A Cemetery Hotel


Some restaurants have dead atmosphere, while here is a restaurant that well, literally, shares space with the dead! This Indian restaurant owner claims business has flourished since opening his eatery at the site of an old cemetery! Rather than ripping out the graves to make way for his restaurant, owner Krishnan Kutti has chosen to preserve the coffins and place tables around them at the ironically-named New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad.

The coffins are the remnants of a Muslim cemetery and the cafe has now become a popular hang-out for both the young and the old. Says Kutti: “The graveyard brings good luck. Our business has been flourishing because of these graves. It gives people a unique experience. We have maintained the graves as they were. Our customers don’t seem to mind”.

I went to visit this hotel out of intense curiosity. I wanted to know more about the graves. However, the owner has little idea who the graves belong to, while some locals claim they contain the remains of followers of a 16th-Century Sufi saint, whose tomb lies nearby. Around a dozen graves lay inside the restaurant and have been sealed off by iron grills.

Every morning, when the shutters of the restaurant are pulled up, waiters spend some time wiping the gravestones and decorating them with fresh flowers. “We begin our day by paying respects to the graves. We wipe them and cover them with cloth and also shower flowers on them”.

‘It is important to respect the dead,’ says Kutti.

This hotel is also famous for its maska pav (buttered pav or local bread)!

H.V. Shiv Shankar is Designer, One India One People.