Millangoda Appuhami

From the list of elephant persons Family: Appuhami

Millangoda Appuhami
Senanayaka  Appuhami

Personal details
Country Sri Lanka

Title owner -2021
Location at Millangoda elephant camp in Sri Lanka

Senanayaka  Appuhami
Millangoda Raja
Biography details

Senanayaka Ralage Appuhami , camp elephant owner in Sri Lanka

Born 1922? in Sri Lanka dead 2021-08-21 in Sri Lanka .

Late Appuhami Millangoda, whose family had kept captive elephants for three generations, was Owner of Millangoda Raja. Appuhami Millangoda recalled that Millangoda Raja had been among a batch of elephants he and his friends had captured in north-west Sri Lanka in 1945. Buddhist funeral “The elephant was small compared with the others when we caught him – just four or five Feet tall – and very cute,” he told the BBC from the town of Kegalle. “That’s why I brought him home. It took only two weeks to domesticate him. “I felt very sad losing him – it was like losing a family member.”

It is dangerous work, this fourth-generation elephant owner, agrees nonchalantly, for sometimes the wild one can break free and in its thunderous escape into the jungle kill all in its path. Appuhamy’s first elephant-capture foray was way back in 1943 at Hambantota as a youth of 22. In that journey he covered the deep south including Angunukolapelessa, Hungama, Palle Malla, Bolana, Bundala and even Koggala.

Life was tough. After trapping the elephants, they would sell off some in the area itself and walk the others, the ones they hoped to keep, all the way back home…..miles and miles, sleeping and eating rough. It took them 23 days to come back home and many were those who fell by the wayside, ill with fevers.

Memories of the Anamaduwa “catch” comes to mind easily. Nineteen elephants, big and small, were the yield. But the Millangoda Clan required only four and the practice was to sell off the rest. Appuhamy’s Group herded the elephants to the Anamaduwa wew pitiya and sold the rest, some for Rs. 2,000, others for Rs. 2,500 and “hondama” (the best) for the then princely sum of Rs. 3,000.

Among the four Appuhamy brought back home was a little fellow about five-six Feet tall. They did not walk him to Molagoda from Anamaduwa but sent him in a lorry. “We kept him at home and never sent him out to work,” says Appuhamy This was the little fellow, pampered in the Millangoda home who would later become the Millangoda Raja.
Man and Tusker, a long journey together,


Millangoda Raja, believed to have the longest Tusks of any Tusker in Asia, is in delicate health due to old age. Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S M Chandrasena on Wednesday (9) visited the Millangoda Walawwa at Molagoda on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into the needs of the famous Tusker that for several years carried the casket of the Tooth Relic in the Kandy Perahera. The minister met its owner, Senanayaka Ralalage Appuhamy Millangoda and his son, member of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Ananda Millangoda and donated a stock of nutritional food and medicine for the Tusker. The Director of Wildlife Conservation Chandrawansa Pathiraja accompanied the minister. Appuhamy Millangoda told the minister that Millangoda Raja was a calf when it was captured from the Navagatthegama Forest Reserve on a permit issued by the government for Rs.50. He said that from the original number of 14 elephants he owned many have died of old age leaving five which included the Tusker called ‘Millangoda Little Raja’.


Total: 1 children

  1. Ananda Millangoda. Born: ?.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). elephant owner Senanayaka Ralage Appuhami in Sri Lanka. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 5 March 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories elephant owner | camp | Millangoda elephant camp | Appuhami family | Born 1922 | Dead 2021 | People from Sri Lanka

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