Nadungamuwe Raja, the great tusker who is the main bearer to carry the sacred relic casket at the Temple of tooth relic has died at the age of 69 today.

The Nadungamuwe Raja tusker join the Kandy perahera in 2005. He first join the randoli perahera in 2006. The owner of the Raja is Dr. Harsha Dharmawijaya.

However, this great tusker travels Gampaha to Kandy, about 90Km by foot. Just to attend the sacred ceremony at the Temple of Tooth Relic.

According to history, the Nadungamuwe Raja was born in 1953 in Mysore, India. And also, this tusker offers to Sri Lanka by a Maharaja as a gesture of gratitude.

Nadungamuwe Raja taveling to Kandy by foot. Location: Kadugannawa
Nadungamuwe Raja taveling to Kandy by foot. Location: Kadugannawa

On the other hand, this tusker was one of two baby elephants presented by Maharaja of Mysore to the local physician at Piliyandala as a reward for curing the chronic illness of his relatives. The father of Dr Harsha Dharmawijaya bought this tusker for 75000Rs at that time. The other baby elephant is Navam Hasthi at Gangaramaya Temple.

However, this tusker is fortunate enough to carry the temple of tooth relic at the Kandy Perahera many times in his lifetime. And also, this tusker gets a lot of love and care from people all around the country as well as the world.

Not to mention, there will not be the same at the Perahera this year without Raja. As well his glory will remain in the people’s hearts forever.


Hello, I'm Shamal and I am a freelance writer who is passionate about Sri Lanka's culture, food, history, and travel locations. Having grown up in Sri Lanka, I have a deep appreciation for its rich heritage, diverse cuisine, and stunning landscapes. As a writer, my goal is to share my love for Sri Lanka with others and inspire them to explore the country's many wonders. Whether it's ancient temples, vibrant markets, or breathtaking beaches, I believe there's something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Through my blog, I provide insights into Sri Lankan culture and history, sharing stories and traditions that have been passed down for generations. I also highlight the country's culinary delights, from spicy curries to sweet desserts, and provide recommendations for the best places to try them. Of course, travel is a big part of experiencing Sri Lanka's beauty and charm, and I love sharing my favorite travel locations and hidden gems with readers. From the hill country of Ella to the historic city of Galle, I aim to showcase the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery, and I hope my writing inspires you to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka for yourself.

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