Raja Ram Mohan Roy is buried under one of the grandest memorials in Arnos Vale Cemetery. Discover the story of how did he end up under a chhatri in Bristol at our online talk by expert Carla Contractor and life trustee of Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust.
Rajah Ram Mohun Roy (1772-1833) was an individual of truly global stature, an extremely influential religious and political thinker, he coined the word “Hinduism” as a term for the diversity of Indian religions and wrote extensively on religious and social matters. He stressed the importance of education for Indians, campaigned for women’s rights and worked to end the traditional practice of sati: the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. He spoke several languages and was involved in publish newspapers and also wrote a number of books. His activitism was an important part of his story and he is rightly regarded as one of the Fathers of Modern India.
A Chhatri is an elevated, dome-shaped pavilion used as an element in Indo-Islamic architecture and Indian architecture. Originating as a canopy above tombs, it served as a decorative element. The earliest example of chattris being used in the Indian Subcontinent were found in the Shrine of Ibrahim in Bhadreswar, constructed between 1159 and 1175 AD.The Rajah’s rare and beautiful limestone tomb (also known as a chattri) is now a listed monument. Find out more about how it came to be, how it was financed and who designed.
Carla Contractor is a well-known local historian and educationist, has been central in setting up and improving several landmarks and events related to Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s legacy in Bristol. Carla is usually the first port of call for many researchers. Originally from Liverpool, Carla has a strong Indian connection: after obtaining teaching qualifications in London, she went to Mumbai in 1959 to teach history and other subjects at the Cathedral School and later at the Sophia College. Now a Bristol resident and a life trustee of Arnos Vale Cemetery, Carla has been central to the repair and restoration of Roy’s tomb, which was built in 1843 by Dwarkanath Tagore, a close associate of Roy. In 2008, she oversaw the first major restoration work with £50,000 donated by Aditya Poddar, a Singapore-based businessman with roots in Kolkata.
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This talk will be held on Zoom. Once you have registered, a link to the event will be emailed to you, and a reminder link will also be sent 24 hours before. Please contact email@example.com if you have any issues. Please note: this talk in 6.30 UK time.