Friday, July 6, 2018

Dutch Cemetery, Pulicat, Thiruvallur

Dutch Cemetery, Pulicat, Thiruvallur
Dutch Cemetery is situated in Madha Church Street near to Pulicat Bus Stop in Pulicat in Thiruvallur District of Tamilnadu. The cemetery has graves mainly for the Dutch personal, who lived in Pulicat during 17th century. This cemetery is an important piece of history that has survived and even today people from Netherlands visit this place.

The Portuguese established a factory for trading port at Pulicat with the permission of Vijayanagara king during 1502. They built a port and controlled till 1609. They were defeated by Dutch and Pulicat port came under their control. The Pulicat was become the capital for Dutch Coromandel. Dutch Cemetery was established in 1656 AD.

The Cemetery
The Cemetery has 77 graves of which 62 are identified and all of them are covered with single stone slabs intrinsically carved flowers, birds human faces, borders, etc. All of them have stones with inscriptions about the dead, in the Dutch language. Stone Slabs are said to have been carved in Holland and sent to India.

Five graves have domes/structures built over them. There are three oblique, in one Pulicat was mentioned as Palliacatta. Initially the name was Pazhakatta and during British period the name has become Pulicat). The graves are between 1646 to 1777. The entrance is a creatively built gate with skeletons on either side and a skull on the top. The inscriptions on the stones have been done artistically (with designs).

It was told that from one of the tomb an underground passage was leading to the fort. History tells that the Dutch Fort Geldria, which is opposite to the Cemetery, is the place from where Dutch trading with the East Indies. There is an older cemetery called Portuguese cemetery where the Dutch, Portuguese and Indians were buried, but that area is largely inaccessible, today. The cemetery is now protected by the ASI.

The Cemetery is located at about 50 meters from Pazhaverkadu Bus Stop, 600 meters from Pulicat Bus Stand, 8 Kms from Thirupalaivanam, 9 Kms from Karungali, 19 Kms from Ponneri, 19 Kms from Ponneri Railway Station, 73 Kms from Thiruvallur, 69 Kms from Chennai Airport and 54 Kms from Chennai. Town buses are frequently available from Ponneri and Red Hills.

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