British Garrison Cemetery – An interesting attraction in Kandy

British Garrison Cemetery

By AntanO (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The British Garrison Cemetery is probably not the most popular tourist attraction to visit while you’re in the beautifully rich island of Sri Lanka. However, the cemetery, eerie feelings aside, is probably one of the most beautiful in the country. Located in Kandy, the cemetery can be found in the heart of the city, closer to the popular and most sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa. Although most hotels such as Cinnamon Citadel Kandy will have planned tours that will take you to the popular tourist attractions in Kandy, it might not include the British Garrison Cemetery as one of the items on your tour list, so do make sure you visit it before heading back to your hotel in Kandy.

British Garrison Cemetery is a cemetery that was established in 1817 for British nationals who occupied the city of Kandy, but was later closed in 1873. The cemetery is known to hold around 195 graves of women, men and children and the last person to have been buried in the cemetery was Annie Fritz in 1951. It has been known that one of most common causes of death at the time were due to malaria or cholera.

The entrance of the cemetery is marked by an old chapel which has now been converted to a museum that holds an exhibit of photographs and documents with relation to the restoration of the cemetery.

The Cemetery is open to visitors from 8 am to 6 pm and is managed by the Trustees of St. Pauls Church. Although there are currently no burials held here since 1873, visitors are encouraged to walk through the paved pathways and stone tombstones.

For those interested in learning more about the history of the British Garrison Cemetery, a famous author known as John Penry Lewis wrote about it in his book titled “List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon, of Historyical or Local Interest with an obituary of Persons Uncommemorated”.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

Sri Dalada Maligawa – Kandy’s sacred temple

Temple of tooth kandy

Sri Dalada Maligawa | Photo by musthaqsms via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Set amid the lush greenery of the Kandyan countryside, long regarded as an important center of Buddhism, is the stunning 17th-century Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa as it’s known in Sinhala, the home of the country’s most sacred Buddhist relic. The beautiful temple is the custodian of the ancient tooth which is said to belong to Lord Buddha himself. This treasured relic attracts thousands of pilgrims, bearing fragrant blossoms, daily.

The temple is also a tourist hotspot, with hundreds of tourists visiting, thanks to its central location and proximity to several hotels, such as the Hotel Hilltop Kandy, a trendy and comfortable hotel in Kandy, which overlooks the city.

Aside from its spiritual significance, the tooth relic has also played a significant role in politics as it was believed whoever held the relic, held governance over the island. Each successive king guarded the relic in their respective capital before it finally made its way to Kandy, during the reign of King Vimaladharmasuriya. Located inside the royal palace complex, the temple has a humble looking whitewashed exterior with red roofs; however, the interior is another story. Inside the temple halls are elaborate carvings and decorations made of inlaid wood, ivory and lacquer.

The premises include the Royal Palace, Royal court, and an octagonal tower at the front which contains a library of ancient ola leaf manuscripts. The Kandy National Museum and the International Buddhist Museum are located at the back, along with the Rajah Tusker Hall, where the stuffed remains of Rajah, the main tusker are kept on display. The tooth relic is housed within a two-story inner shrine behind two large elephant tusks. While visitors are allowed in to pay their respects, you can’t actually see the relic, as it is permanently encased in a jewelled casket. It’s only moved out of its special chamber once a year, for the Esala Perahara festival. Do keep in mind when visiting; this is a place of worship, so wear clothes that cover your arms and legs. You will also be asked to remove your shoes before entering.

Temple of Tooth

Temple of Tooth, Img. Src:[Hotel Hilltop Kandy]

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+