Kerala · Travel

Kodanad Elephant Training centre: Kerala

Elephants being an integral part of Indian culture and mythology have always fascinated me.  So when I heard about the elephant training centre in Kodanad near Kochi, I was sure not to miss it.  Located on the southern bank of the river Periyar, the area is part of the Malayattoor forest division and is about 42 km from the city of Kochi.  Initially established as an elephant training center, Kodanad is accessible via a minor detour enroute to Munnar from Kochi.

The river behind the camp

Elephant capturing started as early as 1895 in the Malayattoor reserved forests and the captured elephants were housed here and trained for employment for various tasks in the forest.  However, with the latest Government rules and policies with respect to animal welfare, the elephants are just looked after here and not ’employed’ for any ‘tasks’.  The present day six room structure was built in 1965 and is used for the upkeep of elephants rescued in various parts of the state.


If you reach there early in the morning, say, at about 8-8.30, you can catch the elephants at bath and witness the joyful sight. We were, however, a bit late and arrived when it was time to feed the elephants.  Food consisting of a mixture of sugarcane, jaggery and banana among others is prepared by the mahouts and fed to the elephants in the morning after which they rested for a while before being retired to the nearby forest for the morning.  The same ritual is repeated in the evening.

Elephant food being prepared
Elephant food being prepared





This elephant named Hariprasad, we were given to understand is savagely fierce. Hence it has been housed in isolation!
This elephant named Hariprasad, we were given to understand is savagely fierce. Hence it has been housed in isolation!

There are not many elephants here currently, so it is a nice quiet place and ideal for a family outing with kids!

0 thoughts on “Kodanad Elephant Training centre: Kerala

  1. Wow! This is so amazing. I love elephants Rashmi. When we were kids once in a while there would be a mahout doing the rounds with an elephant in the city streets in Bombay. Can’t tell you how exciting that day used to become ?

  2. Kodanad was a beautiful tourist destination for foreign tourists and a great picnic spot for the locals. I have been to this place numerous times during my childhood since it was very close to my home. Unfortunately, the animals were kept in a poor condition and lot of complaints were registered for animals abuse. All the animals from this place were either released or moved to an open zoo at Abhayaranyam. See the current status of Kodanad Elephant training centre –

    Abhayaranyam is an interesting place to visit, which is about 2.5km from Kodanad. Many of the animals from Kodanad are moved there. Also, it is a good picnic area, which already started getting lot of attraction among the locals.

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