Bimilipatnam: Old Dutch cemetery

We visited Bimilipatnam (now Bheemunipatnam) on 2 March 2019. We drove 28 kilometres on a beautiful beach road from Vizag (now Visakapatnam). Our guide got the key from a neighbour. We saw the best preserved Dutch tomb of Mejuffrouw Cath. Roelofsz (passed away in 1765) and D’Heer Jan Visscher (passed away 1768), showing a bird having a fish in its mouth.

Most of the other texts on the pyramid tombs have been removed because they had signs that local people were scared off. Only one still has a skull and bones visible.

We found another Dutch tombstone under water that we had to swipe away.

Old Dutch cemetery

When we asked around for the oldest Dutch cemetery with 13 tombstones we heard that the local government demolished it for building purposes. That is really a shame that this shared heritage is gone, although it is still on the Department of Tourism info board outside the Flagstaff Cemetery. Under protection of the Archeological Survey of India this would not have happened.

Comment: In July 2019 Henk Vogel e-mailed me saying when he was in Bheemunipatnam, he found the Dutch cemetery there quite easily – it is well kept actually. It is also on Google maps and “Findagrave.com”.
https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2298125/dutch-cemetery-in-bheemunipatnam/map –

Fort bastion in array

The Dutch East Indian Compagny VOC had a lodge in Bimilipatan since 1652 that was changed into a fort in 1758. It changed hands several times after the various Anglo-Dutch wars. Bimilipatan was a supply station for the many Dutch ships that sailed the Coromandel coast. It also produced and supplied rice to other VOC settlements such as Ceylon now Sri Lanka.

Near the beach remainders of the Dutch fort are in array. Only part of a wall still stands.


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