There were five primary cemeteries in Shimla out of which only one is still being used. Dating back to the early 1920s the cemeteries of Shimla are the repositories of the mortal remains of many Englishmen and their families who lived amongst the townspeople and were buried here.
Sadly many of these cemeteries have been neglected and are in a pathetic state with indistinguishable epitaphs, broken tombstones and moss-covered graves that are encroached upon it is all the more heart-rending for the descendants of British Raj officials from England who come looking for their forbears who had served here during the Raj for whom this is the last resting place.
The cemetery Near Oakover came into operation in 1828. But with the rapid development of the town around it was closed; the last grave is that of Captain Mathew William Ford, dating to March 17, 1841; it has only three graves with inscriptions. Kanlog Cemetery dates back to 1850, with the first grave for one Joseph Anderson. Historically it is Shimla’s most important cemetery. Sanjauli Cemetery, dedicated to the Bishop of Lahore on July 29, 1921, is still in use. Navbahar Cemetery was opened in the 18702 to receive the mortal remains of the nuns of the Convent of Jesus and Mary. The memorial on the gate is dedicated to Colonel Parker, who died in 1837. There is a cenotaph which was raised in his honour by Colonel Tapp, then Superintendent of the Hill States. The town’s fifth cemetery by the old bus stand has vanished under a slum.
Just walk through these lanes and see some of the old houses and pass a suburb of Shimla where you have a chance to visit the graves that are still intact.
Why you will love it
- Tracing the heritage of Colonial Shimla through its cemeteries.
- Information about the people who built Shimla and contributed a lot in its development.
- Explore with a local from that area.
What you will experience
This is a history tour, and we shall be visiting two main cemeteries of Shimla. A number of descendants of many British who lived in Shimla, have already contacted us to find out the graves of their forebears. Kanlog Cemetery, for example, though no longer in use because it's already very crowded, is a tranquil place and has hundreds of graves of former Shimla inhabitants from colonial times. Sanjauli Cemetery that is approachable through Lakkar Bazaar and past Snowdon Hospital.
This tour is best suited for those who are looking for their ancestral roots and who are keen to visit the cemeteries.