The essence of the Kandy War Cemetery
Explore the War and Garrison Cemetery two beautiful cemeteries in Kandy offering an interesting contrast. The War Cemetery is serene and incredibly well-maintained and celebrates lives known and unknown lost during the war. The older Garrison Cemetery honours the history of men, women and children buried far from home.
1.5km (1mi.) beyond the entrance to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is the Kandy War Cemetery maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 196 Allied officers and men from seven nations during World War 2 are buried in this sacred place. During World War 2 Kandy was an important centre and the headquarters of the South East Asian Command from April 1944. Admiral Lord Mountbatten was the Supreme Allied Commander coordinating the land war against the Japanese.
A second older cemetery is the British Garrison Cemetery located within the compound of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Between 1817 and 1873 this was the town’s main burial ground for British nationals. The cemetery was restored in 1998 and is definitely worth exploring with the caretaker who is a fascinating guide pointing out the more unusual ways people came to the cemetery, including death by an elephant, being impaled by a stick when dismounting a horse and having a house collapse on them. There is a small museum attached to the site.
Kandy War Cemetery is officially open every day between 07h00-16h00 but in practice, your &BEYOND guide will always ring ahead. Outside of these hours, the cemetery is locked. Wheelchair access is possible via the main entrance. The British Garrison Cemetery is open from 08h30-17h00 every day.