Cemetery chronicles

#1 Oct 15th, 2017, 14:39
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  • aarosh is offline
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Oldest grave in Sola Ana Burial Ground | Photo Credit: Patrick Sanjiv Lal Ghose

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Years before zombies became a trope for scaremongering, we relied on ghosts to curdle our blood. Kolkata, like any city with part of its history steeped in blood and gore, has its share of ghosts and fascinating urban legends. Whenever we would go looking for excitement in places reputed to be haunted, we would end up at the South Park Street cemetery. Back in our ghost-hunting days, it used to be a dilapidated, unkempt place, quite unlike how it looks today, now that it has been partially restored, with glass and concrete towers peering down on it.

I find the recent tourism venture of cemetery walks in Kolkata, restricted to the Christian ones, silly and perhaps intrusive. As a minority community, I suppose they are tolerant of such curiosity since a significant chunk of Kolkata’s history is interred in such places.

If you consult a map, you will notice that all of them, regardless of community, are all located on one side of the erstwhile Circular Road, once the outer reaches of the city, which has expanded since to cover these areas.

The Upper and Lower Circular Roads have a history going back to the 18th century. The Mahratta Ditch, which was a little less than five km long, was an incomplete moat built by the British in the mid 18th century to keep marauding Bargis, or Maratha warriors, at bay. The raiders never came and the moat was eventually filled up and extended to become the Upper and Lower Circular Roads.

Now named after two eminent Bengali scientists, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray and Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose respectively, the road is far longer today than it used to be. The Circular Road was once considered the outer boundary of Calcutta; the burial grounds were located beyond it.
The Hindu
#2 Oct 15th, 2017, 17:22
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Read the whole article, enjoyed it. Keep on with these interesting articles
Cemetery's are a place that one goes back in history to former times. It can be also in some places a way to get out of the hussle and bussle of the city, the cemetery in South Park Street is one of them.Many years ago lived beside the Old Bromton cemetery in London that was a place one could also escape to for a quiet interlude and get acquainted with former Londoners.

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