Batttle of Travancore and Eustatius de Lannoy

One of the Indian-Dutch heritage highlights that I have been reading about since 1989 is Eustatius de Lannoy whose grave is within the Udayagiri fort in Tamil Nadu. He was a commander who defected from the VOC and then teamed up with the Nawab of Travancore, he trained the army and served him for 16 years. The Travancore army defeated the Dutch on 31 July 1741 in the Battle of Travancore. De Lannoy died there and the Indians erected a monument in admiration for his contribution to their liberty. If there is one thing Indian-Dutch, it is this one.

Udayagiri fort is located at a distance of 14 km from Nagercoil town in Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. It had been originally built in the 1600s, and then rebuilt by the King Marthanda Varma of Travancore during 1741-44 under the supervision of Eustachius De Lannoy, a Flemish naval commander of the Dutch East India Company, who later served as the Chief of the Travancore Army.

De Lannoy’s tomb in the fort is marked out by a stone cross planted on the top, with the inscription in both Tamil and Latin. His wife and son were buried by his side. Recently, officials of the Department of Archaeology found an underground tunnel within the fort.

So we went on the coast road to Colachel. Every year the Indian army celebrates their victory over the Dutch on 31st July with a military ceremony there, in front of a pillar erected in memory of the battle. A student at a Bombay college spending his holiday at home told us that in reasonable English.

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Constructions are encroaching on the pillar from behind, so it is becoming less visible.

 

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The Dutch lost the battle of Colachal (now Colachel) in July 1741 against the Travancore army.

 

 


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