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Eustace Benedict De Lannoy

And the Udayagiri Kotta in Travancore
The other day, we were listening to an old song – Udayagiri kottayile Chitralekhe, from the film Aromalunni and watching the ever beautiful actress Sheela's sensuous dance to the lines. As I listened, my grey cells got into an overdrive, how did Aromalunni get to Udayagiri in South Travancore and thought, that can’t be possible, perhaps it was about the fort with the same name in Orissa and some famous courtesan? After a while, I gave up on that thought and drifted away to the real Udayagiri fort near the Padmanabhapuram palace and Nagercoil, at Puliyoorkurichi in the Kanyakumari district.
It has an interesting story behind it, very much intertwined with the life and times of one Capt De Lannoy, otherwise known as Valia Kappittan. Bernard my friend had given me some information on Lannoy years ago and I thought it a good idea to give you all a little introduction on that interesting person. The legendary Captain has been studied by many a res…

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