Armenian Graves in Dhakka, Bangladesh

Liz Chater, an expert on the Armenians of South Asia and Southeast Asia, has published "Armenian Graves, Inscriptions and Memorials in India–DACCA 1722-1977", a valuable addition to the study of the patriotic, pioneering and prosperous Armenian merchants and entrepreneurs who, for more than three centuries, were active from India to Indonesia.

Liz Chater, an expert on the Armenians of South Asia and Southeast Asia, has published "Armenian Graves, Inscriptions and Memorials in India–DACCA 1722-1977", a valuable addition to the study of the patriotic, pioneering and prosperous Armenian merchants and entrepreneurs who, for more than three centuries, were active from India to Indonesia.

In addition to building churches and schools in the faraway Orient, these remarkable people helped revive the Armenian struggle for an independent Armenia, printed the first Armenian newspaper and financially supported Armenian churches and communities in South & East Asia and elsewhere.
 
Liz Chater is relative of the illustrious philanthropist Sir Catchik Paul Chater (Khachik Pogose Astwachatoor, 1846-1926). He was born in Calcutta and became a successful businessman in Honk Kong. Also he was an outstanding civil servant. He was knighted in 1902. He is considered as one of the great benefactors of the Armenian community in Calcutta.
 
Ms. Chater’s book contains 160-plus four-color photos of all the remaining graves at the Armenian Church in Dhakka. Some 25 family charts of those buried in the church cemetery are also included. Previously spelled Dacca and part of Indian Bengal, the city is now the capital of Bangladesh.
 
Chater has cross referenced the grave inscriptions with the Armenian Church register entries and where possible, has included important information from those registers. Rev. Fr. Krikor Maksoudian has translated the Armenian register entries and transcriptions into English [please see the correction below]
Published by Chater Genealogy Publishing, the book can be ordered at

5 comments
  1. Small Correction

    Dear Keghart,

    Thank you very much for bringing my new book on Armenian graves in Dacca to the attention of your readers. That is very kind of you, I do hope people will find it useful.

    May I please make one small correction? Fr. Krikor Maksoudian translated only the Dacca graves from Armenian to English. He did not translate the registers. The Amenian Church registers of Dacca were translated by other helpful and willing volunteers who support my efforts to research Armenians in India.

    Best wishes,

    Liz Chater

    1. Armanitola in Dhakka

      Liz,

      I had long wondered why is it that a suburb of Yerevan is called Bangladesh. Through my Bangladeshi friend, Masihuddin Jaigirdar, I came to know about an Armenian church and a neighborhood of Dhakka called Armanitola. I later read more details about it. In fact, the Bengladeshi goverment has issued a commemorative stamp of the church as a historical landmark. I then made some connection to the naming of the Yerevan suburb.

      Your valuable research will help us relate more closely to a period in the Far East, when Armenian merchants had been prominent. Where can I purchase a copy of your book [in USA]? How is the state of the church nowadays? Who maintains it? Who owns the church? These are some of the questions that pop in my mind whenever I read about Armenians in Bengladesh. I would appreciate if you shed some light on the present state of the church.

      Thank you.

      Vahe

      1. Dear Vahe

        Dear Vahe,

        Thank you for your kind comments.  Indeed the Armenian Church in Dhaka is in an area named Armanitola.  An interesting fact is that there are three Armenian churches in India; Calcutta (Kolkata), Dacca (Dhaka) and Madras (Chennai) all built at No. 2 Armenian Street in their respective cities.  The oldest Christian graves at Surat, Agra, Calcutta, Dacca and Madras are all Armenian.

         
        The church at Dhaka is maintained by the current caretaker Mr. Michael Martin who has looked after it since the 1980s.  Although there is no Armenian community there now, it is well cared for and if you take the time to search on various photosharing websites such as Flickr, Picassa or even YouTube you will see many photographs and videos taken by visiting tourists to the area.  The church has quite a draw to the holiday-maker/traveller.
         
        In 2008, as part of the 300th anniversary celebrations of the Armenian Church in Kolkata, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians took time out to go and visit the Armenian Church in Dhaka. A link to his visit is http://www.azad-hye.net/news/viewnews.asp?newsId=396kjf20
         
        My book: Armenian Graves, Inscriptions and Memorials in India. DACCA can be purchased directly from this link. http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/2277738.
         
        Best wishes

        Liz

      2. Remarkable Research

        This book appears to be the product of meticulous work and worthy of being in the collection of any person interested in Armenian history in the east. Thank you Liz Chater.

        Hi Vahe,

        I just purchased. The softcover costs about $85.00 Canadian including taxes and shipping. The introductory note of Keghart.com indicated where to buy from. Click on Blurb. I assume that the cost will be the same for USA. The hardcover is about $15.00 more.

        Noubar

  2. Armenian Church, Dhaka

    Small correction Liz,

    The Church in Dhaka is on No. 4 Armenian Street 🙂

    I've had the pleasure of visiting there twice and spending some very valuable time with Mr. Martin.  I must have been there last around 2004…

    Kind regards

    Philip

Comments are closed.

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