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At the Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata’s History Comes Alive (Condé Nast Traveller)

A guided tour of the city’s first burial ground is a walk back in time….The dead at the South Park Street Cemetery in Kolkata can whisper stories from their graves. They can tell you tales of love and sorrow, of agonies and ecstasies, and passionate pursuits and tragic endings.

The burial ground is a heritage site that was in use from 1767 AD to 1830 AD and is home to the remains of 1,600-odd British men, women and children. In the 1700s, people associated with the East India Company were using Calcutta’s first burial ground located at the site of St John’s church. But death came calling often and the sight of funeral processions wading their way through the city every other day was dispiriting.

And so, a new cemetery was built far from the city in the middle of the fields and a road named Burial Ground Road was specially built to reach it. Ironically, that road is known as Park Street today and it is one of Kolkata’s most salubrious roads, home to swanky showrooms, popular pubs, boutiques and cafés.

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