History and Homage at the Kohima War Cemetery

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History and Homage at the Kohima War Cemetery
Who is it for?
Why you will love it?

Nestled amidst the tranquil hills of Kohima, the Kohima War Cemetery stands as a poignant reminder of the valour and sacrifice witnessed during one of the most pivotal battles of World War II. Here, amidst the serene beauty of the landscape, echoes of history resonate, retelling the gripping saga of Indian and British forces bravely facing off against the advancing Japanese Empire.

The Battle of Kohima etched a decisive chapter, halting the relentless advance of the Japanese army towards the heart of the British Raj. In the shadow of the Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow on Garrison Hill, encircling the hallowed tennis court, soldiers engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat, bearing witness to the ultimate test of courage and resilience.

Today, standing upon the very grounds where the old Deputy Commissioner’s residence once stood, visitors are transported back in time, immersed in the solemn atmosphere of remembrance. While the bungalow may have succumbed to the ravages of time, enduring white concrete lines now mark and preserve the historic tennis court, an everlasting tribute to the valorous souls who fought on these grounds.

Maintained with reverence by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Kohima War Cemetery serves as a sacred sanctuary, honouring the memory of the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice. With 1,420 Commonwealth graves standing as silent sentinels, each bearing testament to bravery and fortitude, the cemetery stands as a timeless tribute to the heroes of yesteryears.

At the pinnacle of the cemetery, a majestic memorial dome (*chhattri*) stands tall, a solemn homage to the Hindu and Sikh soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. From this vantage point, visitors can gaze upon the sweeping vistas of Garrison Hill and the charming town of Kohima, offering a moment of reflection amidst the tranquil surroundings.

As visitors traverse the hallowed grounds, they are greeted by a poignant epitaph, penned by English classicist John Maxwell Edmonds: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

  • Guided tour of the Kohima War Cemetery
  • Expert guide providing historical insights and stories of bravery
  • Time for personal reflection and photography
  • Complimentary water and light snacks
Things to Carry
  • Comfortable Footwear
  • Weather Appropriate Clothing
  • Camera or Smartphone
  • Personal Identification, Cash and Card
  • Guidebook or Map, Notebook and Pen for reflections
  • Travel Essentials/Personal Medication
  • Water, Reusable Water Bottle, Snacks
  • 10:00 AM: Arrive at the Kohima War Cemetery, where our guide will welcome you and provide an introduction to the site’s historical significance.
  • 10:15 AM – 11:00 AM: Begin with a guided walk through the cemetery, learning about the Battle of Kohima, the stories of bravery, and the strategic importance of this location in World War II.
  • 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Visit the memorials and read the inscriptions on the headstones, taking a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by the soldiers.
  • 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Give yourself some time for personal reflection and photography before concluding the experience and bidding farewell to your guide.

History Buffs: Ideal for those passionate about World War II history and the pivotal battles that shaped its course.

Reflective Travellers: Perfect for individuals seeking a meaningful and contemplative experience, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Educational Groups: An excellent choice for schools, universities, or educational tours looking to provide students with a tangible connection to history.

  • Historical Significance: Learn about the pivotal Battle of Kohima and its impact on World War II.
  • Reflective Atmosphere: Experience a moment of quiet reflection in a serene and solemn setting.
  • Cultural Insight: Gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by soldiers and the cultural significance of their bravery.
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Kohima War Cemetery?

The Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to soldiers who died during the Battle of Kohima, a significant conflict in World War II fought between British and Indian troops and the Japanese army.

What can I expect to see at the Kohima War Cemetery?

The cemetery contains over 1,420 graves of Commonwealth soldiers who died during the battle, as well as the Kohima Cremation Memorial, which commemorates Hindu and Sikh soldiers. There are also notable features like the world-famous epitaph and nearby historic sites with remnants of World War II.

What are the visiting hours for the Kohima War Cemetery?

The cemetery is open to visitors from dawn to dusk (9 am to 4 pm), six days a week. It is closed on Sundays and holidays when staff is not on duty.

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