If you are planning a trip to God’s own country – Kerala, you must definitely add the Elephant Rehabilitation Center to your bucket list. Located at Kottoor near Neyyar Reservoir which is approximately 35 km from the Trivandrum city, Elephant Rehabilitation Center is a treat for nature and elephant lovers. I have visited this place few times and interestingly I had different experiences each time. If you want to know how I enjoyed the place, please keep on reading.
Entrance Fee: 10 INR for Indians and 100 INR for foreigners (additional charges for camera)
Timings: 9.30 to 4.30
Ideal time to visit: 9.30 to 11.30
Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Central
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport
After paying the entrance fees, we started walking through the neatly paved roads which lead to the place where all the elephants were on their way to take bath. It was a huge river stream with green trees surrounding it. The elephants played in the water, took bath, sprinkled water and it was so fun to watch.
After their bath, they all moved for breakfast where we were allowed to feed them with leaves and take photos. While they were enjoying their food, the trainer shared how old each elephant was and how they were rescued and brought for rehabilitation. After breakfast, a few older elephants were ready for elephant rides accompanied by their trainers. Many kids and grownups seem to enjoy the rides but I was afraid.
The elephants went for a walk into the forest with their trainers after breakfast to collect food (for lunch maybe!). The cutest thing was that they walked behind one another in height order and the younger elephants were quite naughty. They came back carrying branches of leaves in their trunk and went to their respective places. I was astonished to see how well behaved they were.
The younger elephant was being trained by its mother/ elder elephant but it was in no mood to get trained and was playful. There were two older elephants which were throwing sand on themselves. A few steps away were this older elephant that was said to be adamant chewing on her leaves. The best part was that she posed for the camera. Few other elephants were practicing their daily routine with their trainers.
After a tiring walk, we reached the pond again which had a café on a wood house. The view was breathtaking as we approached the wood house. A few monkeys who live in the woods also showed up on that day. Bamboo rafting and motor boat rides were also part of the Elephant Rehabilitation Center.
The Elephant Rehabilitation Center has staying rooms with a/c facilities at nominal rates. They have a vegetarian canteen. The washrooms were very clean unlike other tourist destinations. There were staffs present at each place to direct us and explain various things. They have a stall which has native Kerala products such as sandal soap, turmeric powder, pickles and many more.
Plan your next trip to the Elephant Rehabilitation Center with your family/friends and have a great time. Make sure that your kids don’t bully the elephants as they are unpredictable. Make your trip happy for both your family and the elephants.
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