The Dutch garden in Surat is essentially cemeteries of the officers who landed and settled in Gujarat on their business ventures. Dutch garden is one of the most significant gardens in Surat. Gardens in Surat have been expanding from time to time, under succeeding gardeners to its present state. The striking features of the English and Dutch cemeteries are their huge and imposing tombs. They tell the story of power and glory. Tombs of Christopher Oxenden and George Oxenden, two English traders who took charge of the English Factory in Surat, are the biggest ones in the English cemetery. The tomb of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who was director of the Dutch Company in India, stands out arrestingly in the Dutch cemetery.
History of Dutch Garden, Surat
In 1612, the British established their trading factory in Surat soon to be followed by the Dutch and French. Due to political and climatic problems and growing significance of Mumbai, Surat lost its prominence. In 1852, Surat became the first municipality of Gujarat and gradually it became a major business city famous for its textile industry. The Dutch influence in the city is very prominent. Many Dutch as well as Englishman came over to Surat to start trading business in textile industry. These people opened a burial ground in honor of the Dutch businessman. The Dutch garden in Surat has been set up to cremate business men who came here for trading purpose.
Description of Dutch Garden, Surat
Surat Dutch Garden has been set up to pay homage to the Dutch officers who were drawn to Surat on business purposes. There are English, Dutch and Armenian cemeteries around the Kataragama Gate. There is an enormous mausoleum of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who died here in 1691.
Godert de Ginkell, 1st Earl of Athlone or Godart van Ginkel was a Dutch general in the service of England. He came of a dignified family, and bore the title of Baron van Reede, being the eldest son of Godart Adrian van Reede, Baron Ginkel. In his youth, he entered the Dutch army and served the country for a long period of time. He is a man of great reverence. While taking a stroll you might feel like offering your prayers to those whose soul are resting in peace in the cemetery ground. The ancient original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world is another main attraction near the Dutch gardens. The old English factory and the Anglican Church located close to Surat Dutch Garden are other interesting sites that are worth a visit.