The task of foreign tourists, especially those from England, who come here in search of the graves and memorabilia of their forefathers who died here during the British rule, can become easier as the Tourism Department will be soon coming out with a compilation of details of all churches and cemeteries in the state.
In fact, details of all churches and cemeteries in the state have been compiled and will soon be made public the form of a publication.
Most of these cemeteries are not well kept. At some places, graves are in such a bad shape that it becomes very difficult to figure out as to who lay buried there.
“Having a proper compilation of cemeteries and churches will be of great help to foreign tourists who wish to visit places of historical importance, especially from the point of view of the British rule,” said a senior official.
Eminent writer Raja Bhasin has undertaken the arduous task of documenting the churches and cemeteries and compiling the information as a book. Information has been taken from earlier records collected by the British Association of Cemeteries in South Asia and other Churches. Information has also been taken from Abid Ali Gill, a senior librarian at the Qiad-i-Azam Library in Lahore.
The book will have details of the year in which a church was built, date of its consecration and when the first divine service was held there.
Similarly, the information about cemeteries will have details about the year it was opened, date when the first grave was laid, how many graves it has and the date till it was in use.
The account of cemeteries will make specific mention of the graves of prominent people, who were laid to rest there. Besides coming out with the book on the churches and cemeteries in Himachal, the Tourism Department also plans to take steps to ensure better care and maintenance of these cemeteries, especially those not in use.