The Dutch Cemetery in Kochi is believed to be the oldest in the country, dating back to the beginning of the 18th century. It houses the tombs of Dutch soldiers and traders who left their homeland in order to expand their colonial empires – and as a result changed the entire course of history in India.
The cemetery is distinctly Dutch in its architecture and is surrounded by concrete walls. The year 1724 is engraved on a pillar towering over the cemetery’s entrance. Many of the tombs are made of granite and the epitaphs on each show the authentic records of those of both Dutch and British origin etched out in old Dutch script. According to T W Venn, who published a book on the subject, the last person laid to rest in the Dutch Cemetery in Kochi was Captain Joseph Ethelbert Winckler in 1913.
The Dutch Cemetery is located on the road that runs parallel to Fort Kochi Beach. Its gates are usually kept locked but are opened on the request of polite visitors (Ask at nearby St Francis Church).