Thursday, August 14, 2008
South Park Street Cemetery
Nestled away in a section of the famous Park Street is the oldest Christian cemetery in Kolkata, opened in 1767 and closed full in 1769. In 1978, a large preservation project restored the cemetery to a place for visitors from almost complete dilapidation.
The British are buried here, many in Kolkata for the East India Company. As the cemetery's well written brochure describes "With few lofty ceilings or airy verandahs, without ice, and without medical knowledge and no immunity to tropical diseases, they were all too often cut down in their youth."
We also heard that the earliest British were unwilling to adapt their conservative dress with many layers and petticoats, which also lead to the inability to handle the environment of Kolkata.
One of the more striking tombs is that of "Hindu" Stuart. Who wanted to be a Hindu - but since you can not convert to Hinduism, you are born into it - he settled for a tomb that looked like a Hindu temple.