Borella Cemetery

Borella Cemetery
Borella Cemetery (Sinhala: බොරැල්ල කනත්ත), also known as Kanatte Cemetery, is a burial ground located in Borella in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. Established in the colonial period, the cemetery is more than 170 years old. A part of it is recognized as the biggest commonwealth war cemetery in the country (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016).

The cemetery came into existence in 1866 and the first dead human being that was interred there was a widow of 55 years (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016). Since then, thousands of dead persons from different social backgrounds such as politicians, government officials, artists, literary personalities, military top brass etc., have been buried or incinerated here (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016).

Commonwealth war graves
Commonwealth war graves
The cemetery contains a Commonwealth War Graves Plot and a number of additional war graves dispersed around the site. It has been established to honour the Commonwealth servicemen who died during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). Presently, there are over 60 (WWI) and nearly 300 (WWII) tombstones at the site. Of them, 4 casualties of WWII have not been identified.

The cemetery
Borella cemetery is considered the largest general cemetery located in the Western Province and is maintained by the Municipality of Colombo (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016). Running to a length of 1.67 km, the total extent of the cemetery is 48 acres (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016). There are over 50,000 tombstones marking permanent graves. In addition to tombstones, a large number of cenotaphs and funeral vaults are also found.

The cemetery mainly has three different sectors (Kuruppuarachchi & Madurapperuma, 2016). The first sector serves the funeral requisites of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians and is maintained by the Colombo municipal council. The second sector is reserved for Anglicans and is run by the Anglican Church. The third sector is set apart for the Roman Catholics, which is maintained by the Roman Catholic Church.

Borella Cemetery
See also

1) 20151005_113848 by Damitha K Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
2) 20151005_125605 by Damitha K Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

1) Kuruppuarachchi, K.A.J.M. and Madurapperuma, B.D., 2016. Floristic composition and biomass carbon sequestration of Borella Cemetery in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and Plantation, Vol. 2. pp.181-187.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 26 July 2022

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