Kolkata, Enjoy A Spooky Afternoon On A Guided History Walk at Park Street Cemetery

Kolkata, Enjoy A Spooky Afternoon On A Guided History Walk at Park Street Cemetery
Kaushik Gupta

Curled up inside your blanket during winter with a good horror storybook and a cup of hot chocolate by your side is a horror fan’s personal paradise. Putting off the lights in your room and switching on a horror film at night is a fun alternative as well for those who love the macabre. However, both these options involve you being in the safety of your own house. What if you were to visit the house where spirits rest — a graveyard. I bet that idea would deter even some of the most ardent horror fans.

Walk Calcutta Walk is a tour agency that organizes these graveyard hunting tours from time to time in the South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata. We interviewed Kaushik Gupta, a lawyer at the Calcutta High Court, who went for one of these walks last week. He says “The group met in front of Park Show House, which was once a prominent stand-alone cinema hall but was destroyed by a fire. From there, we went to the Scottish Cemetery. Since it was a Sunday, it was closed but standing outside, the guide told us about its historical background. Then we walked down to the Park Street Cemetery. The guide told us that during the time, when the cemetery was founded, many Britishers were dying but the British Government did not want to project that image. So, although the seat of the British power was at Dalhousie, they created a graveyard at the other end of Park Street. This was during the time when Calcutta was the capital of India. Now, the commute might take ten minutes by car but during that era, it was an absolutely dense jungle. The priest used to come in a palanquin or a carriage, do the rituals and immediately go back.”

Mr. Gupta added “ There are several eminent people buried there including the great Indian poet, Derozio. We also saw the tomb, which is in the form of a temple of the Britisher, Charles Stuart, who was nicknamed Hindoo Stuart, for embracing the Hindu culture. The cemetery holds within its walls the grave of the son of Charles Dickens and the son of Justice Elijah Impey, who was the first chief justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal. There were several anonymous graves and we also saw the tallest obelisk in the cemetery, that is Sir William Jones' tomb. He was a jurist, who arrived in India in 1178 as a Chief Justice. One more interesting thing I noticed is that the graves of captains in the navy were marked with photos of anchors. This is not an active graveyard and there is still one tomb standing in the North ark Street Cemetery. Park Street has been formed in the midst of these two cemeteries."

L : The only tomb in North Park Street Cemetery  R : Grave and memorial of H.V.L.Derozio
L : The only tomb in North Park Street Cemetery R : Grave and memorial of H.V.L.DerozioKaushik Gupta

You don't need be too scared as there will be a guide accompanying you in broad daylight, along with a group of horror/history enthusiasts. If you’re in the city, do not miss an afternoon session full of grave hunting and spooky stories.

To know more, click here.

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