATED FROM THE HIGH-DUTCH PRINTED AT AMSTERDAM, 1672. First published 1672 AD. First AES reprint 1996. Second AES reprint 2000. 4. C. L. TEMMINCK GROLL - THE DUTCH OVERSEAS ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY. Mutual heritage of four centuries in three continents. WAANDERS PUBLISHERS, ZWOLLE – NETHERLANDS DEPARTMENT FOR CONSERVATION. 5. Donald F. Lach and Edwin J. Van kley – Asia in the making of Europe – Volume-III - A CENTURY OF ADVANCE – Published 1993, The University of Chicago. (GB) 6. Rapson, Edward James – The Cambridge history of India – Cambridge university press – 1922. 7. SQUIBS AND OTHER PAPERS, In Prose and Rhyme – By the Honorary secretary of the madras Opium Club. Printed by Pharoah and co. Athenaeum press, mount road. Christmas and New Year – 1862-63. (GB) 8. Jacob Pandian - Caste, Nationalism and Ethinicity – an Interpretation of Tamil cultural history and social order. Sangam books Ltd. – 1987. 9. Sanjay Subramanyam – The Political Economy of Commerce : Southern India, 1500 -1650. Cambridge University Press 1990. 10. Lodovico de Varthema; Edited by George Percy Badger; Translated by John Winter Jones. Originally published by the Hakluyt Society, London in 1863.The Travels of Ludovico di Varthema in Egypt, Syria, Arabia Deserta and Arabia Felix, in Persia, India, and Ethiopia, A.D. 1503 to 1508. Reprint by Adamant Media Corporation, 2001. (GB) 11. Jean Baptiste Tavernier – TAVERNIER'S TRAVELS IN INDIA, Valentine Ball. Edited by William Crooke. (GB) 12. Compiled from the official records by J Talboys Wheeler - MADRAS IN OLDEN TIME: Being a History of the Presidency from The first foundation of the governorship of Thomas Pit, Grand father of the Karl of Chatham 1639 – 1702. Printed for J. Higginbotham, Mount Road, By Graves and co., Scottish press 186. (GB) 13.The Calcutta Review Vol X1863 R.C.Lepage and co., 1, Tank Square, Calcutta, and 1, White Friars street, Fleet Street, London E.C. 1863. (GB) 14.Thomas Bowrey - A GEOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF COUNTRIES ROUND THE BAY OF BENGAL, 1669 to 1679 first print 1905, AES reprint 1993. (GB) 15.The Making of Men , J.W.Coombes - By Federation of N.S.W. Police-Citizens Boys' Clubs - a Book first printed in 1920, The explanation of Sadras Fort beng called Fort Orange and its Flag, First print 1920, reprint 1986, Carol Publishers, New Delhi. (GB) [GB - Google books] 81

b. Websites referred










c. Articles

1.Wil O. Dijk – The VOC's Gunpowder factory ca 16201660 2.Wil O. Dijk – An end to the history of silence? The Dutch trade in asian slaves: Arakan and the Bay Of Bengal 16211665 3. S. Arasaratnam – The Dutch East India Company and its Coromandel Trade 1700-1740 AD. 4. The Hindu – Madras Miscellany – An outing from the city – S. Muthiah – July 02, 2001. 5. The Hindu – Sadras Excavations uncover hidden treasures – April 18, 2003. 6. The Hindu – Frontline – Unravelling a Dutch past – T. S. Subramanian – Volume 20-issue 10, May 10-23, 2003 7. The Hindu – Magazine - … and a placid Pulicat experience – Sanjeeva Raj – oct19, 2003. 8. The Hindu – Metro Plus - The Palayakat Brand – S.Muthiah – Oct 19, 2009. 9. Madras Musings – Pulicat – a heritage to be preserved – P. T. Krishnan, M. C. Ramesh Kumar, Abdul Azeez and M. R. RajKumar – VOL IX No.15 Nov 15-30, 1999. 10. Madras Musings – Pulicats art and architecture – P. T. Krishnan, M. C. Ramesh Kumar, Abdul Azeez and M. R. RajKumar – VOL IX No.16 Dec 01-15, 1999.


List of information boxes

1. Excerpts from accounts of Ludovica Di Varthema


2. Arwi Tamil


3. Pulicat hope for ships in distress


4. Excerpts from accounts of Ludovica Di Varthema


5. The light house at Pulicat


6. Excerpts from accounts of Jean Baptiste Tavernier


7. Excerpts from accounts of Philip Baldaeus


8. The Star Forts


9. Excerpts from accounts of Jean Baptiste Tavernier


10. The Obelisk


11. The Story of Obelisk in New Cemetery at Pulicat


12. List of VOC ships visiting Pulicat


13. List of Dutch Governors at Pulicat


14. Details of Sundial


15. Excerpts from the Book Madras in Olden times


16. The practice of Sati


17. Excerpts from accounts of Jean Baptiste Tavernier


18. Excerpts from the book The Calcutta Review


19. The Battle of Sadras



Credits for Images 1.Fig.1- Base map from Maps of India. 2.Fig. 3 - 3.Fig. 4 - 4.Fig. 5 - 5.Fig. 6 - 6.Fig. 8&9 - 7.Fig.10- 8.Fig.11- 9.Fig.12- 10.Fig.13&14- 11.Fig.16- Dr. Bauke Van Der Pol 12.Fig.17- 13.Fig.19- Google Earth 14.Fig.20 to 24- 15.Fig.25- 16.Fig.28 to 34- 17.Fig.41 & 42- Re Drawn From The book – The monumental remains of the Dutch East India Company in the Presidency of Madras 1664 – 1824. 18.Fig.43- The monumental remains of the Dutch East India Company in the Presidency of Madras 1664 – 1824. 19.Fig.45 & 46- The monumental remains of the Dutch East India Company in the Presidency of Madras 1664 – 1824. 20.Fig.48- The monumental remains of the Dutch East India Company in the Presidency of Madras 1664 – 1824. 21.Fig.92 to 95- 22.Fig.96- 23.Fig.97- 24.Fig.98- 25.Fig.99 & 100- 26.Fig.101- Mr. Obaidullah, Pulicat 27.Fig.115 & 116- Mr. Vikram Sathyanathan 28.Fig.117 -,,,,,, 29.Fig.129- Credits for information box images: 1.Box 1 - 2.Box 3 – 3.Box 4 – 4.Box 5 – 5.Box 6 – 6.Box 7 - 7.Box 8 -


8. Box 9 - 9. Box 10 - 10.Box 13 - 11.Box 14 - Translater Moulvi Syed Ahmed, Thanjavur 12.Box 16 - 13.Box 17 - 14.Box 19 -

The Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi is responsible for the bilateral relations between The Netherlands and India as well as with Nepal and Bhutan. The Embassy supports projects in the area of common cultural heritage. Promotion and protection of common cultural heritage is a priority within the international cultural policy of The Netherlands. The aim of the common cultural heritage policy is to help strengthen the cultural identity of countries, magnify their symbolic significance and create spin-off effects, impact other sectors such as employment, tourism and education and ensure the future preservation of heritage.


On the website of the Embassy you can find general information about the Embassy, the consulate General in Mumbai as well as the Netherland business support offices in Ahmedabad and Chennai and the current two Honorary consuls based in Chennai and Kolkata. The website will inform you about the consular tasks of the Embassy, its activities to stimulate private investments and trade between .

the Netherlands and India as well as activities regarding press and cultural affairs. .

The School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University Chennai is one of the premier institutions in the country offering under graduate degree, post graduate degree, Ph.D. and M.S. Programmes in Architecture and Planning. The institution was the first to be established in the whole of Tamil Nadu with nearly 53 years of contribution to the society. It is one of the four campuses of Anna University Chennai and is committed to raising the quality of Architecture and Planning education to international level and will stand committed to national priorities on energy, environment, heritage and housing.


K.R.Sitalakshmi has been teaching at the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University Chennai for the past 16 years and she currently holds the position of Assistant Professor. She completed her Doctorate in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Anna University Chennai, the topic of dissertation being 'Architecture of Indian Modernity- The Case of Madras�. She has won awards as student, architect and faculty. She is keenly interested in the areas of architectural history, design theory and education. She has published articles in leading architectural magazines and other media.


Anameka Architects and Designers, Chennai, is one of the leading architectural design firms in Chennai handling large scale projects around the country. The firm is headed by architect Xavier Benedict, who is a registered architect with Council of Architecture, India, and assoicate member of American Institute of Architects. For further information visit




















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Pulicat and Sadras  

Book on 'Pulicat and Sadras' released on 07-June-2010 at School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai. This book give detai...

Pulicat and Sadras  

Book on 'Pulicat and Sadras' released on 07-June-2010 at School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai. This book give detai...

Profile for pulicat