The 'Memorial of Love' in Munnar turns 125 years
Munnar: It’s 125 years since the tomb of Eleanor Isabella May was built on the hills of Munnar as an everlasting memorial of love. The tomb is situated near the CSI Shrine on the hilly terrain. Eleanor was the wife of Henry Mansfield Knight, manager of the Munnar tea plantation.
Eleanor, the youngest daughter of an Englishman, Beaufort Brabazon, arrived in Munnar with her husband in October 1894.
Eleanor spent her honeymoon on the hills of Munnar. The story goes when, one day she and Henry Knight went to the top of the hill at Old Munnar. Eleanor, dazzled by the magical beauty of Munnar, laying on his lap, said "If I die, bury me on this hill."
But her words proved prophetic. Eleanor breathed her last on Dec. 23, 1894. She did not know she had contracted the deadly disease Cholera. Malaria and cholera were prevalent in the plantation areas of Munnar those days. She was only 24 years old at the time of death. With his lasting love and an aching heart, Henry fulfilled her wishes. Just before Christmas, the body of his beloved was buried on the top of the hill. The century-old C.S.I. Christ Church was originally built by Henry Knight in memory of his wife, in front of a small hill where she was buried.
Members of the CSI church parish are gearing up to observe the 125th death anniversary of Eleanor.