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Kanatte Cemetery
Captain Henry Pedris Tomb at Borella Cemetery.jpg
Captain Henry Pedris' tomb at Kanatte Cemetery
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 510: Unable to find the specified location map definition: "Module:Location map/data/Sri Lanka Colombo Greater" does not exist.Location of Cemetery, Colombo
Year established 1866; 155 years ago (1866)
Location 509 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Borella, Colombo
Country Sri Lanka
Coordinates 6°54′29″N 79°52′39″E / 6.90794°N 79.87748°E / 6.90794; 79.87748Coordinates: 6°54′29″N 79°52′39″E / 6.90794°N 79.87748°E / 6.90794; 79.87748
Type British military of WWI (closed)
British military of WWII (closed)
General (open)
Owned by Colombo Municipal Council
Size 19.3 ha (48 acres)
Number of graves 120,000+ (363 war graves)[1]

Kanatte Cemetery, also known locally as Borella Cemetery, is Colombo's main burial ground and crematorium.

It is located at the intersection of Elvitigala Mawatha (Narahenpita Road), Bauddhaloka Mawatha (Bullers Road) and D. S. Senanayake Mawatha (Baseline Road).

The 19.3 ha (48 acres) cemetery is owned and operated by the Colombo Municipal Council and contains a Commonwealth War Graves Plot with a number of additional war graves dispersed around the site.[2] The war graves include those of a German soldier, a German merchant seaman, a German interned civilian and an Austrian nursing sister. There are over 60 World War I Commonwealth servicemen and nearly 300 World War II Commonwealth servicemen buried here.

The cemetery was established in 1866 and is the main place of burial for all religions and nationalities, with separate sections for Hindus, Buddhists, Shintos, Roman Catholics, Anglicans and non-denominational Christians.[3][4] The first burial was in May 1866,[5] prior to this most British burials occurred at the Galle Face Burial Grounds, an area near the current Presidential Secretariat building.[6] In the 1920s, those graves were exhumed and the remains were interred at Kanatte.[6]

The cemetery’s most famous Westerner interred at the cemetery is British-born science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008).[7]

See also[]

External links[]


  1. CWGC: Colombo (Kanatte) Cemetery
  2. "Borella cemetery hikes burial fees". 7 November 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2020. 
  3. Chanaka, G. A.; Perera, K. (29 September 2013). "Who Goes There?". Retrieved 3 June 2020. 
  4. Dishan, Joseph (6 January 2019). "Beauty in the garden of eternal rest". Retrieved 3 June 2020. 
  5. Uragoda, C. G. (1987). A History of Medicine in Sri Lanka from the earliest times to 1948. Sri Lanka Medical Association. p. 157. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Raheem, Ismeth; Colin-Thomé, Percy (2000). Images of British Ceylon: Nineteenth Century Photography of Sri Lanka. Times Editions. p. 117. 
  7. "Borella Kanatte General Cemetery". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 3 June 2020. 

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