Panamure Eth Gala and ‘Diya Bubula’ (පනාමුරේ ඇත්ගාල සහ දිය බුබූල)

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The huge wall made out of the large tree logs which kept elephants trapped @ Panamure Elephant Kraal

Panamure Eth Gala (Elephant Kraal) carries a significant place in Sri Lankan History due to a number of reasons.

  1. The last Elephant Kraal in Sri Lanka was carried out at this camp in 1950.
  2. This last Kraal was made significant by a Defiant Bull Elephant who refused to be captured and was finally shot dead. The public outcry for this killing was so huge that the government passed a law banning Elephant Kraals, capturing and killing elephants, forever changing the fate of all Sri Lankan Elephants. This bull was iconised as “Panamure Eth Raja” and became a part of Sri Lankan popular history.

Kraals were held in Panamure 12 times, in 1896, 1898, 1902, 1907, 1912, 1914, 1918, 1922, 1924, 1929, 1944 and the last in 1950. This land was part of the 99,000-acre virgin forest belonging to Francis Molamure and was built around a natural water spring called “Diya Bubula”.

The Kraal in 1950 drove 17 elephants including a magnificent young bull who was mating with the matriarch is said to have tried to run through the stockade with the herd. This huge bull became agitated again when the matriarch was noosed and charged all the tamed elephants who came to noose him.

He was eventually noosed twice with strong ropes made with hide but both times he managed to break free with his strength. He broke free of a wire noose on the 3rd attempt making him even more violent. None of the tame elephants dared to go close to this bull and finally, it was decided to shoot this majestic bull. A single rifle shot by a hunter between the eyes brought the bull down. This single death triggered a chain reaction so powerful that it ensured the survival of all the elephants of Sri Lanka thereafter.

The Elephant Kraal which was built around a natural water spring was called the “Diya Bubula” or just “Bubula” which created a formidable water stream flowing throughout the year and a primary water source for the wildlife.

This Bubula also helped the residents of Panamure with their farming by providing water throughout the year in the past. It was told by elders that when the elephants come to the Bubula and start trumpeting, the water flow increases considerably. This phenomenon also occurs when people who come to fetch water start to talk loudly. The villagers respected this water spring so much that they would not even point their fingers toward the Bubula when showing it.

However, due to illegal gem mining and other human activities, a separated water stream has been diverted onto the Bubula and the flow of Bubula too has been reduced. The Bubula lies on the stream bed and clearly visible only when the water on the stream dries up. Although it seems that the flow of water from the  Bubula is very little, it creates a formidable amount of water considering the speed and the size of the stream which it creates with its water.

This water spring lies inside the Kraal grounds. You need to walk across the Kraal (Eth Gala) to reach a fair-sized water stream. Walk upstream for a few meters and you will notice that this stream is created by 2 streams joining in a “Y” fashion. Follow the left arm of Y and after a few meters, another stream joins this arm from the left. Cross this stream and follow on the original Y arm for a few more meters to find this ‘Diya Bubula’ which creates this water stream.

The total distance you need to travel upstream is about 70 meters.

Also See

Map of  the Panamure Eth Gala and ‘Diya Bubula’

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Traveling Directions to Panamure Eth Gala and ‘Diya Bubula’

Route from Embilipitiya to  Panamure Eth Gala and ‘Diya Bubula’
Though : Rakwana Road
distance : 11.5 km
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map


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