A trip to my backyard… The journey through time of Karauli and Captain James Jenkins Blair (1840-1870)

Rajasthan is a land where every grain of sand holds its own history… Some of it is found and documented, the other lies undiscovered obscured by the mists of time…

Today, while playing with my daughter just behind our house, I spotted what looked like tombstone…

The tombstone

Intrigued and mystified, decided to go and take a closer look. Indeed it turned out to be a tombstone…

Front view

From the looks of it, it seemed someone has been resting here for long… my mind was now brimming with questions of how long, and who??

The rear view

One could enter only from the backside… The soul has been resting here since 29 March 1870…

Date of death: 29 March 1870

Moving over to the front side, I saw the name of the fellow… Captain James Jenkins Blair, Bengal Staff Corps…

Captain James Jenkins Blair, Bengal Staff Corps

How old did he die? He was still a captain…

Date of birth: 28 October 1840

1840… He was just 30 years old when he died…

A quick Google search yielded the following treasure about him… (https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.35753/2015.35753.Lists-Of-Leading-Officials-Nobles-And-Personages-In-The-Principal-Native-States-In-India_djvu.txt)

My backyard was called Shikhar Mahal Garden then! And Karauli was called Kerowli!! The late Captain joined British India Army at a young age of 16 and fought against the Indians in the Great 1857 Rebellion! And he was in the unit which pursued Tantya Tope – the leader of the rebellion – in Rajasthan! And Tantya Tope was spelled as Tantia Topi by Britishers!! A few more adventures later, he joined the British Political department in 1864. He caught pneumonia (such a deadly disease back then) on a tour to Kerowli and died 7 days later!

Now he rests in my backyard. May the wheels of time never disturb his peace!

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