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Grave Colombo – A Sri Lankan Odyssey with Sir Arthur C Clarke

Grave Colombo – A Sri Lankan Odyssey with Sir Arthur C Clarke

By Juliet Coombe

Jetwing Colombo Seven is perfectly located for seeing all the major sights and a few of the lesser known ones like the grave of Sir Arthur C Clarke. The Borella Cemetery only a short distance by three wheeler from the hotel was established in 1840 and was science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s final resting place. A grave yard of such interest that it is often compared to the Highgate Cemetery in London and is an incredible place to take a walk and discover the artistry of grave poetry carving.

The best place to start exploring from the main gate on Elvitigala Mawatha Road, from where you can walk the length of the central pathway to the far end and See Sir Arthur C Clarke gravestone with immortal lines  ‘He never grew up, but he never stopped growing’ as his epitaph, Jothipala and Perera, two legendary musicians’ graves, a small Japanese cemetery, the commonwealth war memorial graves and a quirky cricket bat and ball gravestone are all worth taking a look at while on your grave walk of the city.

Talking to the grave yard workers weeding the pathways it seems  fitting that ‘the Prophet of the Space Age’ should spend his last years in Sri Lanka, following his interest in scuba diving, the most space-like activity you could pursue on earth, and in so doing discovered another world under the sea. Most famous for 2001: A Space Odyssey, he is credited with being a forefather of science fiction as well as being presented with a large number of relevant awards, writing many books, presenting many television programs and being considered one of the big three, with Isaac Asimov, of the science fiction genre. He was also the inventor of the communications satellite at the end of WW2, demonstrating extraordinary foresight and picking up a medal along the way. Closer to his adopted home, where he was given honorary citizenship, he was fascinated by ‘monsters of the deep’, recounting a century old event in which a 150 ton schooner was sunk by a giant squid, observed by a passing P&O liner that fortunately picked up many survivors in the Bay of Bengal having sailed from the Galle harbour. After a half morning exploring the area you can return back to the hotel and enjoy squid on the wonderful Jetwing Colombo Seven roof top restaurant bar, where you can get a fantastic bird’s eye view of how Borella cemetery fits into the city landscape.

 

 

 

How to find Sir Arthur C Clark:

Borella Kanatte Cemetery

Colombo, Sri Lanka.