Nadungamuwa Raja Dies

Shakila Ifham

March 7, 2022


The death of Nadungamuwa Raja, much celebrated elephant towering nearly 10.5 feet in height, the tallest tamed tusker here, had sent shock waves among the animal loving nation.

This tusker has carried the Sacred Tooth Relics Casket at the Esala Perahera for more than 12 years.

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the Elephant King of Nedungamuwa is one of the Bodhisattvas “we have seen in our time.”

He added: “I was deeply saddened by the news of the demise of Nedungamuwe Raja elephant, the most beautiful elephant king of Sri Lanka. As the Minister of Environment, I thought of making this short message about the Raja Elephant because of the immense grief that arose in my mind.”

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs to name the late ceremonial tusker ‘Nadungamuwe Raja’ as a National Treasure.

President also said that to conserve the remains of the tusker for future generations.

The President’s Media Division said that a team from the National Museum was dispatched to Gampaha, where the remains of the ceremonial tusker are currently placed.

Raja was an unofficial national treasure as he was one of the few tuskers chosen to carry the sacred relic casket of the Esala Perahera, an annual pageant at the most sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy.

The tusker used to walk around 90 kilometres to the city of Kandy for the event, called the Esala Perahera. He walked 25 to 30 kilometres a day, travelling mostly at night when it is cooler.