‘Saint John in the Wilderness cemetery Mcleodgunj, Himachal Pradesh, India’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

DSC00247 580 40Mcleodgunj is a small hilly town in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. Mcleodgunj was named after Sir Donald Friell Mcleod, the Lt. General of Punjab from 1865-1870. While Mcleod stands for his name, Ganj is the native term for town. Incidentally there is a Mcleod Road named after the same Viceroy in Lahore, Pakistan.

DSC00249 580 33Just off the main road into McLeodgunj, stands an impressive church dating back to 1852.There are tall cedar trees in the area. This anglican church is 8 kms from Dharamsala and 1 km short of McLeodganj and lies between the suburb of Forsythganj and McLeodganj. It has stained-glass windows and  is open on Sunday mornings for a weekly 10 am service.DSC00248 580 33

DSC00146 580 40The churchDSC00148 480 40Within its compound, is an obelisk erected in memory of the Viceroy, Lord Elgin (1862 – 1863) by his wife Mary Louisa Lambton.The cemetery also contains the graves of many victims of the 1905 earthquake, as well as a comparatively recent tomb of the actress Priya Rajvansh.

DSC00242 580 75A general view of the cemetery.DSC00169 580 33DSC00177 580 45Two identical looking grave stones caught my eye and I went nearer. Two little sisters! DSC00176 580 45Lucy Holden

DSC00175 580 45Ethel Emily

DSC07195 580 85Bertha Alice

One also sees the graves of a little brother and sister who died of diphtheria in 1872- within days of each other.

DSC00199 580 65Hugh Bates Prussia, a young lad of 18 died on April 11, 1895 by accidentally drowning in the Kangra river. R.I.P.


Photos, text and copyright: K.J.S.Chatrath

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