In Sri Lanka no other animal has been associated for so long with the people in their traditional and religious activities as the elephant. This association dates back to the Pre-Christian era, more than 5,000 years. Ancient Sinhalese kings captured and tamed elephants which used to abound in the country.
Various methods of capture were employed, some indigenous, others introduced by neighboring kings and countries that conquered and ruled Sri Lanka. Gradually the number of elephants captured increased. All elephants were kept by the king in his stables. The methods of capture were refined and modified as time went on.