Show Menu

09 Jewish cemetery in Calcutta, Narkeldanga

Legend goes that Shalome Cohen, the first settler, felt responsible for the wellbeing and welfare of the community. He decided to buy a plot of land to be ear-marked for the cemetery. He asked his friends and business associates for a suitable place. A Bengali business associate took him to an open paddy field on the outskirts of Calcutta and asked if it would be suitable for the purpose.  Shalome was delighted and asked him how much it would cost.  The magnanimous gentleman gifted it to him. Shalome said he would have to pay for it as this was going to be a religious site.  The gentleman told him to pay him what he liked. Shalome took off his gold ring in return and thanked him profusely. The first recorded death in the community was of Moses de Pas, an emissasry from Safad, now in Israel. It is assumed that his death led to the establishment of the cemetery. His grave is no longer traceable. The first reported death in the community was in 1812. There is also a geniza at the cemetery. A small private cemetery that was opened in the 1870’s and closed after 20 years or so. It lies half a mile from the main cemetery at 45 Narkeldanga Main Road. There are lists of graves in the cemetery which have been documented here under a separate subsection. The exhibit provides a narrative on the cemetary's history. Besides, it has got many photographs. An very interesting part of this exhibit is the list of the names of people buried there, from the time of founding until 1960s - 70s.