The newly conserved cemetery and Rang Mahal gardens of the former British Residency in Hyderabad are open to visitors. Sunday 15 January 2023 saw their inauguration in a ceremony led by the Deccan Heritage Foundation and BACSA – British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia.
Mr Ravindra Gundurao, BACSA’s area representative for South Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, represented BACSA. Mr Gundurao, a conservation architect, proposed the cemetery’s conservation that was undertaken by GN Heritage Matters (GNHM)of Bangalore. The project took four years to complete and was funded by £48,000 paid by BACSA and further financial support from the Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF).
Mr Sharath Chandra, head of the GNHM team that carried out the work for the cemetery as well as that for the gardens and the Residency building itself, was present as were Ambassador Latha Reddy, Chair of DHF India and Dr Helen Philon Co-founder and Trustee of the DHF.
The cemetery holds 38 identified tombs and graves out of a total of 48 dating from 1803 to 1948 of Britons associated with the Residency or the Nizam of Hyderabad. They include the graves of Frances, the 19 year-old wife of the then Resident Thomas Sydenham; George Bushby and Lieut Col Sir Alexander Pinhey, both Residents; two members of the Rumbold banking family. Until its conservation, the cemetery lay unobserved and uncared for.
The cemetery together with the Residency itself, conserved by the World Monuments Fund, and its gardens are now a site of significant architectural and historical value and a valuable addition to Hyderabad’s heritage and tourism offering.