VOC in India

  • De VOC in India: Een reis langs Nederlands erfgoed in Gujarat, Malabar, Coromandel en Bengalen.  Category: Historical Inner Cities  
  • Project duration: 2009 – 2011


Project description:
This project has been executed to fill the gap in knowledge on shared heritage in India and its current position in the country. The VOC Company was active from 1604 to 1795 in India. Far from  widely known, remains of the Dutch period can be found around the entire coastline from Surat to Kolkata as well as far inland.

In a richly illustrated book, the researcher Bauke van der Pol brings this entire VOC heritage together. From fortresses, country houses, warehouses, factories and beautiful cemeteries with unique monuments, all of it covered in his book. Using old photographs and contemporary images, he shows how the Dutch remains looked like in the past and how they are perceived in today’s society.

Partner organizations:
• Dutch Embassy in India
• Bauke van der Pol
• Walburg Pers





Times of India  8 nov 2014
Times of India 8 nov 2014

The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (commonly known as the Dutch East India Company) is often associated with Indonesia, China and Japan. In India, however, the Company covered an area larger than all its other domains of activity in Asia combined. This period lasted from 1604 to 1795, and therefore Dutch trading relations with India  have existed far longer than those with, say, Australia or the United States. And yet most people are unaware of the fact that 17th and 18th century traces of Dutch heritage can be found all along the coast, from Surat to Kolkata.

In this richly illustrated edition, researcher and India specialist Bauke  van der Pol presents, for the first time, a comprehensive compendium  of VOC heritage in India. He guides the reader through settlements, country houses, warehouses, trading posts and splendid cemeteries featuring unique sepulchral monuments. By referring to old pictures and contemporary photographs he shows what the settlements looked like and what can still be found of them in the India of today. He elaborates on the background to how the Dutch landed in the various regions of India, and he explains the details of their relationships with the Indian maharajas and other rulers. Furthermore, he describes the precious commodities that tempted the Dutch to embark on such exotic  adventures, and he shows how today’s Indians relate with the traces that these foreigners left behind in their country.

The VOC in India_information flyer

8.5” x 11” l  224 pages, Glossy art paper, Full color, Published in 2014 Attractive hard-back, ‘coffee-table’ format book .Over 275 images, including photographs, paintings, maps and drawings. Packed with information, insights and anecdotes. Written in a lucid, readable style — ideal for researchers as well as the lay reader

For further information, please contact:

About the Author

Cultural anthropologist Bauke van der Pol (b. 1952) has more than 40 years of experience and knowledge of india, and in recent years he has been researching dutch cultural heritage in that land. He has written four books on the historical relationship between india and the netherlands, including The Dutch East India Company in India – A heritage tour through Gujarat, Malabar, Coromandel and Bengal. He has also conducted anthropological research in Kerala, and has worked as a guide for dutch tourists exploring the heritage of the vOC (commonly known as the dutch east india Company) in india.