South Park Street Cemetery – Kolkata’s Haunted Place
“Cemetery” … The word itself denotes our final destination where we get disappear in the dust in our eternal sleep leaving all our power, money, fame, friends and family behind us. The South Park Street Cemetery – Kolkata’s Haunted Place, is one of the oldest cultural heritage sites in Kolkata established in 1767 when East India Company came into force.
South Park Cemetery, a nonchurch cemetery shut down in the year 1830, extended on the north side of Park Street by the year 1785. It was also extended on the east of the Lower Circular Road by 1840.
There exists a memorial made of marble at the gate which says “Opened 1767 Closed 1790” as the Europeans started misusing it since 1790.
All the architecturally impressive memorials filled with classical structures and details about the dead person. One such memorial “Grave 363” is located here. The dead anonymous person was against expressing her name. Hence “A Virtuous Mother” died 1825, encrypted on her grave. The oldest grave here is of S.Pearson died 1768.
The elevated tombs are an example of a perfect blend of Gothic and Indo Sarcenic Style. A central dome in “Panchyatana Style” with miniature replicas of Orissan “Rekhadeul” on four sides and a black basalt carving on the front clearly shows a great respect towards the Hindu Community.
The Cemetery is the resting place afterlife journey of many popular intellectual people of Kolkata. You must have heard the famous lines
“My country in the days of Glory Past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
And worshiped as deity thou wast
Where is that Glory, where is that reverence now?”
If you know these lines you must have heard about Henry Louis Vivian Derozio. You will find his grave in the cemetery. Derozio was an Anglo Indian of mixed Portuguese descent who died of cholera at only 22 years. His patriotism for Bengal despite his origin made him the most respectable person in the Indian History. He circulated western education among the young generation. He preached them the ideas of social changes, liberalism, equality, freedom. His students formed a team called “Young Bengal”.
The grave of Charles ‘Hindoo’ Stuart is also inside the cemetery. He was an officer of East India Company and attracted to the Hindu Culture and wrote the book “The Vindication of the Hindoo”. He constructed a temple and married a Hindu Woman. According to him, “ The sari is the most alluring dress in the world and the women of Hindustan are enchanting in their beauty”. His tomb is made in Gothic style and looks like Hindu Temple.
Besides, there are burials of popular well-known
people like William Jones (Supreme Court Judge), Robert Kyd, Bhupendra Kumar Datta, John Vaughan etc. There are all total 1600 graves/tombs. Moreover, the burials will give you a lamentful feeling of the people who are resting under those graves. Some had died due to epidemics which were common those days or soldiers who died in the battlefield or mariners who died by an invasion by sea or shipwreck. The area, covered with trees and tombs and a certain comfort you will feel in the dark damp air. The place is isolated from the city crowd. The row of graves will give you the chance of photography and enjoy the solitude.
The South Park Street Cemetery, well known as “Haunted Grave” also. There are different rumors and haunting experiences of people visiting here. Moreover, according to such rumor, there is a “Bleeding Tomb” in the cemetery. The pyramid-shaped tomb emits a blood-like substance during monsoon. The Dennison family is resting under the tomb. All the members of the family died one after the other within a few days. The main reason of their death is unknown.
Mother Teresa Sarani, Park Street.
Nearest Metro Station: Park Street. 15 minutes walk from the station.