Travel Bucket List: India – Delhi Part 4

Jama Masjid
The Masjid-i-Jehan-Numa or the World-reflecting Mosque, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the large mosques in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656 at the highest point of Shahjahanabad and inaugurated by Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari from Bukhara, Uzbekistan who had been invited by Shah Jahan to be the mosque’s Shahi or Royal Imam. Situated in the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad which is today Old Delhi, it served as the imperial mosque of the Mughal emperors until the demise of the empire in 1857. The Jama Masjid was regarded as a symbolic node of Islamic power across India, well into the colonial era as well as a site of political significance during several key periods of British rule. It remains in active use today and is one of Delhi’s most iconic sites, closely identified with the ethos of Old Delhi.

The mosque has two names. The older one, bestowed by Shah Jahan, is Masjid-i-Jehān-Numā, roughly translating to the mosque commanding the view of the world in Persian and Urdu. The other more common one is Jāmā Masjid, which emerged among the common people whose literal translation in Arabic is a congregational mosque. It is used in the sense of a Friday mosque or Juma Masjid since this is when the congregational prayer is held. The term Jama Masjid is not unique to Delhi’s mosque. Since the 7th century, it has been used in the Islamic world to denote the community mosque, and hence many around the world bear this name and its variants. The mosque was one of the last monuments built under Shah Jahan and after completion, it served as the royal mosque of the emperors until the end of the Mughal period.

During British colonial rule, the Masjid continued to serve as a site of social and political discourse, but the Revolt of 1857 was a major turning point. It resulted in the deaths of many British and weakened colonial authority, deeply affronting the British and ending the Mughal empire. The British perceived the revolt as instigated by Muslims, cultivated within Delhi’s mosques. So, after the British reclaimed the city in the same year, they razed many mosques and banned the congregation of Muslims in any remaining mosques. The Jama Masjid was barred from any religious use and was repeatedly considered for destruction, but eventually, it was used as barracks for its Sikh and European soldiers. The Masjid was eventually returned to the Muslims in 1862, due to their increasing resentment of British actions. Multiple conditions were imposed, including the usage of the Jama Masjid as strictly a religious site, as well as mandatory policing by the British. The Jama Masjid Managing Committee or JMMC, consisting of respected Muslims of Delhi, was established as a formal body to represent the mosque and enforce these conditions. In 1886, the Nawab of Rampur donated a sum of 1,55,000 rupees to facilitate repairs and in 1926, a donation from the Nizam of Hyderabad of 1,00,000 rupees was used for similar purposes.

The Jama Masjid continued to be a political symbol after independence. In 1948, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah VII was asked for a donation of 75,000 rupees to repair one-fourth of the mosque floor. The Nizam instead sanctioned 3,00,000 rupees, stating that the remaining three-fourths of the mosque should not look old.

Today, Jama Masjid serves as Delhi’s primary mosque and has a largely congregational function. The Muslims of the city traditionally gather here to offer communal Friday prayer, as well as for major festivals such as Eid. The mosque is also a major tourist attraction and derives a significant amount of income through such visits.

At the time of its construction, the Jama Masjid was the largest mosque in the Indian subcontinent. It was modelled after the Jama Masjid of Fatehpur Sikri, reflected in the design of many exterior features, such as the facade and courtyard. However, the interior of the mosque more closely resembles the Jama Masjid in Agra. The mosque predominantly uses red sandstone and is set apart from its predecessors by more extensive usage of white marble. Black marble also features as a decorative element. Arabic and Persian calligraphic pieces are found on various surfaces of the structure, whose content ranges from religious to panegyric. The complex is oriented to the west, towards Mecca. An imperial college, imperial dispensary, and madrasa used to lie adjacent to the structure but were destroyed in the uprisings of 1857.

The mosque is accessed by three sandstone gates, with the most prominent being the three-storied high eastern gate, which historically acted as the shahi or royal entrance, reserved only for the use of the Emperor and his associates. The other two entrances are the northern and southern gates, which are two stories high and were used by the general population. Each gate is accompanied by a three-sided sandstone stairway, with white markings to designate prayer positions. The cabinet located in the north gate has a collection of relics of Muhammad, including the Quran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals, and his footprints embedded in a marble block. The square courtyard is paved with red sandstone and faces the eastern gate and can accommodate 25,000 worshippers. Open arcades run along the edges of the courtyard, through which the surroundings of the Masjid are visible. Chhatris mark the four corners of the courtyard, rising above the arcades.

Three marble domes rise from the roof of the prayer hall, featuring golden finials and the facade features a grand pishtaq in the centre, flanked by five smaller, cusped archways on either side. Above each archway of the prayer hall are some calligraphic pieces. The interior of the hall bears seven mihrabs or prayer niches on the western qibla wall, corresponding to the seven bays into which the hall is divided. The central mihrab is intricately decorated and clad in marble, with a marble minbar or pulpit lying to its right. The hall is floored with white and black ornamented marble to look like a Muslim prayer mat. The mosque’s domes are flanked by two sandstone minarets, at the northeast and southeast corners. They are 40 m high and longitudinally striped with white marble. Each minaret consists of 130 steps, along which viewing galleries occur at three places. Both minarets are topped with a marble chhatri.

The Imams of Delhi’s Jama Masjid have traditionally been the direct descendants of the first Imam of the Masjid, Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, who was appointed by Shah Jahan. Their position is known as that of the Shahi Imam, or Royal Imam. The person next in line to the position is known as the Naib or Deputy Imam. The Shahi Imams bear the last name of Bukhari, denoting their ancestral origin in Bukhara in modern-day Uzbekistan.

The best time to visit the mosque is before 12 noon and between 2 and 4 pm. The most important prayer is held right before sunset between 4:30 and 5:30 p. Jama Masjid is open every day from 7 am to 12 noon and then again between 1:30 and 6:30 pm for muslims and for non-muslims, between 8 am to 30 minutes before sunset. The minaret is open between 9 am to 5:30 pm. While entry to the mosque is free, if you want to photograph the masjid, the cost for that is INR 200 while entry to the tower costs INR 100.

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Located within the Qutb Minar complex, the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque which translates to the Might of Islam was built by the Mamluk ruler, Qutub-ud-din Aibak. This was the first mosque to be built in the city after the Islamic conquest of India. Also known as Jami Masjid, the construction of the mosque began in 1193 and is the oldest surviving testament of the Ghorids’ architecture in the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent additions were made to the monument during the reigns of Iltutmish and Alauddin Khilji. Initially, the mosque was conceived as a stand-alone structure but the Qutb Minar was constructed simultaneously as a Minar of the Jami Masjid so that the imam can use the minar to call the congregation for prayers.

The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque resembles the structure and pattern of other monuments at the time built by the same ruler like the Adhai Din ka Jhopra and the Ajmer Mosque. A Persian inscription found at the site suggests that it required the destruction of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples to furnish the material for the construction of this mosque. Originally built with red sandstone, grey quartz and white marble, the building is currently in ruins. Layers of plaster have given way to reveal Hindu carvings on the original stone.

An example of Indo-Islamic architecture, the mosque includes a central courtyard and a grand prayer hall located to its west, huge arcades made of greystone, and a total of five bays. It also has an enormous central arch and comparatively smaller side arches. Both the screens and the pillars are carved with floral designs and religious texts. The mausoleum is built on an elevated platform with an ornate dome-shaped entrance borrowed from Hindu temples. The iron pillar is located in the front while the very popular Qutb Minar is located to its west. The mosque is open between 10 am and 5 pm. Entry fees are INR 10 for Indians and IR 250 for foreigners.

Fatehpuri Masjid
Situated at the western end of Chandni Chowk, Fatehpuri Masjid is a 17th-century mosque named after the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Fatehpuri Begum. Built in 1650, the mosque is constructed entirely of red stone and boasts a fluted dome and towering minarets. The mosque has a vast central prayer hall designed with seven enormous arches and is famous for stationing the Indian troops during the war of 1857. Later, it was auctioned by the British to a local merchant, Rai Lala Chunnamal for INR 19000, who preserved and protected the mosque till 1877 when it was again acquired by the government in exchange for four villages. The mosque has three huge entrance gates, one of which opens across the road from Red Fort and the other two are located towards the North and South.

Fatehpuri Masjid has been built on an elevated platform of three and a half feet. Capped by a gigantic dome, the mosque is guarded by two towering minarets. The chief prayer hall has seven arches, the central of which is the highest. Both the dome and the arches have been made out of lime mortar and are striped black and white. Made entirely in red sandstone, the mausoleum has three entrance gates- the biggest of which opens across the road from Red Fort and the other two opens towards the North and South ends. The monument also boasts of a central courtyard which houses more than twenty graves of prominent Islamic scholars; single and double-storeyed apartments flank the courtyard. A very large tank grace the courtyard, the water from which is used for ablution.

Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
Situated in Mehrauli’s Archaeological Village Complex, Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb are the two structures situated beside one another. The mosque is surrounded by a garden area and is built in red sandstone with marble decorations. There’s a prayer hall with five arches embellished with medallions and other ornaments. The nooks and walls are adorned with inscriptions from the Koran. The tomb, adjacent to the mosque, is a flat monolith painted in red and blue and decorated with Koranic inscriptions and Jamali’s poems. The way to the tomb gives one the impression that one is stepping inside a jewellry box.

Jamali, also known as Shaikh Jamali Kamboh, was a famous Sufi saint from the pre-Mughal rule. He was buried in his tomb after his demise in 1535. On the other hand, Kamali was a common man who was associated with Jamali. Together the complex is regarded as Jamali Kamali as both these people were laid to rest next to each other under two marble graves. The construction of both the mosque and tomb began in 1528 and it took a whole year to complete. The mosque and tomb are open between 10 am and 6 pm.

Nizamuddin Dargah
The mausoleum or dargah of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya who lived between 1238 and 1325, Nizamuddin Dargah is located in the Nizamuddin West and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every week. The Dargah is looked after by the descendants of Nizamuddin Auliya which is also known for its evening qawwali devotional music sessions. The tombs of Amir Khusrau, Nizamuddin’s disciple, and Jehan Ara Begum, Shah Jahan’s daughter, are located at the entrance to the complex. The dargah complex has more than 70 graves. The complex was renovated and restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture around 2010.

Nizamuddin’s tomb has a white dome. The main structure was built by Muhammad bin Tughluq in 1325, following Nizamuddin’s death. Firuz Shah Tughlaq later repaired the structure and suspended four golden cups from the dome’s recesses. Nawab Khurshid Jah of Hyderabad’s Paigah Family gifted the marble balustrade that surrounds the grave. The present dome which is about 6 m by 6 m in diameter was built by Faridun Khan in 1562. The structure underwent many additions over the years. The Dargah is surrounded by a marble patio and is covered with intricate jalis or trellis walls.

Next to the dargah is the Jamat Khana Masjid built of red sandstone and has three bays. Its stone walls are carved with inscriptions of texts from the Quran with arches that have been embellished with lotus buds, in addition to the facade of its dome having ornamental medallions. Built during the reign of Alauddin Khalji by his son Khizr Khan and completed between 1312 and 1313, Khizr was responsible for the central dome and hall and was a follower of Nizamuddin. Around 1325, when Muhammad bin Tughlaq took over the reign, he constructed the two adjoining halls, each of which has two domes. The southern hall or chhoti masjid or little mosque is restricted to women and features a wooden door. The large dome of the mosque features a golden bowl that is suspended from the centre.

At the back entrance of the complex is a baoli or stepwell, commissioned by Nizamuddin himself and completed in 1321. It is close to the Yamuna river and is always filled. People believe that its waters have magical powers and bathe in it. According to legend, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq had commissioned the Tughlaqabad Fort at the same time the baoli was being built. Because he forbade all workers from working on the stepwell, they would work on it at night. Upon discovering this, the supply of oil was restricted. The masons then lit their lamps with the water of the baoli, after a blessing.

The area has been a hub for cultural activities in Delhi since the 13th century, leading to many building important buildings close to the area, including Humayun’s Tomb and Sunder Nursery, a 16th-century heritage park. The tombs of Mirza Ghalib and Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana are also located in this area due to their cultural significance. The other important monuments in the Nizamuddin heritage area include Barakhamba and Lal Mahal.

The area is referred to as the nerve centre of Sufi culture in India. On the 17th and 18th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal, thousands gather to observe the birth anniversary and urs or death anniversary of the saint. Besides this, thousands also visit during the birth and death anniversaries of Amir Khusrau, Nizamuddin’s disciple. Hundreds visit the dargah everyday throughout the year to pray. The Dargah has a tradition of qawwali, especially the one every Thursday night attracting about 1500 visitors. The regular qawwalis occur every evening after the Maghrib or evening prayer. Women are traditionally not allowed inside the dargah’s inner sanctum. The evening prayers in which lamps are lit, called the Dua-e-Roshni, is an important ritual. Pilgrims gather around the khadim, the caretaker, who prays for the wishes of all those gathered to be granted.

The festival of Basant Panchami is also celebrated at the dargah. According to legend, Nizamuddin was deeply attached to his nephew, Khwaja Taqiuddin Nuh, who died due to an illness. Nizamuddin grieved over him for a long time. Khusrau, his disciple, wanted to see him smile and dressed up in yellow and began celebrating the onset of Basant, after spotting some women do the same. This caused Auliya to smile, an occasion that is commemorated to this day. The Dargah is open daily between 5 am and 10:30 pm.

Humayun’s Tomb
The tomb of the Mughal Emperor, Humayan, Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum under her patronage in 1558. The first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent, the tomb is located close to the Dina-panah Citadel, also known as Purana Qila, which Humayun constructed in 1538. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone in such a scale and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the west, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years; it is the tomb complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri’s court of the Suri dynasty, who fought against the Mughals, which was constructed in 1547.

The complex encompasses the main tomb of Emperor Humayun, and also houses the graves of Empress Bega Begum, Hamida Begum, and also Dara Shikoh, great-great-grandson of Humayun and son of Emperor Shah Jahan, as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals. It represented a leap in Mughal architecture, and together with its accomplished Charbagh garden, typical of Persian gardens, but never seen before in India, it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture.

The tomb’s site was chosen on the banks of the Yamuna river, due to its proximity to the Nizamuddin Dargah. In later Mughal history, the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, along with three princes, and was captured by Captain Hodson before being exiled to Rangoon. The Tombs of Battashewala Complex lie in the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site of the Humayun Tomb Complex; the two complexes are separated by a small road but enclosed within their separate compound wall. The tomb of Humayun was built by his first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum, also known as Haji Begum. Construction began in 1565 and was completed in 1572.

During the partition of India, Purana Qila together with Humayun’s Tomb, became the major refugee camps for Muslims migrating to the newly founded state of Pakistan. An important phase in the restoration of the complex began around 1993, when the monument was declared a World Heritage Site. Excavation process began under the aegis of the Aga Khan Trust and the ASI which culminated in 2003, when much of the complex and gardens were restored, with the historic fountains running once again after several centuries of disuse.

The high rubble built enclosure is entered through two lofty double-storeyed gateways on the west and south, 16 metres high with rooms on either side of the passage and small courtyards on the upper floors. The tomb, built of rubble masonry and red sandstone, uses white marble as a cladding material and also for the flooring, lattice screens, door frames, eaves, and the main dome. It stands on a vaulted terrace eight m high and spread over 12,000 sq m. It is essentially square in design, though chamfered on the edges to appear octagonal, to prepare the ground for the design of the interior structure. The plinth made with rubble core has fifty-six cells all around and houses over 100 gravestones. The entire base structure is on a raised platform, a few steps high. The double or double-layered dome has an outer layer that supports the white marble exterior, while the inner part gives shape to the cavernous interior volume. In a contrast to the pure white exterior dome, the rest of the building is made up of red sandstone, with white and black marble and yellow sandstone detailing, to relieve the monotony.

The symmetrical and simple design on the exterior is in sharp contrast with the complex interior floor plan, of the inner chambers, which is a square ninefold plan, where eight two-storied vaulted chambers radiate from the central, double-height domed chamber. It can be entered through an imposing entrance iwan or high arc on the south, which is slightly recessed, while other sides are covered with intricate jaalis, stone latticework. Underneath this white dome in a domed chamber or hujra, lies the central octagonal sepulchre, the burial chamber containing a single cenotaph. The Cenotaph is aligned on the north-south axis, as per Islamic tradition while the real burial chamber lies in an underground chamber, exactly beneath the upper cenotaph. The main chamber also carries the symbolic element, a mihrab design over the central marble lattice or jaali, facing Mecca in the west.

While the main tomb took over eight years to build, it was also placed in the centre of a 30-acre Charbagh, a Persian-style garden with a quadrilateral layout. The highly geometrical and enclosed Paradise garden is divided into four squares by paved walkways and two bisecting central water channels, reflecting the four rivers that flow in Jannat, the Islamic concept of paradise. Each of the four squares are further divided into 8 smaller gardens with pathways, creating 32 miniature gardens in all, with the mausoleum in the centre, a design typical of later Mughal gardens. The central water channels appear to be disappearing beneath the tomb structure and reappearing on the other side in a straight line, suggesting a Quranic verse that talks of rivers flowing beneath the Garden of Paradise.

The tomb and garden are enclosed within high rubble walls on three sides. The fourth side was meant to be the river Yamuna, which has since shifted course away from the structure. The central walkways terminate at two gates – a main one on the southern wall, and a smaller one on the western wall. It has two double-storey entrances; the west gate is currently used, while the south gate, which was used by the Mughals, is now closed. Aligned at the centre on the eastern wall lies a baradari, which is a building or room with twelve doors designed to allow the free draught of air through it. On the northern wall lies a hammam, a bath chamber.

Other monuments within the complex includes the tomb and mosque of Isa Khan Niyazi dating back to 1547, Bu Halima’s Tomb and Garden Afsarwala’s Tomb and Mosque, Arab Serai which used to be stables, Nila Gumbad and Chillah Nizamuddin Aulia believed to be the residence of Nizamuddin Auliya located just outside the main complex.

Humayun’s Tomb is open daily between 10 am and 6 pm and entry fees are INR 10 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners. For filming videos, one needs to pay INR 25 while photography is free.

Safdarjung’s Tomb
An elegant mausoleum built of marble and sandstone boasting of an 18th-century Mughal architectural style, Safdarjung’s Tomb was built in 1754 during the reign of Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur. The tomb is dedicated to the Prime Minister of the emperor, Safdarjung. The mausoleum boasts of a tranquil ambience with an enormous dome, elaborate arches, and intricate architecture.

The mausoleum was built by Safdarjung’s son Shuja-ud-Daula and is one the very last specimens of Mughal architecture and signifies the downfall of the dynasty. The garden tomb is built in a fashion similar to that Humayun’s Tomb, and also houses several pavilions, a madrasa and a library at the entrance, managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The tomb’s design had four key features in the char bagh style – the mausoleum surrounded by four gardens, the nine-fold floor, five facade design and a huge rostrum with a secret passageway. The front of the monument has intricate ornamentation. The main mausoleum has high arched walls with intricate carvings, the cenotaph is reposed on the square central chamber, and the dome rests on top of the terrace. The underground chamber beneath the cenotaph has the graves of Safdarjung and his wife. Built entirely with red and buff stones, the interiors of the tomb are covered in rococo plasterwork. Four polygonal towers decorated in marble and possessing huge arches occupy the corners of the tomb from the outside. The rear side of the monument houses a library and several rooms. To its right, is a mosque. Built in the conventional style of Mughal architecture and closely on the lines of the Taj Mahal, the structure appears unbalanced due to accentuated prominence of the vertical axis, with a more elongated dome and the four minarets a part of the main monument, unlike the Taj Mahal where the minarets are detached.

The gardens surrounding the mausoleum are built in the typical Mughal charbagh style, styled on the designs of Humayun’s Tomb. Fenced by a 280 m high wall, the gardens are further divided into four squares with neat little pathways and sparkling water tanks. One passage leads to the main gate while the others lead to the pavilions. The main mausoleum stands on a dais 50 m in height. Four pavilions and octagonal chhatris or towers with arches built in rubble stone masonry, complete the structure of the monument. The pavilions in the western, southern and northern directions are called Jangli Mahal, Badshah Pasand and Moti Mahal respectively. These pavilions were originally the residence of the Nawab’s family. In addition, the complex also houses several tiny apartments, a mosque and a courtyard. The tomb is open between 7 am and 6 pm and has an entry fee of INR 15 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners. Children under the age of 15 have free entry.

Isa Khan’s Tomb
Located adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb in the same complex Isa Khan’s Tomb is the final resting place of Isa Khan, a courtesan of Sher Shah Suri, and his son Islam Shah Suri. Built during Sher Shah Suri’s lifetime, the construction of the monument resembles the architecture of the Suri reign. The tomb boasts lattice screens, glazed tiles and a deep verandah. The octagonal tomb has an architectural finesse which is apparent in the distinctive ornamentation of the monument in the form of glazed canopied and elaborate carvings.

Standing south of the Bu Halima garden, the main tombstone is made out of red sandstone and is marked with the inscription addressed to Isa Khan and the date of the construction. Restoration of the monument led to the discovery of sunken gardens, which are considered the earliest examples of the technique. At the corner of the tomb is situated a tiny mosque with matching architecture and patterns from those of the tomb. The mosque was built at the same time as the tomb and was supposed to be the prayer room for Isa Khan.

The tomb was constructed by Isa Khan in his lifetime who died a few months after the tomb was finished. The monument boasts a massive arched gateway and is circumferenced by a wide verandah with each side of the octagon having triple arch entrances adorned with blue, green, and yellow glazed tiles. Each of the eight corners is supported by pillars that rise above to form a minaret. A magnificent dome sits on the roof and is decorated with an inverted lotus filial. In addition to that, eight chhatris occupy the right sides of the octagon. Seven walls of the tomb have intricate lattice or jaali work, except the eighth western wall which has a mihrab. The walls and the roof have beautiful fresco paintings. The frescos are a beautiful amalgamation of flowers, geometrical patterns and calligraphy. The mosque in the complex also has a triple-arched gateway with similar glazed tile work in yellow, blue and green and the same pattern frescos on the walls.

The tomb is open between 10 am and 6 pm and has an entry fee of INR 30 for Indians while foreigners need to pay INR 500. Filming videos will incur a charge of INR 25 while still photography is free.

Hijron ka Khanqah
Located in Mehrauli, Hijron ka Khanqah is the Islamic monument for the burial of Muslim transgenders. The name translates to spiritual retreat for eunuchs, and the cemetery is situated within the Archaeological Park in Mehrauli. Dating back to the 15th century, the pre-Mughal monument houses forty-nine graves of the eunuchs who died during the reign of the Lodhi dynasty. The memorial is managed by the Hijras or eunuchs of Turkman Gate since the 20th century.

The compound has a narrow entry gate that leads to a marble patio which is dotted with white-coloured graves all over. Adjacent to the cemetery is a tiny terrace and on the west, in the direction of Kaaba is a mosque. Among the many tombs in the graveyard, the most important is that of a prominent hijra called Miyan Saheb.

Nicholson Cemetery
Situated in the heart of the city in Kashmere Gate and formerly known as Old Delhi Military Cemetery or the Kashmere Gate Cemetery, Nicholson Cemetery, also known as Lothian Cemetery is an ancient Christian cemetery named after the Brigadier-General John Nicholson, a Victorian-era military officer who played a crucial role during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and succumbed to injuries during the revolt. The cemetery is a burial ground for both British and Indian Christians during British colonial rule.

Located amidst wild bushes on the trail to the left is the grave of John Nicholson. Not much further is a tiny cottage occupied by the caretaker and his family. The cemetery is also notoriously popular for ghostly activities and according to the Indian Paranormal Society, the headless apparition of John Nicholson haunts the place.