Located on the banks of the Periyar River, Kodanad Elephant Training Center is a unique destination in Kerala, India, that attracts scores of tourists every year. Kodanad is a tranquil village in the Ernakulam district, and the elephant training center is a haven for elephant lovers.
The center has a fascinating history, and tourists can get up close and personal with these majestic creatures and learn about their lifestyle, habits, and the challenges they face in the wild. In this article, we will delve into the history and tourism aspects of the Kodanad Elephant Training Center.
History of Kodanad Elephant Training Center
Kodanad has a rich history that dates back to the reign of the Cochin Royal Family. The place was initially a trading center for spices, especially cardamom, and was also known for its teakwood forests. The region was also famous for its elephants, which were used in the timber industry.
The Cochin Royal Family established the Kodanad Elephant Training Center in the early 1900s, primarily to train elephants for the timber industry.
Elephants were used for transportation, and the training center became a hub for the management and upkeep of the animals.
With the decline of the timber industry, the elephant training center lost its significance. The Kerala Forest Department took over the center’s management in the 1970s, and it was converted into a rescue and rehabilitation center for captive elephants.
Kodanad became a safe haven for elephants rescued from the wild, where they could receive the necessary care and attention. The center has since then become a popular tourist destination, attracting elephant enthusiasts from all over the world.
Tourism of Kodanad Elephant Training Center
The Kodanad Elephant Training Center offers tourists a unique opportunity to interact with elephants and learn about their lifestyle.
The center is open every day, except on Mondays, and visitors can spend a few hours observing and interacting with these majestic animals. The center also has facilities for elephant rides and bathing, making the experience more immersive.
Tourists can observe the elephants’ daily routine, from their morning bath in the river to their feeding and training sessions. The elephants at the center are well-cared for, and visitors can witness the love and dedication that the caretakers have for the animals.
The mahouts, or elephant handlers, are skilled in managing the animals and can answer any questions that visitors may have about the elephants.
- Elephant Rides
One of the most popular activities at the Kodanad Elephant Training Center is the elephant ride. Tourists can take a leisurely ride on the back of an elephant and explore the surrounding forests and villages.
The elephants are well-trained and are comfortable with carrying people on their back. The ride is a unique experience that offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the mahouts and the elephants.
- Elephant Bathing
Another unique experience at the center is the elephant bathing. Visitors can join the mahouts in bathing the elephants in the Periyar River.
The experience is both fun and educational, as visitors can learn about the elephants’ bathing habits and the importance of maintaining their hygiene. The elephants enjoy the water, and visitors can witness the playful interaction between the animals and the mahouts.
- Elephant Feeding
Visitors can also participate in feeding the elephants at the center. The mahouts will provide visitors with a basket of fruits and vegetables, and visitors can offer the food to the elephants.
The elephants are gentle creatures and will take the food from the visitors’ hands. The experience is a memorable one, as visitors can witness the elephants’ intelligence and social behavior.
How to Reach Kodanad Elephant Training Center?
Reaching Kodanad Elephant Training Center is a relatively straightforward process.
By Air: The nearest airport to Kodanad Elephant Training Center is Cochin International Airport, which is located approximately 30 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the training center. The journey takes around an hour, depending on the traffic conditions.
By Train: The closest railway station to Kodanad is Aluva Railway Station, situated about 20 kilometers away. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the training center. The journey usually takes around 45 minutes, depending on the traffic.
By Road: If you prefer traveling by road, you can reach Kodanad Elephant Training Center by hiring a taxi or driving in your own vehicle. Kodanad is well-connected by road to major cities and towns in Kerala. The training center is approximately 40 kilometers from Kochi and can be reached via the Perumbavoor-Kothamangalam Road.
Local transportation options, such as buses and taxis, are available from nearby towns and cities to Kodanad. It’s recommended to check the bus schedules or book a taxi in advance to ensure a smooth journey.
Once you reach Kodanad, the training center is easily accessible by following the signs or asking the locals for directions. Enjoy your visit to the Kodanad Elephant Training Center and have a memorable experience with the gentle giants!