The moment I heard of the Sewri Christian Cemetery in Mumbai, I knew that visiting this place would be an interesting experience. Firstly, an old British cemetery is bound to be tranquil and beautiful – I’ve already visited St. Thomas Cathedral in South Mumbai and was heavily influenced by its exquisite marble memorials. And secondly, I thought it would be a good idea to visit the grave of Frederick William Stevens (the architect of the Victoria Terminus). Not that it would make any difference for him, but a person who created the most beautiful railway station in the world (in my opinion) deserves at least that much acknowledgment. Also, this cemetery is a part of the history of Mumbai – a subject I’m particularly interested in.
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Sewri Christian Cemetery – one of the oldest cemeteries in Mumbai
So when the occasion arose, I was glad to jump at the opportunity to visit this place. And it didn’t disappoint. The Sewri Christian Cemetery in Mumbai is a quiet corner amid the hustle and bustle of the city where one can enjoy solitude, peace, and calm.
It was established in 1865 by Arthur Crawford, the first Municipal Commissioner of the city. Originally it was meant for European burials, but these days it’s the last resting place for all Christians regardless their nationality. There were also different sections for Roman Catholics, followers of the Church of England and Protestants. The old gravestones at the Sewri Christian cemetery are rather standard and beautiful in its simplicity – there are weeping angels, crosses adorned with flowers, anchors and hearts.
Frederick William Stevens’ Grave
The grave of Frederick William Stevens is located close to the entrance, but it wasn’t easy to find it – influenced by the architectural masterpiece he created, my imagination suggested an image of something extravagant and easily recognizable. However, unlike the ornate architectural piece he created, his last home is very simple.
Other famous names at the Sewri Christian cemetery
Other famous names, whose graves can be found at the Sewri Christian cemetery, include George Willet (architect of the Gateway of India) and Joseph Baptista (mayor of Bombay). Francis Newton Souza, an Avant-Garde Indian artist.
As usual, visiting a cemetery had a very pacifying effect upon me. No matter what one goes through, we inevitably measure things differently when being surrounded by those who’ve already found eternal peace. Experiencing money problems? Having a turbulent love life? Failing one exam after another? At the end of the day, what does it matter?
Sewri Christian cemetery – location and opening hours
7.00 am to 8.00 pm
Sakharam Lanjekar Marg, Sewri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400015
022 2413 0325