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“Needs maintenance”

South Park Street Cemetery
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Private Full-Day Kolkata Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Needs maintenance”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

I visited this in December 2012 and felt its not properly maintained. At the minimum It needs cleaning the shrubs and some information booklet/guidebook. I could not even read most of the epitaphs as they are worn out with time. It remains open for only 3/4 hours a day and there is no entry fee.

Visited December 2012
Thank debdasd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
103 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A must for those interested in colonialism”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

God help me but I lived in Calcutta for 25 months and never vistied this gem!

While residing there, I was told an anecdote of a young fellow who was challenged in a frat pledge or something of that nature. He was challenged to spend the night in the eerie, haunting cemetery. Reluctantly, he agreed to try. The next morning he was chipper and indifferent. It turned out that so many street people were living in the cemetery that it was the crowds who kept him going!

Now I'll make what appears to be "political statements." Bear with them as they're part of an historial legacy.

It's an amazing place. Grave stones 300 years old and far, far less. But the corrosive, polluted air of Kolkota, the city I "love to hate and hate to love," does that to stone. It's an important element of British imperialism. How? Well, you'll see gorgeous graves--of girls "2 years 3 months and 9 days" old at the time of their death. Other stones which might cost millions of pounds today over the graves of young women maybe 19 or 20 years old. Indeed, one of the points to remember of htis site is the relative youth of those buried here: I'm sure it was considered a hardship post what with the heat (American master Mark Twain said in the 19th century that Calcutta's heat was "enough to make a brass doorknob mushy"), the disease and the discomfort. Had I been able to average the age of those buried there, I doubt it would read 30 years. Sure there are the elderly, 70 or above. But many, again, were young children, or ladies in their 20s, married, usually, to some of the East India Company bureaucrats and their imperial benefactors.

And I refer to "colonialism" as an historical reality. Doubtless the British felt they were racially superior and it showed in the epitaphs, many of them poetically beautiful. But the stones themselves were majestic! Even for infants, many were far, far more elaborate than their families would have been able to afford back in the UK.

There's still the haunting element. To walk by the graveyard at night, when the mist and smog still linger over the graves of those buried there, could make up a set in a Bela Lugosi film. That just adds to the charm of the grounds.

Oh, and there are fewer people living in there now. Many of those who do help maintain the grounds, and make the acreage all the more charming--for lack of a better word.

Do visit. And, yes, respect the deceased whether you liked their politics or not. This location is a must for those interested in history, perhaps for inspiration to a haunting novel. And rememeber, it is a cemetery. And from such grounds archaeologists and anthropologists have written their dissertations.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank TimothyScanlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level Contributor
84 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Do not miss”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was certainly not at the top of our guidebook's sites to visit, but do not miss it. It was an easy walk down Park Street from our hotel. Once you enter the gates, you have entered another world. The cemetery is the burial place for British colonials and is filled with monuments large and small. It is atmospheric and evocative, almost like walking into a Piranesi engraving.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank greenjulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“South Park street cemetry- a complete display of the colonial rule in 18th and 19th century”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

South park street cemetry gives us a brief notion of the colonial rule in india during 18th and 19th century.The epitaphs on the graves gives a clear insight into the history of modern india and the europeans whose mortal remains lies here. Some epitaphs were so properly engraved that it offers a vivid description for any tourist to know what happened in those times...Above all the graves of Derozio, William Jones (founder of The Asiatic Society) in the 18th century,graves of the son of Charles Dickens. Grave of the father of William Thackeray would definitely attract the interest of the literature lovers...I loved the cemetry very much and i tell you to visit there and it would be nothing less than a educational tour...

Visited December 2012
1 Thank ayan_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Essential visit for history fans”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

If you have any interest in the colonial history of India or indeed British history, South Park Cemetery is a must see. Departed individuals with connections to the who’s who of the early British traders, soldiers and imperialists are buried here. The cost to walk around the cemetery is minimal and it only takes around 30mins to explore the site. I would recommend purchasing the small guide book before you enter the cemetery proper from inside the left hand building at the gates – this will help you navigate and learn more about the tombs. Regrettably, and all to predicable, the condition of the many of the tombs is poor and much of the ground is overgrown. However, repair work is underway on the entire site and donations are welcome (please donate to save this history).

Visited December 2012
1 Thank RoyalSovereign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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