Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa) at Gangaramaya Temple

Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa) at Gangaramaya Temple

Raja in March, 2010. Photo: Diana Sed
† Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa)
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂ 57 years old
Dead date: 2011-07-09,
Death reason: unknown:
People killed:1: mahout Dingiri Mahattaya
Location:Gangaramaya Temple
ArrivedGangaramaya Temple
from Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur
Born:1954 wild India
Document updated2010-07-12: picture
2011-07-09: death
2011-07-10: age
2011-07-23: death
2018-05-16: victims name
Ven. Piliyandala Hamuduruwo, a reputed indigenous physician was able to cure an eye disease of a relative of a Maharajah of Mysore. The Maharajah was overjoyed and presented two elephant calves to this monk.

There was one incident in Kandy, were Navam Raja killed Dingiri Mahattaya, its mahout. He was a person from Godakawela in Rakwana. It was the time when Navam Raja was brought to Kandy for Esala Perahera in Daladha Maligawa.

When Dingiri Mahattaya was trying to un-tie the elephant, the elephant suddenly knocked him down with his tusks. Then the tusker has flung him over an electric wire. Dingiri Mathaya fell behind a massive log in the corner. The injured mahout was rushed to the hospital. However in spite of much effort the mahout later died.

This sort of behaviour was not common in Navam Raja. Later few elephant experts predicted that this was due to the elephant being in heat, although the musth behaviour was not distinct in Navam Raja. The mahout Dingiri Mahattaya was said to like the tusker so much that had a great faith on the elephant. On the day of his funeral, near his coffin a photograph of Navam Raja was kept.

Tharindu Muthukumarana, Sri Lanka daily news



Navam raja during colic in April 2006

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