Monday, January 11, 2010

Alice Richman


I have gone to the Pune University Garden many a times in daytime but did not see this spot somehow - though I knew about it. The garden is known as 'Alice Garden'. I took this photo from someone else's blog and its taken in the day time. If its this shady in daytime, imagine at night! :) It is a nicely wooded place.

Today before an hour at 1.30 am of 12th of January, me and my roommate Abhijit went to Alice's grave. It was a cool experience to go to a place of where I have heard spooky stories. I had heard that Alice's ghost is seen riding a white horse, wearing a white gown in the morning at 5.00 from my old place's roommate Prakash Ratan to whom it was told by a lady in English Dept.

Quotes from my mail to Aanchal: We jumped over the garden gate... saved our sight from the watchmen and went to the alice's grave...we once felt scared that something was coming from the bushes, the branches creaked and owls squeaked... there was a brook right behind the bushes which made all sort of noises..
Though I did not see any ghost but I felt spooky because of the place being dark and branches creaking at the middle of night. And we were not supposed to be seen as well so hiding behind bushes whenever a vehicle would pass. May be some fool would see us roaming in night in white light of the lamp and pee in his pants or the watchman would catch us and thrash :) .

The grave had this written on it:
BORN MELROSE SOUTH AUSTRALIA NOVEMBER 13 1856
AND DIED AT THIS SPOT OF CHOLERA AT THIS VERY SPOT JANUARY 1886
It was a unique experience to chronicle in my life at Pune. I am feeling sad that its coming to an end in a few months now.

Here's an extract from an Indian Express article I found online. Enjoy:

At day time it is the most frequented place by students, but come nightfall, no one wants to be around this solitary grave. With no street lamps, the tall tamarind and neem trees seem more daunting than ever.

It is a story that has its origins in the days of the Raj. One version has it that Alice Richman, daughter of a prominent British official, committed suicide post an unfulfilled love story, and now roams the graves at night in a translucent white fabric. According to the PRO of the university, Gangadhar Jangamwal, who rubbishes all the rumours, the story traces back to Jan 14, 1882. He says, “26-year-old Alice, daughter of former British governor Richman was horse riding in the garden, when she fell down and died.”

But the inscription on the grave tells another story — Born at Melrose, 14 January 1856 , South Australia, Died here of cholera - 13 November, 1882.

“I have been studying here for four years but I have never seen or heard anything. Though I will not deny the fact that I have heard tales from people about the place being haunted,” says Sudhakar Jadhav, a PhD student.


I tried looking online for names of Governors but did not do extensive research. Will buy Pune Uni History booklet from the publication dept soon. Its for 150 bucks but I guess a nice souvenir. Then may be add to this blog entry in a comment or something. :)

12 comments:

Hershal D. Pandya said...

Visited again tonight... 14th late night... 15th early morning... remembered her on her 128th death anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Here you go!!
looks like she was one of the wife of this guy!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_James_Fergusson,_6th_Baronet

Abhijit said...

:D

Sunil Beta Baskar said...

Sir Fergusson - the 6th Baron Fergusson (after whom the college is named) had his second marriage to Olive upon returning from Australia, (this name has no confirmations), she died in Pune of Cholera in Jan 1882 and was the daughter of John Henry Richman, a former MP and Citizen of Australia. The birth-date of 1856 would place her 26-years old while this happened. However, there are no records of Olive / Alice Fergusson - who is most likely being referred to here. The Adventures of Alice Under Ground, was published in 1886 for the very first time as an unverified manuscript by Dodgson (aka Lewis Carrol) - and that garden looks dark and quite similar to things described in 'Alice in Wonderland' (the name by which the same work was published again a few years later.)

angelina said...

Whos that person sitting near the lake all time at the same place in same clothes.. I have seen him almost 3-4 times doing nothing.. Just siting in d same shirt at the same place.. In day times also..

Abhishek_Boom said...

I used to visit alice's grave as a kid (around 15 years back). Infact, when i found her grave, it was hidden behind dense bushes and heavy foliage. It was in a miserable state. I found it as a part of my exploration effort when we shifted to university campus. It was an achievement as we had a reference of her name in our school history textbooks. I used to go there almost everyday with my dog.

Unknown said...

Today I visited that place and its nice experience to see her grave

suneet singh said...

Today I visited that place and its nice experience to see her grave

Anonymous said...

WHO IS ALICE RICHMAN:
Alice Richman was born as Alice Frances Richman on the 13 Nov 1856 in South Australia Australia
Alice was the daughter of Henry John and Mary Richman [nee Nagle] of South Australia Australia
Alice went to Bombay with her Aunty her fathers sister Lady Olive Fergusson [nee Richman] the 2nd wife of Sir James Fergusson
Lady Olive Fergusson died 8th Jan 1882 of cholera at Marbleshwar the Grovernor's summer residence in Bombay where Sir James was the Governor of Bombay
Alice was very attentive to her aunt Lady Olive Fergusson during her illness and it was then that Alice caught the infection and died on the 14th Jan 1882 two days after her aunt's funeral
Hope this information is of some help of who Alice Richman was
Could some kind person put a flower on her grave for me Michele from SA thank you
[Michele- B -H - SA]

Gaurav Daware said...

Today me and my two friends went to Alice Garden at 12 am. Even my friends asked to go alone inside the garden and yes! I went alone inside and turned of the light of my phone so that my friend would freak out. My friends were so freaked out that came inside searching for me.

It was so Fun guys...
Now while as iam still writting this blog post my friend are still talking about Alice.

The best thing I known today is that her birthday and my birthday is on the same date 13th November.

There nothing to be scared about the Alice Garden. It's a nice garden and everyone in PUNE university should visit there.

Friends who visited with me were Nishant Indorkar, Avinash Bagde, Vikas Dhone.

Gaurav Daware said...

Today me and my two friends went to Alice Garden at 12 am. Even my friends asked to go alone inside the garden and yes! I went alone inside and turned of the light of my phone so that my friend would freak out. My friends were so freaked out that came inside searching for me.

It was so Fun guys...
Now while as iam still writting this blog post my friend are still talking about Alice.

The best thing I known today is that her birthday and my birthday is on the same date 13th November.

There nothing to be scared about the Alice Garden. It's a nice garden and everyone in PUNE university should visit there.

Friends who visited with me were Nishant Indorkar, Avinash Bagde, Vikas Dhone.

Vishal Pawar said...

Hello, Everyone.
I am living in Pune University since last one and half year but never visited this place. I am not scared about this place but I didn't get time to visit.

Two days before one of my senior Kiran Shinde came to the hostel and told us how was the experience and real story behind the death of Alice. It was such a horrible experience to listen, imagine how they had been faced that situation.

Actually, the reason is different behind the death of Alice. She had not died because of cholera. Actually, she loved someone ( I don't know the exact name of that person) and both always used to meet in this garden (now known as Alice Garden) but her father killed that boy. And then within some few days, Alice committed suicide in Pune University Campus. Due to the reputation of her father they gave a reason as cholera.
Then that spirit part comes into the picture. The story of Alice was beginning there. everyone believed that she used to come in the garden to find her boyfriend there. She used to had one horse and wear a white dress (dress was she worn when they met last time).
Some people has another story about the spirit of her boyfriend. They came with the story that this spirit (his) lives in the gents hostel number 8 of the university. But just imagine this number 8 hostel was build in 2007-8 and this death incident happened around 1886. What the hell his spirit doing in this hostel when he was killed nearer to ground/garden and second thing, he was killed by her father so from where that spirit came?
The reality was that when that boy living in the hostel (particular room) some other friend left the water cock freely and water flow to be continued at midnight. He was really scared and living alone in a room. He thought that about the spirit and made such story around June 2014.

No anyone has seen her face to face and there is no any record maintained in the University Library about their deaths.

People who have visited they all have experience that there is something always blinking in the garden. But don't worry its a torch light by a security guard.
You may feel that leaves of trees are there which makes any simple situation to horror at 1 am the night.
The roads are very dark. Because this garden is at the corner you may say, that's why no anyone goes at midnight and till last few month (Jan 2017) roads didn't have any street light which makes midnight again horror. But don't worry now all the roads have lights.
The security guard doesn't allow anyone to go into the garden at night time. If you are brave and wants some scary kind of experience then you can go by jumping.

This is everything that I know and whats to share with all of you.