Early February 2020. Sugu Naidu, the tour guide we used earlier, picked me up from the hotel. We booked a car for the day trip to Sadraspatnam, some 70 km out of Chennai. In Sadraspatnam the Dutch Fort now has a new fence and gate and a new info board from the Archeological Survey of India. At the back a higher wall has been addded. The guard with the keys is under contract with the ASI.
The small cemetery inside the fort remains impressive with long flat tombstones, each of which tell a story. A ship captain, three Dutch East-Indian Company staff members drowned here in the 17th century.
After the excavations here, the kitchen floor with tiles, the mounting place for elephants with steps, an additional water source and the warehouses are all in better condition than 30 years ago when I visited here for the first time.
On the way back Guide Sugu showed me the major carved rocks of Mahabalipuram, the story of the god and normal people. She mentioned Theresa a “Dutch Palace” in Kovalam, but that turned out to be only a leftover old stone hump near the beach in one of the posh resorts here. It had a short history of the Dutch here, carved in black stone.