Himachal plans ’cemetery tourism’ for foreigners
With many foreigners having been buried in Himachal Pradesh when Shimla used to be the summer capital of the British Raj, the government is planning ‘cemetery tourism´ to attract their kin to the hill state.india Updated: Jul 19, 2009 13:38 IST
With many foreigners having been buried in Himachal Pradesh when Shimla used to be the summer capital of the British Raj, the government is planning ‘cemetery tourism´ to attract their kin to the hill state.
The Department of Tourism is in the process of documenting cemeteries of Britishers across the state which would be compiled in a book and also put on its website, its secretary Manisha Nanda told PTI.
The survey work for documentation is over and compilation exercise is in progress, she added.
A number of Britishers and other foreigners died and were buried in different parts of the state during the Raj, including Shimla, Dalhousie, Kasauli and Mcleodganj.
Among them was Viceroy Lord Elegan who came to India in 1862 and died in 1863. According to his last wish, he was buried in Mcleodganj, 22 km from Dharamsala.
Dr John Hatichen, who had opened the first leprosy hospital in Chamba, has his grave there.
More than 400 British soldiers who died in a devastating earthquake in Kangra in 1905, were laid to rest in Mcleodganj.
The cemetery at Kasauli, a picturesque destination in Solan district, is over 200 years old.
Britishers had set up military base at Kasauli about 300 years ago. Many officials and soldiers of the East India Company were buried at the town.
The HP Tourism secretary said the kin of those foreigners who died in the state often visit the graveyards to offer prayers.
With an aim to attract more such people to make a trip to the state, the state government has planned to launch this scheme, she said.
Nanda said the Department would consider providing some concession to people visiting the state under the scheme and staying in tourism department hotels.