GORA KABAR , Cuttack

Tomb with its epitaph plaque
The Oldest Grave of 1808
Nature taking over the graves
Tomb of Utkala Gauraba Shri Madhusudan Das (Madhu Babu)

The graveyard lies on a low level of plane and hence is under the mercy of elements. It becomes very difficult for the management to dig new trenches during the monsoons. Constant waterlogging and weathering have destroyed many plaques on tombs and many epitaphs are indescribable now. However the tombs are of exquisite designs ranging from plain slabs to spires, domed structures and pedestals with floral engravings. The site has graves dating even before the consecration of the cemetery. The oldest grave that I could manage to find was that ‘George William Wiggens’ who was Captain of the Bengal Establishment and died on 7th Jan 1808. This site also has the Tomb of our Beloved Madhu Babu and the grave of Dr. William Day Stewart (founder of the Stewart school, died 1903). For years, Locals avoid the place at night attributed to ghost sightings and paranormal activities. Until recently, this deserted place was also used for nefarious activities by antisocial elements. Now the graveyard is kept locked and permission is required for entering it. This cemetery is primarily used by the Baptists and Catholics have their own space of cemetery adjacent to this Gora Kabar. Most of the tomb on the far side belongs to the colonial period but this cemetery is still a functional one with recent additions belonging to the year 2020 of the people who died of COVID.

A sense of wonder and respect comes to mind while walking around the place, awing at the grandeur of the colonial tombs but it quickly turns to sadness and deep sorrow when looking at the marble cross and plaques and imagining the tragic loss to the families of the deceased.

In Memory of Madhu Babu – Photo Courtesy – Kishore Bit

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