Friday, January 7, 2011
'Raja' the Dalada Maligawa tusker was captured in Eravur, in the East of Sri Lanka, by a Muslim ,'Meera Lebbey Panikkaththaan', in the 1920s. He was given to the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy. He ran away to the 'Pankkaththaan's' home in Eravur after a few days but was brought back. Raja had the honour of carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha till 1985 when he died. The Rs.1000/- currency note of Sri Lanka, had a picture of Raja and the 'Panikkaththaan. The dead Raja was stuffed after curing and is on display in a special room at the Dalada Maligawa. I took a piucture of this a few days back. The second picture shows in a smaller scale, the adornments worn by Raja during the Dalada Perahera, when he carried a replica of the Tooth Relic.