Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Nakhoda Muslim Cemetery



Located slightly north of Maniktala Market, on APC Road, on the right, is the Nakhoda Muslim Cemetery, also known as the Nakhoda Kabristan. Unfortunately, not many details are available about the cemetery, although the name Nakhoda would seem to suggest an association with the Kutchi Memon Jamaat, responsible for Kolkata’s principal mosque, in Chitpur. The word Nakhoda, means mariner; the Kutchi Memons were primarily sea-faring traders. The cemetery seems to be still active, as is proved by the graves of the Usmans, who were buried as late as 2011.


The cemetery overall is in an extreme state of neglect and disrepair. Apart from damage, the fact that very little English is used on tombstones and other markers, makes information very difficult to glean for anybody not familiar with Urdu/Farsi/Arabic. The principal attraction of the cemetery is the grave of Maulana Muhammad Khairuddin, who happens to be the father of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the principal leaders of the Indian independence movement. Maulana Khairuddin was a scholar, who married the daughter of a well-known Arab cleric in Mecca, where Maulana Azad was born.










On the grounds of the cemetery is also an ornate shrine, no details about which can be had from the plaques on it’s walls.



There are also some rather ornate tombs, such as this one.


The grounds of the cemetery are now also used for processing scrap iron. 


There is no restriction on entry and photography, and visitors are few.
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