PATNA: Two mausoleums and an adjoining cemetery of the Dutch, built around 309 years ago in Bihar’s Chapra are set to get a facelift for tourism purposes.
Till date, hardly anyone knew about Chapra's deep Dutch connection prior to the British rule.
Built in the memory of the then Dutch governor Jacobus Van Hoorn, the two mausoleums is believed to be more than 300 years old, while the adjoining cemetary near Karinga in Chapra also stands remniscent of the Dutch connection.
Sources said that the cemetery was built in memory of Jackworn, the then acting governor at that time.
Spread over an acre's land, the property was declared to be protected under the Bihar state monument act three months ago.
The existing structures are set for a massive renovation in a bid to convert them into a historical site.
On January 10 the newly appointed district magistrate Dr Nilesh Deore had visited the spot and realized the potential of the long neglected structures.
Locals informed the district magistrate about the history of the structures which were built by the Dutch who had visited Chapra in connection with trading of saltpetre towards the end of the 17th century.
“I started correspondence with the concerned department of state government for declaring the sites as heritage protected under the Bihar Monument Act. And to declare the structures protected by the state government," Dr Nilesh Deore said.
He added that the structures will be declared as one of the oldest historic sites in India to have the Dutch connection.
“The area would be developed as historic tourist spot with benches and other pubic amenities installed for visitors. Proper lighting would be fixed along with boundary walls.
The mausoleums have been built with inspiration from both Persian and Dutch style architecture," Dr Nilesh Deore said.
He hoped that the renovation work would begin in the next three months.
According to references, a portion of Chapra was in possession of the Dutch till 1770.
Quoting details from the Saran Gazetteer, the DM said, “Saran during the end of 17th century and the early 18th century was the centre of attraction of the European trading company due to saltpetre. Some refineries of saltpetre were also set up here."