An encounter with mammoth elephants of Kerala? You may love riding elephants bareback, and helping to scrub them in the river. Elephants in Kerala are often referred to as the ‘sons of the sahya.’ and an integral part of the daily life in Kerala . These elephants are loved, revered, groomed and given a prestigious place in the state’s culture. In Kerala, groups of elephants can be found in temples, wildlife Sanctuaries and forests.
If you want to see wild elephants in Kerala there are some great places to spot herds of these large animals. A breathtaking sight and one that you will definitely want your camera ready for. Here are options where you have a great chance of seeing wild elephants.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary : Kerala’s Periyar National Park is known for its elephants, and 30 minute elephant rides through the jungle are offered. This pride of Kerala is perhaps the best place to see gamboling elephants in their habitat—loners and hoards. Good place for a Jungle Trek. One can also trek with the forest guard through the jungle, when there are better chances of spotting elephants from up close.
Wayanad region in North Kerala is a less visited place. It is home to wildlife sanctuaries . Elephants live as small or large herds some of which may be several hundreds in number can be seen in Wayand Wildlife Sancturay, a part of the Nilgiri biosphere.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary - is another location with its water tower for seeing elephants.
Kodanad elephant training center is a peaceful spot among forest-like environs. When you visit the center, you would notice the love the personnel have for the elephants under their care. Interested tourists could also get an elephant-ride at the Kodanad center by paying a fee.
The famous Guruvayur temple in Kerala has more than 70 domesticated elephants, thus the presiding deity, Guruvayurappan, is said to be the owner of the world’s largest number of domesticated elephants. Most of the elephants are donated by devotees. Guruvayur Temple owned Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary or “Anathavalam” 3kms away from Guruvayoor.The Anayottam or Elephant Run at Guruvayur is a famous event, conducted annually.
During Thrissur Pooram Festival you can see large number of elephants participating in Temple Procession. The spectacle of 30-60 caparisoned elephants will enthrall you as they move in a majestic procession, while trumpets and drum beats work up to a frenzy. The best of these spectacles is seen at the Thrissur Pooram held during April/May.