Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland state, is some 200 kilometres from
the Indo-Burmese border (now known as the Indo-Myanmar border).
Kohima is best reached by air from Calcutta to Dimapur or from Delhi to Dimapur
via Gauhati in Assam State and then by a winding road up the mountains. Kohima
is 74 kilometres from Dimapur. It can also be reached by road from Gauhati - a
long and difficult journey.
An inner line permit is currently not required to visit Nagaland. However, this
will be reviewed by the local authorities at the end of 2011.
Kohima War Cemetery is situated on the left of the Imphal-Diampur road (Highway
39) close to the centre of the town.
The cemetery is completely terraced with terrace levels ranging from 3 - 5
metres high, which makes wheelchair access to this site impossible.
Visitors to Kohima War Cemetery in north-east India should be aware that an area
on the western side of the cemetery behind the cremation memorial is cordoned
off. This does not prevent access to any of the graves in the cemetery but is
designed to restrict access to the service area where there has been some land
slippage. Land movement is not uncommon in the hilly area around Kohima and the
CWGC is working with the Indian government (a member country of the CWGC) to
ensure that remedial steps are taken to stabilise the hillside and prevent
The Cemetery is only open to the public while staff are on duty, and is normally
closed on Sundays. The residential Group Supervisor's bungalow is situated on
the roadside by the service entrance a short distance left of the main entrance,
and the register of the graves is usually kept at his bungalow.
The Japanese advance into India was halted at Kohima in April 1944 and
Garrison Hill, a long wooded spur on a high ridge west of the village, was the
scene of perhaps the most bitter fighting of the whole Burma campaign when a
small Commonwealth force held out against repeated attacks by a Japanese
Division. The fiercest hand to hand fighting took place in the garden of the
Deputy Commissioner's bungalow, around the tennis court, but the heaviest
casualties on both sides occurred after relieving forces reached the Garrison
and the Japanese were driven off the ridge, so re-opening the road to Imphal.
KOHIMA WAR CEMETERY lies on the battle ground of Garrison Hill. No trace remains
of the bungalow, which was destroyed in the fighting, but white concrete lines
mark and preserve permanently the historic tennis court.
The cemetery now contains 1,420 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.
At the highest point in the cemetery stands the KOHIMA CREMATION MEMORIAL
commemorating 917 Hindu and Sikh soldiers whose remains were cremated in
accordance with their faith.
At the lower end of the cemetery, near the entrance, is a memorial to the 2nd
Division. It bears the inscription;- "When you go home Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, We gave our today."
The cemetery also contains a memorial to the 2nd Battalion, the Dorsetshire
Regiment and a number of other regimental memorials have been erected on and
near Garrison Hill.