Although bigger in size but kind and humble in nature, elephants are wonderful herbivorous animals. They could be tamed with love and care and are useful in many ways. But to say it is not right to take much advantage of animals and we do not have the right to make them do anything forcibly. All is necessary is love that we must give them to get the best out of them. Kerala is a well known place famous for elephants and no festival is complete without them. In Kodanad Elephant Training Centre, elephants are taken care of and are groomed with respect and love. This training centre is moved near Kaprikkad in Abhayaranyam and is regarded as the largest sanctuary for elephants in Kerala.
Located on the banks of Periyar River, this place serves as the comfortable place for elephants with natural surroundings all around. It is situated in Ernakulam district which is also known as Kochi and is a very peaceful place. The centre is almost 42 kilometers towards the eastern region from Kochi. Previously Kodanad was a centre where elephants were captured from the nearby localities. But after capturing elephants were banned in Kerala from the year 1970, the ground is being used for rescuing elephants and training them. Adult elephants and baby elephants as well are rescued from surrounding forests and are taken care of.
Tourists can get a wonderful chance to touch the elephants under the guidance of the mahouts. There is the main park where elephants are kept in wooden structures known as kraals. Elephant safaris are done where visitors are taken inside the park within the natural environment. Feeding of elephants is done in Kodanad sanctuary in the natural environment with trees all around. Tourists can also get in touch with them when they are taken for bathing in the river. Messages and bathing of the elephants are done with the help of coconut husks. It is nice experience to watch them bathing.
Baby elephants are trained from early stages of their life on how to survive and become a useful elephant. There is also a mini zoo where unfit wild animals are kept and taken care of. It is a great thing for the tourists to see so many elephants doing their activities and learning how to earn a livelihood. After the baby elephants become adult they are sold in auction and are used for different activities such as lifting timbers or becoming a member of elephant possessions on festivals celebrated in temples and religious places.
Elephant lovers could reach there from the nearest railway station being Ernakulam at a distance of 45 km from the training centre. The closest airport is Cochin International Airport which could be accessed via the road that connects Vallom and Kodanad and is at a distance of 20 km. September to May is the best time to visit there. The centre is opened on all days of the week except Monday.
There are many places to stay near the spot and here some of the hotels are being mentioned that stands very close to it. Such as Rosevilla home stay, the Villa Romantica and Anjali Home stay. Two hotels that are situated near the Cochin Airport are Diana Heights and Hotel Air link Castle. All these exquisite rejuvenating hotels provide great comfort to spend your holiday.
The forest department of Kerala looks after the elephants of Kodanad Elephant Training Centre. Tourists like to visit the region due to innate atmosphere where they can feel and see nature from very close. The place is away from urban city life and the environment is unspoiled and pristine. There are walking passages for the visitors to stroll beside the river bank. Kodanad and Malayatoor church are located on opposite banks with River Periyar in between. There are facilities of river boats to make you cross the river and reach your destination. This place attracts national as well as international tourists due to its natural surroundings. Film makers, elephant lovers find this place paradise of Kerala and often visit there to get the touch of nature.
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