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.


Hi there! I am Shamal. An Undergraduate student of Psychology at The Open University of Sri Lanka. Doing some studies related to mental health and have good practice in researching the facts. As well as a freelance investigative writer with more than 5 years of experience. I started this blog a few years ago as a hobby. First I wrote about Traveling locations and day-to-day news that feels important to write.

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