De Lannoy’s tomb under renovation 2020

Fortunately there were clouds this morning on my way by car to De Lannoy’s tomb inside the Uduyagiri Fort. On an earlier trip in Tamil Nadu and Kerala our driver had missed out on this one. Underway there was even a drop of rain. We started at the harbour for some pictures. I saw from the car a colourful Saturday morning market, two elephants going to a temple, to be treated as lovers with all sorts of ornaments, as my driver Abraham said. There was also a huge Hindu village with guirlandes over the road, people cooking offerings on the sideway in a long row. On our way back later we saw them in a long queue, waiting to offer their cooking to their god for his or her blessings, called “prasad”, Aneesh said.

Finding the tomb was not so easy. It is in Thuckalay, Padmanabhapuram, Tamil Nadu. We drove two hours and 20 minutes from Trivandrum. When we reached there a school bus with young children was being off loaded by their teachers. Entrance to the fort was 29 rupees only. A sign outside said this was a bio diversity and animal park of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Forestry. For the tomb I was pointed to walk up the pathway om the right. There I noticed that on a platform labourers were doing some heavy stonework. I also noticed the sign to De Lannoy’s tomb on the ground. When I asked for the tomb they pointed me to continue on the pathway I started on. The road condition worsened, it was some five minute walk. And there it was, a big tomb that had been whitewashed completely. The bamboo skeleton used for that still around it. At least 20 workers busy painting, de-rusting the metal fences. The pathway had just been completed. I walked around and inside the tomb. On the tombstones I saw English texts from 1813. No trace of De Lannoy’s tomb.

The young guy who was around turned out to be under contract of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archeology. His name is Anton, a civil engineer and specialist in use of limestone. He explained that he is overseeing this renovation and that it may take another two months until it will be completed. He was very keen to see my site, as well as following me on my other social media outlets.

In Trivandrum we stopped briefly at a large church and an ATM for money.