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Friday, 6 April 2012

Dutch building to be made tourist spot

by K. Srinivasa Rao

The elegant structure in Srikakulam was built about 300 years ago on the banks of the Nagavali

The district administration has begun taking steps to make the Dutch building here a major tourist attraction following the release of Rs.18 lakh for the renovation of the monument.

The elegant building was constructed about 300 years ago on the banks of the Nagavali and is located near the Collectorate building.

The Dutch, who had a brief stay in India like the French and Portuguese, established trading stations in several parts of Andhra Pradesh, apart from Malabar on the East Coast. Some remains of Dutch settlements can be found in Bhimili also.

A guesthouse?
Though the exact history of the Dutch building of Srikakulam is not available, officials believe that the Dutch businessmen could have constructed the structure for trading since many of them used to travel to Odisha via Srikakulam town.

The existing structure could have been used as a guesthouse as many Dutch officials used to come Srikakulam from Kalingapatnam port, which is some 20 km away from here.

Though the roof of the structure has collapsed long ago, the walls and other structures remain intact till now.

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has formulated proposals for restoration of the building. However, the government has not approved the proposal due to lack of funds.

Restoration begins
Collector G. Venkatram Reddy said the government was planning to convert the Dutch building into a museum to depict the history of Srikakulam.

“We have begun the work and restoration will be completed very soon. I am sure it will be an attractive monument with a wonderful view of the river,” he told The Hindu.

The district administration has sent a report to the Tourism Department to take up developmental work in and around Srikakulam.

The district has rich potential for tourism since it boasts of famous temples such as the sun temple at Arasavilli, Srikurmam and Srimukhalingam, a bird sanctuary near Tekkali, Buddhist monuments in Salihundam, Uddanam and Kalingapatnam beach.

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