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Dutch Building in Srikakulam Drawing Tourists in Droves

An ancient Dutch building located near the Srikakulam collectorate is gaining popularity, thanks to joint initiatives of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The elegant structure constructed 300 years ago on the banks of Nagavali river is attracting many tourists although a major portion of the building has collapsed. The building is said to have served as a shelter for traders and others who used to visit Srikakulam for business purposes.

“The Dutch building is a classic example of the strong connection between Europeans and rulers of Kalingandhra region. The structure was later used as Taluk office by Bobbili Rajas,” said INTACH former convener KVJ Radhaprasad.

The previous collectors such as Saurabh Gaur, Paturu Lakshmi Narasimham and former INTACH convener Dusi Dharma Rao were instrumental in the protection of the structure which turned into a dais for cultural activities organised by the district administration on important occasions such as Independence Day and Republic Day.

Srikakulam Tourism officer K. Narayana Rao told The Hindu that the department was taking necessary steps to protect the structure in association with the Archeological department.

According to him, the Tourism department has sent a detailed note to the government for the promotion of various tourist sites. Historic temples such as Srikurmantheswara Swamy temple of Srikurmam, Lord Sri Suryanarayana Swamy temple at Arasavilli, Madhukeswara Someswara temples of Srimukhalingam, Umarudra Koteswara Alayam of Srikakulam, Sangameswara Swamy temple of Vangara, and Vasudeva Swamy’s temple at Mandasa, and Radha Gonvinda Swamy temple of Meliaputti have been identified for the promotion of temple tourism in the district.

The department has also identified several forts and other heritage structures for the promotion of tourism. Mandasa fort, Surangi Raja’s Itchapuram fort, Tarlakota, Urlam Samsthanam and residential buildings of Bonthala Koduru Jamindars are grabbing the attention of the tourists. It has also been promoting natural heritage sites such as Sunnapugedda waterfalls, Mettuguda waterfalls, Telikunchi Syberian sanctuary at Telineelapuram of Tekkali division and others.

“Many people come for the darshan of the Sun god at Arasavalli. We are trying to make them visit the best tourist spots in the district. A dedicated bus service for the visit of those sites is under the consideration of the government,” said Mr.Narayana Rao.

INTACH convenor Nuka Sanyasi Rao and co-convener Natukula Mohan said that tourism clubs were being formed in schools and colleges to enlighten children about the importance of history, culture and heritage.

David Dass
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