Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
4.5

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles564 reviews
Excellent
342
Very good
164
Average
50
Poor
5
Terrible
3

DebDoo J
Steyning, UK82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Historical Visit details give by the Nephew of the original caretaker. His name is Harsha he gave us the most interesting historical accounts of each and every grave we stopped at.

He was so proud of his Uncle and remembered meeting our new King in 2013 when he visited this site.

A healthy tip is essential to support this young man in his endeavour to preserve this part of Sri Lankan history.
Written February 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fentonfamily31
Sanur, Indonesia18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
This is definitely worth a visit….but only if you get to meet the caretaker, Harsha.
Unfortunately it has been closed for over 18 months due to a fallen wall, although to be honest the danger was not evident and the whole place looked in perfect condition due to the clear love and affection Harsha has for the site. He kindly gave us a potted history of the place, plus he opened up the small museum which has some helpful information, photos, newspaper cuttings and letters, including from Prince Charles when he visited a few years back.
If you walk up the steps to the side of the museum you get a good overview of the cemetery but the sooner it is open the better, there seems no good reason for it to remain closed.
Written January 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kanishka Herath
Kurunegala, Sri Lanka137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Attractive place next to the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of tooth relic).
British Garrison Cemetery , Kandy is a British cemetery in Kandy, Sri Lanka, for British nationals who died in Ceylon.
Calm and cool place
Written February 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ronald W
Arundel, UK104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We are very interested in history, both social and military. We saw the caretaker , he was a mine of information, very interesting and good to be able to add the “human” slant to the graves. Very worthwhile to visit, especially if you can see the caretaker!
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SOH KIEN PENG
Singapore, Singapore8,991 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
The firepower superiority of the European colonial powers enabled them to stretch their claws and establish dominion in many Asian countries. One country that suffered the tyranny of the British rule was Sri Lanka.

The last Kandyan kingdom was crushed in 1815 and the British brought Sri Lanka under her subjugation from 1815 to 1945, The Kandy Garrison Cemetery was established in 1817 as a burial ground for the British army who perished during the period of the British colonization. But it later admitted all sorts of colonialists which included doctors, railway staff, priests, civil servants and their families.

It was ironical that this British Christian cemetery was located so near to the Buddhist Tooth Relic Temple which was once the spiritual power center of the last Kandyan Kingdom that the British had annihilated.

The Cemetery is located somewhere near the rear of the Tooth Relic Temple. I followed the direction of the signboard and managed to find the entrance to the cemetery on top of a hill slope. It is stated on the big signboard that the opening hours of the Cemetery is from 8 am to 6 pm. The gate was opened when I was there but the caretaker, Mr Charles Carmichael was not in his office. He left his contact number on the door but I did not contact him.

It was free entry and I went into the cemetery and roamed around the tombstones. The names and the living years of those who buried were engraved on the tombstones. On my first day to Kandy, I had visited the Kandy War Cemetery. In comparison, the War Cemetery is ten times larger than this cemetery and is well-manicured. But the tombstones in this cemetery varied in designs and look more appealing.

From my reading, many of those who were buried here died of diseases from malaria, cholera, encephalitis, etc. It is tough and challenging for the British colonialists and their families trying to adapt to an entire new environment with huge areas of undeveloped forests deprived of modern amenities and facilities plagued by mosquitoes, wild animals and unclean food and water.

From the perspective of the freedom fighters, the colonialists were there to exploit their resources and deprived them of their independence. The British army ruthlessly suppressed the 1818 Uva Wellassa rebellion and many of the rebel leaders were executed.

To the locals, the rebel leaders were their national heroes and not outlaws or rebels as labeled by the colonial administration. Those who were buried in this cemetery served the interests of the British colonialists and their mission was to subjugate this island for the further exploitation of the island resources.

While the British colonialists did contribute to the modernization of the island through the construction of railways and roads, hospitals and schools, their ultimate motive was not to bring these benefits for the locals but to meet the insatiable hunger for the exploitation of the island resources and the continued suppression of the locals was imperative to achieve their economic gains.

The cemetery reflects an indelible part of Sri Lanka's colonial history.
Written May 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rosy A
Nottingham, UK98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Friends
Definitely worth the walk up the little hill, just behind the temple of tooth! The stories told by the lovely caretaker Harsha were so interesting and definitely made the visit as it wasn't always easy to read the tombstones. Some of the stories were really incredible! Would definitely recommend! No cost at all just a donation at your discretion! Thanks Harsha!!
Written January 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Me_n_my_rucksack
Yorkshire, UK6,189 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2011
We had read about this cemetery in a guidebook and specifically asked our guide to visit it. It is located directly behind the temple of the tooth so is 5 mins away from the biggest attraction in town.

The cemetery has a small visitore centre full of pictures and books and details of the people burried there. The currator couldn't be more helpfull - it began to rain while we were there and he emerged with an umbrella for us ! He was happy to roam around explaining who was who in the cemetery - not in an unwanted guid way - he made it clear he wasn't there for that reason.

The cemetery has the graves of the early planters, troops and assorted families of the British and other Europeans. There are wonderfull graves - fantastic ornate stonework. But the real reward is the romance and imagination it inspires - stories of bravery, stupidity and tragedy surround the souls interred here. Tales of the height of Empire, sorrow of so many children who never grew up - struck down by Malaria and other tropical diseases.

I could go on and on - such is the high degree I hold this "attraction". Its more than an attraction - its emotion, history etched in stone, and its possibly the best hour we invested during our two weeks in Sri Lanka.
Written March 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PASP123
Hexham, UK332 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
Charles Carmichael is the Sri Lankan caretaker of this British Colonial Cemetery and has looked after the site for many years. He is clearly devoted to his task, takes huge pride in his job and has gained a deep understanding over the years. You must ask him to escort you around the cemetery as he will explain many interesting facts about the lives and deaths of the colonial 'residents' here. On our visit it was gently raining, which seemed appropriate as we listened to these tales of past lives whilst sheltering under umbrellas. Beautifully maintained and a really peaceful haven away from the thronged Temple of the Tooth nearby. We were the only visitors at the time. I would rate this as the top 'thing to do' in Kandy above the Temple of the Tooth.
Written August 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James A
40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
Our friends told us to visit here and once we found it, it was a beautiful insight into the history of Sri Lanka and some of the people buried there have some amazing stories to tell from beyond their graves. The caretaker, Mr Carmichael spoke with perfect English and with such a tone, you could've listened to him all day. Without a doubt, the highlight of visiting Kandy. No pressure from anybody, no entry fees or requests for donations (there is a box, but I gave the caretaker a donation for his time) and for that reason alone I give this place and all of the staff 5 stars. As for the wonderful insight, tripadvisor needs bigger star ratings! Just excellent and what a wonderful man.
Written July 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dingo_6152
Fremantle, Australia3,024 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Couples
It is located behind the Temple of the Tooth complex and up a short steep road. Not that easy to find unless you are looking for it.
The cemetery is open between 8am & 5pm. Most days you'll find the caretaker, Charles, or his assistant (who is also Charles' son) working at keeping the cemetery tidy. Take the time to ask him about the graves there and he will keep you enthralled about the history behind many of them. He will probably even show you the museum, which is a small stone building near the entrance, containing framed newspaper cuttings about the cemetery - including an autograph from Prince Charles, when he visited.
The caretaker is the real gem in this cemetery as he is so knowledgeable and helpful to all visitors.
Whilst it is free to visit after listening to Charles you can't help but feel obliged to give a donation to assist in the cemetery's upkeep.
If you have the time it's well worth the visit.
Written January 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kandy Garrison Cemetery

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