The drive to Pulicat on 19 February took two hours. Xavier Benedict was waiting for me in his AARDE Pulicat Museum close to the Dutch Cemetery. From the Fort Geldria there not even the sign board anymore. Xavier told me that like in Sadraspatnam excavations on Fort Geldria took place. But the owner of the land, the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Departement opposed the central Archeological Survey of India on this. Now you only see a big bush.
The cemetery is impressive with again many stories to be told from the tombstone here. They are well protected and preserved. Although the red stones of the two-stories high monument are starting to crumble.
Xavier is founder of the Art and Architecture Research, Development and Education (AARDE) Foundation.
Xavier’s passion is the large waterbody in this lagoon area that he is trying to preserve through his foundation. He is linking it with people and culture, including the European heritage. He is an architect, teaching part time at a college near Madras.
Especially the gate is very spectacular, as you can see from the film clip I made. I never forget the first time I was here in 1989 when all the tombes had been whitewashed totally. It hurted my eyes.