South Park Street Cemetery
- INDIA -
An eclectic mix of influences rot together in harmony in this India necropolis.
Possibly one of the earliest cemeteries not connected to a
church, and probably the largest Christian cemetery outside Europe and America
in the 19th century, the South Park Street Cemetery no longer welcomes the
dead, but attracts hordes of the living.
Opened in 1767 and used actively until the 1830s, the
eight-acre necropolis is enclosed by a high brick wall which protects the
eclectic mix of tombs, cenotaphs, and mausoleums.
The nearly 1900 graves represent a melting pot of design
influences from European gothic to classical antiquity to Indo-Saracenic styles
all jumbled up in a maze of obelisks, cairns, urns, and sarcophagi. A number of
the graves belong to famous military and political figures of the time,
including Sir William Jones, founder of the Asiatic Society, whose towering
memorial obelisk is the tallest of the structures in the graveyard.
While South Park Street Cemetery is undergoing constant
upkeep and renovations, the rich tropical surroundings continue to encroach on
the mouldering stones. Green mosses and prehistoric ferns cover much of the
grounds making for a haunting setting for visitors looking for a little history
in their boneyards.
Clancy's comment: Worth a visit to take photographs.
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