I felt so sad this morning when I looked into the grounds of the Gangarama temple, and saw candles burning, and flowers strewn across the ground where Nawan Raja had served for 25 years. The temple elephant died on Friday of a stomach complaint and was buried in the temple grounds. Yesterday Buddhist priests conducted his last rites. He was 55 years old. R.I.P faithful Nawan Raja. I will miss you.
I have lived in Colombo Sri Lanka for a year and on my morning walks, I pass Nawan Raja, and stop and acknowledge him. I have taken many photographs of this fine 55 year old tusker. The photo below I took about a month ago. My morning walks will never be the same. For me he symbolised strength, humility and piety. Born into the wilds, I often used to wonder if an elephant could find peace in a temple. I will never know. Goodbye old friend.