Thursday 21 February 2013

The heritage cemetery

This is certainly one structure that you would rarely visit. You would have seen it scores of time when you passed by it but you would have barely given it a second glance.
Though it has a close bond with the British, you would not be mistaken for giving it a go by for this is cemetery and it connects with Bangalore’s past.
This cemetery is called the Agaram Protestant Cemetery and it is located between the ASC Centre and the KSRP parade grounds. It is more than 200 years old and there are more than 84 graves of British soldiers and civilians here.
Better known as the Agaram cemetery, it has graves dating back to 1808. It lies on the Defence land and civilians are generally not allowed inside. However, years of neglect has taken its toll and the cemetery is in need of  renovation.
The ASC, MEG and former Chief of  Navy, India,  O. S. Dawson, have been in the forefront of the restoration project.
The cemetery was in use till 1870 after which it was stopped. It was finally abandoned in 1920. The graves here reflect many styles and designs and we can find the names of S Mullenex and Nelson, the undertakers, who built them.
Most of the graves are constructed with large granite slabs and each grave has its own tale to tell. The oldest grave is of 1808 and belongs to Sgt. Major Kelly, HM 59th Regiment of Foot.    
There are two huge columns at the entrance of the cemetery. Each of the “Ionic columns” stand on a square base, about 40 feet in height. The column nearest the gate has four slabs with inscriptions and the other slab facing North has an inscription.
Some of the gravestones were used to construct a dividing line between the KSRP parade ground and the cemetery. This cemetery thus tells a tale of Bangalore’s history. This is thus a heritage cemetery which need caring from Bangaloreans.

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