‘The amazing railway graveyard at Uyuni, Bolivia’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

Yes, it a an amazing graveyard- a graveyard with a difference. Here one finds a large number of old railways engines, bogies etc. left to rot in the sun. This  rail yard which I visited in 2014, is about 3 kms outside the small town of Uyuni in Bolivia and is connected to it by the old train tracks . Let us first try to get a mooring of where exactly is Bolivia located on the map of the world.

bolivia_worldImportant: The geographical boundries of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir as shown in the map above are NOT correct as part of its area seems to have been wrongly excluded from the Indian boundary. bolivia2 uyuniUyuni is located in the southern part of Bolivia, near Chilean border.

DSC00377 640 40In the past, this town served as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni

DSC00355 640 40 The engineers were invited by British-sponsored Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway Companies, which is now Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia. The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892.

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It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but the local indigenous people did not see to it kindly as they viewed it as an intrusion into their lives.

DSC00347 640 40The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery. One can see a large number of these retired engines staying unmoved.

DSC00327 640 40 Most of the trains that can be found in the Graveyard date back to the early 20th century and were imported from Britain. In other places in the world, the mighty steel trains would have held up better. The salt winds that blow over Uyuni, which hosts the world’s largest salt plain, have corroded all of the metal. Without guards or even a fence, these pieces were picked over and vandalized long ago.

DSC00331 640 40There is a talk now of building a museum out of the cemetery.DSC00329 640 40That’s me, a happily retired person, posing with a happy looking retired railway engine.

(Text with inputs from the internet)

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‘Landsdowne cemetery, Uttrakhand, India, Part-I’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

Located in the Garhwal area of the state of Uttarakhand, Lansdowne is a small picturesque hill station. It is at a height of 1706 m above sea level and has  very pleasant  weather throughout the year. In fact, due to its weather and scenic beauty, Lansdowne was a popular hill resort for the British, and they built a cantonment here which is still preserved and maintained well.

Lansdowne is named after its founder Lord Lansdowne, the Viceroy of India during 1888-1894. Currently, the command office of the legendary Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army is in Lansdowne. The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial and the Regimental Museum are worth a visit.
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The cemetery here is located in the army area but is open to public. As soon as one enters the main gate, one finds a signboard pointing out towards the cemetery. The short 300 metres walk to the cemetery is easy to negotiate. I visited this cemetery in August 2015.

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Landsdowne Sept 2015 251 380 50That is me at the entrance of this cemetery.

In the second part of this photo-article which will follow soon, I would present photos of some inscriptions on graves in this cemetery and some analysis.

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May I invite you to visit my websites & blogs?
http://www.gravematters.in
http://www.traveltalk.co.in
http://www.fiftyplustravels.com
http://www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.in
http://www.francophilesonly.blogspot.in
http://www.indianrestaurantsworldwide.blogspot.in/
http://www.indianheritagephotos.blogspot.in
***

 

‘Santiago cemetery, Chile, Part-I’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

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Generally it is not easy for a visitor to locate a cemetery in a new town. However I found the General cemetery in Santiago, Chile to be one of the easiest to locate. The reason is simple. There is a Metro station named Cementerios and one has just to take the metro, get down at the Cementerios station and come out of the station.

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The Cementerio General de Santiago, Chile is one of the largest cemeteries in Latin America with an estimated 2 million burials. The cemetery was established in 1821 after Chile’s independence when Bernardo O’Higgins inaugurated the Alameda de las Delicias along the old course of the Mapocho River.

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This cemetery is the final resting place for at least 172 of the most influential people in Chile, including all but two of the deceased Presidents of Chile, the exceptions being Gabriel González Videla and Augusto Pinochet.

One of the most visited memorials is that of former President Salvador Allende who had been buried in the Santa Ines cemetery at Viña del Mar following his suicide in the 1973 coup d’état. With the democratic changes that began in the 1990s, Allende was exhumed and his remains were transported in a solemn procession through the streets of Santiago to a place of honor in the Cementerio General de Santiago. The cemetery also has a memorial to the people that were ‘disappeared’ during the regime of Augusto Pinochet that ousted President Allende.

allende1Source of this photo: http://www.ilovechile.cl/walking-among-tombstones-salvador-allende/
The gatehouse that serves as the main entrance to the cemetery is crowned by a dome, which acts as a terminating vista for La Paz Avenue. This entrance is preceded by the Plaza La Paz, a semicircular plaza whose curved portion is framed by two exposed brick arcades. At the center of the square stands a monument dedicated to the people who died in the Church of the Company Fire.

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The historical portion of the cemetery was designated as a national monument in 2010

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Sshh…Be respectfully quiet….Here lie the departed in perpetual sleep.

Metro station: Cementerios

Visiting hours for pedestrians:
Monday to Friday: from 8.30 to 18.00
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 8:00 to 18:00 hours.

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May I invite you to visit my websites & blogs?

http://www.gravematters.in
http://www.traveltalk.co.in
http://www.fiftyplustravels.com
http://www.anaap-shnaap.blogspot.in
http://www.francophilesonly.blogspot.in
http://www.indianrestaurantsworldwide.blogspot.in/
http://www.indianheritagephotos.blogspot.in