Borella (Colombo-8) begins at the Kanatte Roundabout where Bullers Road meets Narahenpita Road and moves northwards towards Dematagoda. The western side of the town is flanked by Cinnamon Gardens (Colombo-7) and Maradana (Colombo-8), the north by Dematagoda and the eastern sector is bounded by Nawala.
Baseline Road commences its lengthy stretch at this roundabout and stretches all the way to the Stace Road junction at Grandpass bordering Urugodawatte. The road gets its name from being the very first road to be laid out in Colombo which was used as a reference point (baseline) for all other roads to be constructed.
In recent times the road has been developed into a multi-lane motorway and the first flyover has been constructed on it at Dematagoda. In the southerly direction the road extends as Narahenpita Road, now renamed to Elvitigala Mawatha, all the way towards the High level Road at Kirulaponne.
The Streets of Borella
The site has served the Colombo communities since Colonial times and is a very popular place of burial of the dead for the people. Muslims do not bury their dead here as they have their own cemeteries located in various points within the city. The cemetery also has a crematorium for those who choose to be cremated instead of buried. A significant feature of the place are the many giant trees with sprawling green branches that provide shade to the dead and also the many wooden, concrete, marble, and granite monuments erected over the numerous graves.
The cemetery borders Narahenpita Road (Elvitigala Mawatha), Bullers Road (Bauddhaloka Mawatha), Model Farm Road at Borella and Kitulwatte Road at Narahenpita. The Model Farm Road end and Kitulwatte Road section borders the Royal Colombo Golf Club & Links at Narahenpita.
Baseline Road (Kanatte Road renamed to D S Senanayake Mawatha & Dr Dannister de Silva Mawatha)
The stretch between Kanatte and Borella junction has been since renamed D S Senanayake Mawatha (first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon in 1948) who had his home on this stretch of street. The next stretch of the road that runs towards Dematagoda has been renamed to Dr Danister de Silva Mawatha.
The road intersects Ward Place and Cotta Road (Dr N M Perera Mawtha) at Borella junction and goes on to intercest Campbel Place (Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha) at the Welikada Prisons location and then stretches across towards Dematagoda and Grandpass (Stace Road).
Dr Dannnister de Silva Mawatha begins agt the Borella junction and moves north towards Dematagoda in a very straight line. The Borella Police Station is located on the right and many busy businesses flourish at the junction. Borella Cross Road and Magazine Road are roads that feed into it, the former curving in from Ward Place and crossing Maradana Road while the latter moving east to a dead end where a low cost housing scheme for the poor stands.
The Colombo Municipal Veterinary department and the Medical Research Institute (MRI) are located immediately after Magazine Road on the right. The Abdeen Mosque is located alongside Borella Cross Road. Lady Ridgeway Childrens Hospital is located on the left facing the MRI.
Lesley Ranagala Mawatha is next on the right which leads straight to the Tamil Union Club where the famous Oval Cricket Grounds are located. The Postgraduate Institute of Management is also located down this street. The back ends of this street also web through the low cost housing scheme where many low income group families reside. This area of Borella is referred to as Wanathamulla.
The Government Printing Press is located on the left after Lesley Ranagala Mawatha. Further North on the left side of the street is the famous Campbell Park and Wesley College Cricket Grounds from where Borella ends and the town of Dematagoda (Colombo 9) begins. The Welikada Prison is also located at this intersection of Campbell Place (Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha), on the right.
Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed, the senior Muslim UNP MP for Borella and ex Minister in several UNP governments, born in 1921, lives with his family, on this end of Bauddhaloka Mawatha. He is the son of the famous philanthropist and enterpreanor, Nagoor Meera Mohammed Haniffa, who successfully ran a ship-chandling company called AMM Nagoor Meera & Sons for several decades.
His children are Hussain, Ummu, Thufa, Hassan, Azahim, Haniffa, Shahul Hameed and Shaha. MH Mohamed’s spouse, Noor Hassina Abdul Hameed, is the daughter of OLM Abdul Hamid & Sadiqa Noordeen.
Model Farm Road
Kanatte Road (Rt Hon D S Senanayake Mawatha)
The Hon Mr Senanayake was the first Prime Minister of Ceylon after Independence from the British in Feb 1948. He died after having a fall from his horse while riding in Colombo opposite the old parliament at Galle Face.
Austin Place, connecting to Kynsey Road at Cinnamon Gardens on the left and Sumner Place on the right are two side streets off this street. The Borella YMBA, Office of the Official Language Commission, Susamayawardena Maha Vidyalaya and the Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics Association are located on Austin Place. Kynsey Road divided Borella from Cinnamon Gardens.
The Senanayake family have belonged to the Sri Lankan aristocracy from the time of the British Colonial rule in Ceylon. Don Stepehen Senanayake (1884-1952), affectionately known to all as “DS”, was born to Mudaliyar Don Spater Senanayake (1848-1907) & Dona Catherina Elizabeth Perera Gunasekera Senanayake (1848-?).
His mother, daughter of Baron Senanayake of Kehelella, Badalagama in the Divulapitiya Electorate and sister of Abraham Perera Gunasekera Senanayake, was born in Botale. His father, Mudaliyar Don Spater, was an entrepreneur, social worker and a well known graphite mine owner in old Sri Lanka.
His siblings are Maria Francess (Mary Jane), Don Charles (1878-1931), & Frederick Richard (FR, 1882-1926). DC married Euphemia Grace Millicent while FR was married to Ellen Attygalle, also from a well known elite family in Ceylon, then..DS married Molly Dunuwilla who hailed from a well respected and high society Kandyan family in Ceylon.
FR had 8 children, Richard Gotabhaya (1911-1970), Tissa, Chandra, Upali (1918-1983), Needra, Rupavathi, Neeta and Swarna. DS’s children were Dudley Shelton (1911-1973) and Robert Parakrana (1913-1986).
Dona Catherina’s siblings are, Fredrick Perera Gunasekera, John Perera Gunasekera, William Perera Gunasekera, Mary Jane Perera Gunasekera, and Abraham Perera Gunasekera, who all took the “Perera Gunasekera Senanayake” family name.
[The Senanayake family information above has been prepared by Herman R Senanayake of Hunumulla, Kehelella, Sri Lanka on Mar 24, 2992, and submitted by Dehan Seneviratne]
Dudley Senanayake Mawatha
Dudley never married and died as a bachelor in 1973. He lived with his brother on the street named after his father in Borella for many years.
The gas station at the corner of Baseline Road and Horton Place has been in existence for many long years and patronized by those living around the vicinity.
The street is now a major thoroughfare between Colombo and Śrī Jayawardenapura which provides effective commuting for all those traveling between these two cities.
Cotta Road (Dr N M Perera Mawatha)
By roads off Cotta Road are, viz, Elliot Place, Ohlums Place, Fairfield Gardens, Tickell Road, Cotta Gardens, Turner Road, Bawa Place, Grenier Road, Chandralekha Mawatha, Ruhunukala Mawatha, Belcombe Place, Rodney Street, Rodney P:lace, Gothami Road, & Cotta Lane.
The Lido cinema hall is situated just a few yards from the Borella junction. The Offices of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
Wanathamulla Road (Saranapala Himi Mawatha)