“Palampur cemetery, Himachal Pradesh: photos of graves & inscriptions-I” by K.J.S.Chatrath

As the story goes,  Dr. Jameson, Superintendent of Botanical Gardens, introduced the tea bush from Almora to Palampur  in 1849. The bush thrived and a number of tea estates came up. Sadly the tea production now appears to be on the decline. There is a calm cemetery almost in the heart of the town. here are a few photographs of some of the graves and the inscriptions thereon.

The cemetery is just about 300 metres from the Hotel Tea Bud of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (http://hptdc.nic.in/).


The church in the premises.





In memory of Captain A. Milner, 12th The Royal Irish, who died at Palumpore, 17th Septembre. 1879, aged 31 years.


Sacred to the memory of Silus Kamble Whayman, who died at Bundla, 24th Septr. 1873 aged 31 years. This tomb is erected by the K.V.T.Co. and his beloved parents.

‘Thy will be done’.


To the memory of …(illegible)el Nightingall Sparks, born the 10th December 1844, died the 26th September, 1879.



Sacred to the memory of …   …(illegible), the beloved wife of Charles Davies, C.E., who died at Monsimbul, June 10th 1876, aged 51 years.

Martin Sculp.


Robert Thatcher Bicknell


Sacred to the memory of Robert Thatcher Bicknell, who died at byjnath, Kangra Valley, on 10th May 1885, aged 27 years. This tomb is erected by his many friends in the district.


Sacred to the memory of James Elson Clarke, died at Dharmsala, 12th December 1876, aged   …(illegible)1 years.


In loving memory of Captain Ormonde FitzGerald, Late 87th Royal Irish Fusilier, who died Sept. 24th 1891.

Blessed are they who die in the Lord. To live is Christ and to die is gain.



Sacred to the memory of Cecilia Hestor Henrietta Peachey, aged 9 months & 5 days. died 20th June 1876.

Kunnan Lall & Sons, Sectr. Delhi.


Sacred to the memory of Andrew Turnbull, Proprietor of the   Palampur Tea Estate, who died on 12th September 1899, aged 57.



Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.

“Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris – graves of some extraordinary ladies & gentlemen” by K.J.S.Chatrath

Pere Lachaise cemetery has so many distinguished personalities buried in its grounds that it is difficult to choose which grave to visit first. Here are photographs of graves of a few of the noted ladies and gentlemen buried there.

Honoré de Balzac (1799 – 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon.


Honore’ de Balzac.

Jean -Baptiste Poquelin, popularly known by his stage name of  Moliere (1622-1673) was a French playwright and actor considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy.




Auguste-Laurent Burdeau (1851 – 1894) was a French politician writer. He  translated several works of Herbert Spencer and of Schopenhauer into French.  In 1885 he was elected deputy for the département of the Rhône,  He was several times minister and  was elected president of the chamber of deputies



Auguste Burdeau’s grave

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French painter  who is welknown for his work “Liberty leading the people”.

Delacroix’s ‘Liberty leading the people’ (Photo source Wikipedia. Original in the Louvre museum, Paris)


Grave of Eugene Delacroix

Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695) was the most famous French fables writer and one of the widely read poets of the 17th century.



Another view of the grave of La Fontaine

Casimir Delavigne was a popular writer and the librarian of the Palais Royal, Amongst his famous works are, École des vieillards, La Princesse Aurilie,  The Messéniennes and La Parisienne. This song became almost as popular as the Marseillaise.


Casimir Delavigne

Jim Morrison was an American singer and songwriter with ‘The Doors’.Continues to be a popular youth icon. His is one of the most visited graves in the cemetery-

Jim Morrison”s grave

Theodore Gericault was a famous French Romantic painter, whose major work was ‘The Raft of the Medusa’. This work has been reproduced on the lower portion of his tomb.

france-general-to-be-sorted-out-107-gericalli-420Grave of Gericault.

Allan Kardec was the pen name of the French teacher and educator Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail (1804-1869). He was the founder of Spiritism.


Allan Kardec’s grave.

Augustin Eugene Scribe (1791-1861) was a French dramatist and librettist. he is remembered for what is called the ‘well made play’ (piece bien faite), which was popular for over a century and as the libbretist or the writer of the text of many successful grand operas.


Milosz Magin was a welknown pianist and composer. He was of Polish origin. His grave is  next to Chopin’s tomb in this cemetery in Paris.


Magin’s grave

I could not find out whose grave is the one below. The inscription reads ‘He loved Stendhall, Pavarotti, Gamine, the Pink Floyd…but at 29 years!

france-general-to-be-sorted-out-081-pl-3-420Amongst the other well known personalities buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery are: Édith Piaf (singer); Felix Faure (former President of France); Frederic Chopin (Polish composer); Isadora Duncan (American actress); Jean Moulin (leader of the French Resistance during World War II); Jean-François Champollion (French decipherer of the hieroglyphs and father of Egyptology); Marcel Marceau (French Mime Artist); Oscar Wilde (Irish novelist, poet and playwright); Sarah Bernhardt (French stage and film actress); Yves Montand (film actor).


Text based on information from the internet. Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.




“Dadi-poti kay makbarey (The tombs of grandmother and grand daughter)”, New Delhi by K.J.S.Chatrath

This photo article is about the tombs of amuslim grand mother and grand daughter in New Delhi. These are located just off the Shri Aurobindo Marg, next to the Aurobindo Market.



There is good and adequate signage. The lush green lawn being maintained around the structures looks pleasant. Yes, one must compliment the Archeological Survey of India and the Delhi Administration which have so spruced up the area that one is tempted to go and explore it. The A.S.I have also put up nice descriptive board explaining briefly whatever little is known about ‘Dadi Poti kay makberay’.


The tombs of Dadi (left) and Poti (right).

The term Dadi-Poti’s tombs (grand mother-grand daughter) used for the two tombs located side by side, was perhaps coined because one tomb is bigger than the other. It is not known who are buried there.

dadi-poti-may-23-2012-009-420Dadi’s makbera

The bigger tomb measures 15.86 metres X15.86 metres, and dates back to the Lodi period.

dadi-poti-may-23-2012-001-420A side view.

dadi-poti-may-23-2012-018-420A view from the interior.

dadi-poti-may-23-2012-027-420An interesting placement of the earches, near each other but in different directions.


A number of people appear to have been buried here. But who were they? One does not know.


The smalller building (poti) above, has sloping walls and a distinctive lantern on the dome. It measures 11.8 metres by 11.8 metres and dates back to the Tughlaq period (1321-1414)


The ornately decorated northern facade is unusual because the main entrance to tombs is usually from the south.


Do take a walk in the past and stroll through the Dadi-Poti kay makbarey whenever you are in delhi and can snatch some time.

  Photographs  and text by K.J.S.Chatrath. Text based on infromation from the A.S.I.

Copyright K.J.S.Chatrath

(This website does not sell any hotel rooms/air tickets/packages/insurance cover etc.  It is intended only for providing information to the Fifty+/younger travellers and sharing of travel experiences.)


The above information is being shared only for the convenience of the readers who are advised to double check the information and satisfy themselves before taking any decision. Fiftyplustravels.com is in no way responsible either for the accuracy of the contents or for the running of the tours/trains or any other information mention therein.

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These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.





“Ushuaia cemetery, Argentina, Part – II” by K.J.S.Chatrath













  Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.

“Ushuaia, Argentina-The southern most christian cemetery in the world, Part-I ” by K.J.S.Chatrath

                                                                                  ushuaia-map-420                                 Let us first locate Ushuaia on the map of the world.
Ushuaia is the capital city of Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina. It is regarded as the southernmost city in the world.


This is the entrance to the “Cementerio Municipal” (town cemetery).










This is a crypt which houses remains of a number of dead.




  Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.

“Do not disturb!” by K.J.S.Chatrath

Some persons working in the cemeteries are known to come across some inexplicable experiences. I have been visiting the cemeteries and especially the French cemeteries in India for almost ten years for my research work on inscriptions on French graves in India but I did not have any such experience during my numerous visits to these cemeteries. Well almost!

During my last visit to Pondicherry cemetery in January 2005 I had a somewhat baffling experience.

pondy-boundry-420Entrance to Puducherri’s (Pondicherry’s) French cemetery

I may add that I am a hard boiled rationalist and I am miles away from being superstitious. I had been visiting the cemetery and for a few days and had been meeting the Lady Caretaker and a young man who was her assistant. Both of them were extremely polite and helpful. In spite of my not knowing Tamil, they had gone out of their way to guide me to various little known old graves in the cemetery which I had missed during my previous visits.


A view of the cemetery

On the last day of my visit to the cemetery I thanked the Lady Caretaker and her Assistant for their help. Suddenly both of them let out an almost synchronized shout. I was really startled while one of them tried to push me and the other gesticulated towards my back. My reflexes were rather quick for a sixty plus man. I looked back and saw a cow with long horns charging towards me. Helped by the push of the Caretaker and my own reflexes I just managed to get out of the way of the charging animal- not by inches but just by centimeters. My immediate reaction was to take a few deep breaths and then sip a bit of water. By the time a few people had gathered and were speaking excitedly in Tamil, which unfortunately I could not follow.

Back in the hotel about half an hour later and having become more composed I could not help wondering if it was just one of those coincidences. Or was it a message to me not to disturb the dead any more! I don’t really know.


Memorial to those from Pondicherry who died for France in the World Wars.

  Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.


“Caring For The Dead: A homage to the late Theon Wilkinson” by K.J.S.Chatrath

The news item reporting the passing away in London of Theon Wilkinson in November 2007 some how did not catch my eye then. It is only much later that while re-reading his well known book “The Two Monsoons”- which he had sent to me with his autograph and a personal letter about two years back that I checked up the internet and found about his demise.

Theon was born was born on January 28, 1924 in, what the Britishers called, Cawnpore (Kanpur) in India and later on served in the British Indian army. He settled in the UK after retirement. On his sons’s 21st birthday, he brought him to India to show him around. While visiting various cemeteries, he was sad to see condition of the graves. This was when he decided to do something about it. He set up an informal Association of Friends of European Cemeteries in India – which later came to be christened as the British Association for Cemeteries in South-Asia (BACSA) and was formed in March 1977.

In 1976 he published “The Two Monsoons”. The full title of the book “The Two Monsoons – The Life and Death of Europeans in India” gives an idea of the contents. It reviews 350 years of cemeteries in India. A revised Second Edition came in 1987- which coincided with a decade of the setting up of BACSA. The preface explains two clear aims of the book. The first was a hope that the fragments from the tombs would present a mosaic of the life and death of Europeans in India without any political prejudice. The second aim, interlinked with and in fact flowing from the first, was to set up an association of those who felt for the European cemeteries in the Indian peninsula. Both the aims seem to have been well full filled.

It is estimated that more than 2 million Europeans lie buried in different parts of the Indian peninsula. He puts the whole issue in a stark perspective by informing the reader that the average age at death of Europeans in India during the earlier part of the colonial period was a meager 30 years for men and a pathetic 25 years for women. And this excluded the high rates of infant and child mortality. It took a sea journey of 6-7 months to reach India from Britain. And reaching just before the monsoons, one had no time for getting acclimatized. One was lucky to survive two consecutive monsoons in India and that’s what the title of the book is hinting at. He sweeps through locations of cemeteries, the inscriptions, the causes of death, and puts everything in a perspective.

He puts forth a different and fairly dispassionate view of the history of the British colonialism in India. He doesn’t try to justify anything and at times he is openly critical of the ways of the Europeans in India. Describing the inscriptions giving cause of death as some of the sports being then played by the Europeans, he blames them for their insensitivity to local customs: “Europeans in India pursued their sports with a desperate disregard for the customs of the country and the local population was surprised and bewildered by their values- the needless heroism, the unnecessary activity of mind and muscle – when the climate had taught the Indians that passivity was the answer. On this point there was a real gulf between the East and the West”. Of course including the word “mind” with “muscle” in the above description does hint that he thought the Indians to be averse to unnecessary activity of the mind too, a statement which even though it rhymes well, is neither true nor acceptable.

He didn’t mince words in describing the large scale shooting of the tigers by the British. Of course he went a step further and pondered over the possible reasons behind this “sport” having become so popular with his countrymen in India: “Tiger shooting became the sport of the Governors, the new kings of India, and killing a tiger, in some unconscious way, symbolized the conquest of the mysterious forces of the East.”

He succeeds in giving the Indian point of view and in the process often mocks at the Europeans. He describes how the Europeans always appeared to be in a hurry in India, which greatly intrigued, and one is sure, amused the Indians. “For some reason, incomprehensible to the Eastern mind, Europeans were always in a hurry ‘Jaldi Karo’ … … ‘Jaldi’ was almost the first word a European learnt in India. Not that the time saved was put to any useful purpose”.

We are told of the little known relatives of important personalities of the day lying buried in India. We get details about the Yale University’s founder Elihu Yale’s Madras connection. In Bangalore is the grave of the son of Sir Walter Scott who died at the Cape on his way to India. Who but Theon Willkinson could discover that poet John Milton’s great-grandson Caleb Clarke was the Parish priest of the St. Mary’s Church in Madras. Or that Mathew Arnold’s brother Delafield Arnold, who wrote several books and articles under the penname “Punjabee” had a long stay in India. He also located the grave of Charles Dickens son Walter Landor Dickens in Bhowanipore near Calcutta.

He shows surprise that there is no memorial to the dead Indians at the site of the Battle of Plassey, or to the victims of the Great Cyclone of 1st November, 1864 which left thousands dead in Calcutta. One needs to appreciate that expression of private grief in public, by way of erection of memorials was not common in India. Similarly mass monuments were also not erected in India. One reason is the difference in the manner of disposal of the dead. Since in Christians, the dead are buried at specific, identifiable places in the cemeteries, putting up a gravestone with an inscription or getting a monument constructed over it are understandable. The majority Indian form of disposal of the dead is by burning at the burning ghat. The same spot is used again and again, to burn the dead bodies. So it is difficult for any one to individually or collectively regard it as the burial place of a particular individual and to bury a memorial or structure there. Therefore not finding memorials to the dead in India should not be taken as lack of show of respect for the departed.

Remembering the dead is not the same thing as glorifying the colonial rule – these are just different levels. At one level, the detailed epitaphs and inscriptions could be seen as an expression of, and even an attempt to glorify the colonial empire. At a different and more humane level, it is just remembering the dead who came from far away lands, never, ever to go back to their motherlands. Those who subjugated the land lie dead and buried here- subjugated by the same very land- what an irony!

As is welknown, the Moghuls had got pillars erected at every ‘kos’ on the Grand Trunk Road in India. These were known as the “Kos Minars” and were the precursors of the present day milestones. But what really came as a surprise was the finding in the book about small cemeteries set up by the British along the grand Trunk road and some other major roads. “There were tiny cemeteries or clusters of graves at about 12 mile intervals, known as ‘marching cemeteries’, where the casualties of heat stroke were buried when the marchers camped on for the night”. This is a tempting area for further research – if only I were younger!

It is difficult to label this book into a single category. It is interestingly informative, thoroughly thought provoking and amazingly anecdotal.

Thanks to his initiative BACSA has aroused considerable interest in India and the upkeep and conservation of the European cemeteries has improved, though in patches. My humble homage to this extra ordinary man would be to propose the following epithet for his grave.

“There are many who care for the living,
But here lies a man who cared for the dead!”


  Photograph, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?



“Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris, Part-II” by K.J.S.Chatrath

Here are some more photographs from the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris. An assortment of differing styles. Each wanting to convey something.

Come let us take a walk in this surprisingly soothing space.















And here is an inscription throwing light on the Indian connection of the deceased. It reads:



Madame Caroline Amherst

Ve- De Monsieur W-K-Amherst

Ancien Magistrat au Bengal

Decedee le 12 8bre 1816.

Ce monument a ete erige par son fils unique

William Amherst


(The English translation of the inscription would be: Here lies Mrs. Caroline Amherst, widow of Mr. W.K.Amherst, ex magistrate in Bengal, died on 12th Octobre, 1816. This monument has been got erected by her only son William Amherst.)



  Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.










“Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris” by K.J.S.Chatrath


Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris is one of the most welknown cemeteries in the world.


It is also said to be the most visited cemetery in the world.


Père Lachaise Cemetery, officially known as cimetière de l’Est, “East Cemetery”, is the largest cemetery in Paris.


The cemetery is on Boulevard de Ménilmontant.


The cemetery is quite congested.

The Paris Metro stationPhilippe Auguste  on line 2is next to the main entrance, while the station named Pere Lachaise, on both lines 2 and 3, is  around 500 metres away,  near a side entrance.


Like so many other new starts, this cemetery too was got built by Napoleon in 1804.



I asked this gentleman if I could take his photo. He nodded and then got busy with his work.

thumbs_france-general-to-be-sorted-out-055-580-wwmfrance-general-to-be-sorted-out-051-580 france-general-to-be-sorted-out-052-580



 To take a virtual tour of this cemetery visit:



  Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


        May I invite you to see my other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com and my blog www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.com

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.








Welcome to my just started website: www.gravematters.in. My existing website on graves, www.europeangravesinindia.com would be getting subsumed in this new website.

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense of humour…

Photograph & text by K.J.S.Chatrath

My other website: www.fiftyplustravels.com