Tales from the Crypt: Kandy’s Garrison Cemetery
When we hear the name Kandy the first thing that comes to mind is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, located in the city’s royal palace complex, which should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list.
However, if you are the kind of traveler that wants to avoid the well-worn tourist trails and dig a little deeper into a destination’s history, then our tour to Garrison Cemetery will reveal the characters of Kandy’s past in a very different light.
Although the cemetery is just walking distance from the famous Temple of the Tooth, it is surprising how many people haven’t heard of it. This old British cemetery reads like the history of Kandy – and the people who are buried there have their own stories to tell.
But what is a visit without having the right ‘insider’ to tell you all about the history of this very particular graveyard? You will get to meet Charles Carmichael, an interesting personality who brings the dead back to life – not literally, but metaphorically speaking. Quite fluent in English and always ready for a chat, he is not your everyday cemetery caretaker.
Having served many years at the cemetery, Charles has a story to share about each and every grave. From infants who died within hours of birth to soldiers – and even doctors – who died due to epidemics like Cholera and Malaria; and from people who were killed by elephant attacks to those who succumbed to broken hearts, Charles will take you through it all with passion and enthusiasm.
Once in a while, it is good to remind ourselves of the fragility of life – and Charles will do it with many an interesting story to tell. Even the dead have their stories, if only you are willing to listen.
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