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300-year-old Dutch building to become tourist attraction

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Kothapeta, Srikakulam, India – Dutch building near Srikakulam Collectorate is being converted into a tourist attraction, thanks to the initiative of heritage lovers who had asked the district administration to allocate funds for its renovation. Around Rs.20 lakh will be spent for the protection of the monument. Srikakulam Collector Saurabh Gaur directed officials a few days ago to protect the monument and take suggestions from archaeological experts while renovating the structure.

The elegant building was constructed about 300 years ago on the banks of the Nagavali. Though a major portion of the building collapsed, the remaining structure reminds the viewers about the European’s dominance in semi-urban areas too in those days.

According to historians, the Dutch had a brief stay in India like the French and Portuguese. They 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. 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 and collection of taxes since many of them used to travel to Odisha via Srikakulam town.

Walls intact

The existing structure could have been used as a guesthouse too as many Dutch officials used to come to 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 has formulated proposals for restoration of the building. Convener of INTACH Dusi Dharmana Rao said that the restoration work should be taken without destroying the original beauty of the Dutch building. Interestingly, the existing Collector’s camp office was also constructed by Dutch rulers. However, a major portion was renovated while protecting a few structures.

Source: thehindu.com

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