Hidden Gems of Ahmedabad: Exploring the Dutch Tombs near Kankaria Lake

Hidden Gems of Ahmedabad: Exploring the Dutch Tombs near Kankaria Lake

Uncover the hidden history of the Dutch tombs – a testament to a bygone era when trade and culture converged in the heart of Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad, the bustling metropolis steeped in history, has a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed by its own residents. Nestled next to the Kankaria Lake lies the One Tree Hill Garden, where a historical treasure trove awaits discovery.

It's a place unlike anything else in the city, where you can find elegant gazebo-like domes adorned with beautiful pillars and tombs scattered throughout the area. Yet, what truly captivates the imagination are the distinctive, sharp triangle-shaped structures that stand here in silent testimony to a forgotten chapter of history - the Dutch tombs.

A glimpse into the past

Long before the British Empire's influence loomed large over the Indian subcontinent, India attracted a multitude of foreigners enticed by its opulence and richness. Among them, the Dutch ventured to India, making their presence known in various regions, including Surat and, intriguingly, Ahmedabad.

The Dutch East India Company arrived in Ahmedabad during the 17th and 18th centuries, drawn by the city's thriving cloth, yarn, and indigo trade. Over time, the Dutch community became an integral part of Ahmedabad's cultural tapestry. It was during this era, between 1641 and 1699, that the Dutch cemetery near Kankaria Lake was erected, serving as a hallowed ground to honor their departed members.

The beauty of Dutch-Indo Architecture

The Dutch tombs, now concealed within the One Tree Hill Garden, are architectural marvels that bear the hallmark of the Saracenic style. Distinguished by their striking domes and grand pillars, these tombs embody the fusion of Dutch and Indian influences.

Among the occupants of these resting places, you'll find the Armenian tombs, which belonged to the brokers of the Dutch factory. Remarkably, some of the inscriptions adorning these tombs are etched in both Dutch and Latin, serving as poignant reminders of the enduring Dutch presence in Ahmedabad.

The present condition

Regrettably, despite their historical significance, these remarkable structures remain hidden from the general public's eye, a well-kept secret protected by the Gujarat State Archaeology Department. The site, located at the far end of the One Tree Hill Garden, is now veiled in wild plants and fragmented ruins.

Few visitors venture here, but that is a part of its unique charm. Although shrouded in obscurity, the Dutch tombs by Kankaria Lake are still worth exploring.

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