Sadras (Saduranga pattinam) is an old Dutch fort that is located just past Mahabalipuram, near the Kalpakkam atomic power plant.
It is next to the beach and is a nice place to have a small picnic with children. The fort is not large (only about 100m wide and 100m long) and has only a couple of small rooms inside it. It has thick walls though. At the gate, there are couple of old cannons and inside the fort is an interesting Dutch cemetery and a gallows.
There is a granary building on the far right corner of the fort. You can climb to the roof of the granary and have a small picnic while seeing the waves crash on the beach. Children can learn about history and old forts also. The place is reasonably well maintained and is not crowded at all. If the gate is locked, just cal out and the caretaker will open the gate for you.
How to get there?
Drive on the East Coast Road. Go past Mahabalipuram and then just as you see Kalpakkam power plant (which is far to your left), there is a left turn to go towards Kalpakkam township. Follow that road for a couple of miles and it will lead you straight to the fort. You will go past the Kalpakkam atomic plant.
It is at most 5 to 10 minutes, after you cross Mahabalipuram. So it is an easy drive from Chennai and will not take more than a few hours.
What do take and do?
- Picnic basket. There are no restaurants around.
- A book or two to read to the children when you are there. Maybe something on Tipu Sultan or some such historical reference where forts are mentioned.
- Wear shoes so you can climb and walk around easily
Other photos - http://www.flickr.com/photos/vamsham/tags/sadras/
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