The majestic elephant, Wewaladeniye Rajah, which paraded the streets carrying the casket bearing the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Esala Maha Perahera in Kandy, died last night, Wewaladniye Mahindodaya Temple Chief Incumbent the Ven. Hemmathagama Sri Siddaratha Thera said.
The elephant was 55-years-old at the time of its death at the Pallekele International Buddhist Centre Premises after being ill for a short period.
It had participated for some 20 years at several peraheras including those at Gangaramaya, Bellanwila, Kelaniya, Ratnapura Maha Saman Devalaya, Kataragama, Dehiowita, Rambukkana, Mawanella and Hemmathagama.
Wewaladniye Rajah had taken part in the Kandy Dalada Perahera for more than 15 years.
The final rites will be held today at 2.30 p.m. at the Pallekele International Buddhist Centre in Kandy.
Pix by Rohan Kumara