Trash and debris now occupy a major portion of the Armenian cemetery

The Armenian cemetery at Uppuguda is in a state of utter neglect. Although a listed archaeological monument, no effort has been taken to restore it. The cemetery belongs to the Qutb Shahi period.

Mounds of trash and debris occupy a major portion of the three-centuries-old cemetery, which remains hidden amid thick wild vegetation.

Local residents are unhappy with the condition of the monument.

“We are regularly representing to the authorities to clean up the place. But nothing is being done to make it a hygienic place,” says Sudharshan, a local resident.

After nightfall the premises are used by anti-social elements. The absence of watch and ward staff is a reason, locals say. A notice board erected at the place has also disappeared.

Armenians came to India as traders through the overland route much before the advent of European traders into India. In fact, they came here seven centuries before Vasco-da-Gama reached India, according to officials. Realising the importance of Armenian cemeteries and churchyards, which are the only attested sources of their presence, the Department of Archaeology has declared it a protected monument under the Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1960. Locals suspect land grabbers could be eyeing the cemetery, which is situated in a thickly populated locality.

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