Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa) an Asian elephant at Gangaramaya Temple

 ☨ ♂ Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa)  
Raja in March, 2010. Photo: Diana Sed
Raja in March, 2010. Photo: Diana Sed



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂ 57 years old

People killed:1: mahout Dingiri Mahattaya
Born:* 1954 wild
Birth place:
Dead date: 2011-07-09
Death reason: unknown:
Present / last location:Gangaramaya Temple, in Sri Lanka

Date of Arrival
(Presently sometimes errors!)

Gangaramaya Temple
from Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur

Document updated2010-07-12: picture
2011-07-09: death
2011-07-10: age
2011-07-23: death
2018-05-16: victims name
Random literature

† Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa) is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant, (Elephas maximus), who died at Gangaramaya Temple, in Sri Lanka, of from unknown reasons in 2011-07-09. (see detailed list).


Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa) was born wild 1954.

Comments / pictures

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

Reference listKoehl, Dan, (2021). Nawam Raja (Dhala Puttawa), an Asian elephant at Gangaramaya Temple in Sri Lanka. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 12 April 2021 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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  • Categories2011 deaths | 1954 births | Born in India | Elephants from Gangaramaya Temple | Sri Lanka | Mankillers | Asian elephants

    This document was updated: 2020-10-18 06:25:24

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