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Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu) is a historic seashore town in Thiruvallur District, of Tamil Nadu state, South India. It is about 60 km north of Chennai and 3 km from Elavur, on the barrier island of Sriharikota, which separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. Pulicat lake is a shallow salt water lagoon which stretches about 60 kilometers (37 mi) km along the coast. With lakeside and seashore development as well as several SEZs including a US $1 billion Medical SEZ, coming up in nearby Elavur, the land prices in the area are in the upswing.
The Portuguese established a trading post in Pulicat in 1502 with the help of the Vijayanagar rulers. They built a fort there and held this fort until 1609 when they were defeated by the Dutch. The Dutch occupied Pulicat fort in 1609. Between 1621 and 1665, 131 slave ships were deployed by the Dutch to export 38,441 Indians captured on the Coromandel coast and transported from Pulicat to be sold as slaves to Dutch plantations in Batavia. Pulicat was till 1690 the capital of Dutch Coromandel. It repeatedly changed possession, until finally occupied by the British in 1825. It became part of the Madras Presidency, which later became Madras state in independent India and renamed Tamil Nadu in 1968. The Dutch church has been built over several times and is rather dilapidated today, and the Dutch fort has fallen into ruin. The old lighthouse still stands at the opposite bank of the lake. The cemetery dating to 1622 has been taken under the wing of the Archeological Survey of India and so has survived the passage of time. The grand, Dutch inscribed tombs and graves, carved with skeletons rather than the cross, have been quite well preserved. The cemetery lies behind the market and visitors often don't know that it is there. Many thousands of visitors per year come to the area which is renowned for its history and natural beauty. Modern Pulicat is a model for religious unity. Every year April Month, people of pulicat irrespective of religion celebrate "Kottaikuppam Madha Thiruvizha" Kottaikuppam - Kottai means Fort & Kuppam means group of people live. Madha Thiruvizha means Festival for Lord Mary.
Pulicat is within the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. Every year between the months of October and March, thousands of migratory birds land here. Though many species can be seen, the Flamingos are the most visible, covering the swamps surrounding the lake, giving it a pink tinge.
- P. J. Sanjeev Raj, "Baggage that weighs heavily on the mind." The Hindu August 23, 2013. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/baggage-that-weighs-heavily-on-the-mind/article5049470.ece?homepage=true.