Bheemunipatnam (Bheemili), Andhra Pradesh, India (1880's) (Old Indian Pics)

Bheemunipatnam (also known as Bheemili), is a suburb of Visakhapatnam, India. The town was named after Bhima, a character in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. 

Historical evidences of Buddhist Culture have been noticed at Bheemunipatnam dating back to 3rd century BCE on the hillock Pavurallakonda (also known as Narsimhaswami Konda locally) in the town. Buddhist remains were found during the excavations here along with Relic caskets. Both the schools of Buddhism Hinayana and Mahayana were propagated in this land and also to the far east lands from the port of River Gosthani.

Bheemunipatnam (Bheemili), Andhra Pradesh, India (1880's) (Old Indian Pics)

Bheemunipatnam (Bheemili), Andhra Pradesh, India - 1880's (Rare Old Pics)

Bheemunipatnam (Bheemili), Andhra Pradesh, India - 1880's (Rare Old Pics)

There is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha on the eastern side of Pavurallakonda facing the sea. As per the historical evidences the temple is constructed around 14th century by Mindi Kings. There are two more temples in the town of Bhimili, which date back to the times of Chola's as Bheemeswaralayam and Choleswaralayam.

Dutch settlements

A Dutch map of Bheemunipatnam by Coenraad Pieter Keller with the projected new fort from 1756.

Known to the Dutch as Bimilipatnam, Bheemunipatnam was one among the major Dutch settlements of the Dutch Coromandel coast in the 17th century. There are remnants of the Dutch East India Company trading post when the town was a port. The town contains one of the oldest Christian cemeteries on the coast. Bhimili also had a currency mint during the times of Dutch. Portuguese also visited bhimili in the same time as the dutch. St.Peter's church is a historical monument which signifies the ancient architecture.

After Bheemunipatnam was plundered by Maratha troops in 1754, the local regent permitted the Dutch East India Company to construct a fort in the village, for which military engineer Coenraad Pieter Keller drew up plans. The fort that was constructed subsequently collapsed twice, for which Keller had to defend himself in front of his superiors in Batavia.

East India Company

The British East India Company made Bheemunipatnam their main trading base of the east coast. The Bhimili port used to operate passenger vessels to Madras and Calcutta during the British Raj. The big clock tower in the town was built by the British.

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