South Park Street Cemetery – Kolkata, India - Atlas Obscura

South Park Street Cemetery

An eclectic mix of influences rot together in harmony in this India necropolis. 


Possibly one of the earliest cemeteries not connected to a church, and probably the largest Christian cemetery outside Europe and America in the 19th century, the South Park Street Cemetery no longer welcomes the dead, but attracts hordes of the living.

Opened in 1767 and used actively until the 1830s, the eight-acre necropolis is enclosed by a high brick wall which protects the eclectic mix of tombs, cenotaphs, and mausoleums. The nearly 1900 graves represent a melting pot of design influences from European gothic to classical antiquity to Indo-Saracenic styles all jumbled up in a maze of obelisks, cairns, urns, and sarcophagi. A number of the graves belong to famous military and political figures of the time, including Sir William Jones, founder of the Asiatic Society, whose towering memorial obelisk is the tallest of the structures in the graveyard. 

While South Park Street Cemetery is undergoing constant upkeep and renovations, the rich tropical surroundings continue to encroach on the mouldering stones. Green mosses and prehistoric ferns cover much of the grounds making for a haunting setting for visitors looking for a little history in their boneyards.

Know Before You Go

At the intersection of Mother Teresa Sarani (Park Street) and Lower Circular Road

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