Ten Best Places to Spot Elephants
Punathoor Kota Elephant Sanctuary, Guruvayur: Indulge in Elephant watching at Punnthur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, which is just 3 kms away from the Guruvayurappan Temple. Managed by the Guruvaur Devaswom Board, it houses a good number of Elephants. You can see these giant creatures everywhere in myriad poses- flapping ears, swaying Trunks, getting a bath in the pond. You can photograph them, draw them in canvas but do not indulge in any buffoonery with them. Though you can bring in Bananas.
Theppakkadu Elephant Training Camp, Ooty
Just 68 km from Oooty is the Theppakkadu Elephant training camp inside the Madhumalai Forest Sanctuary within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the biggest Elephant camp and is home to around 25-30 of the Pachyderms engaged in various forest activities. You can be part of the feeding shows in the evenings which is a real crowd puller.
Dubare Elephant Camp, Madikeri
Sandwiched between the Dubare reserve forest and the south bank of the Cauvery lies the Dubare Elephant training Camp in the eastern Kodagu(Coorg). Open throughout the year the Elephant lovers can spend hours observing them closely and participate in activities such as feeding and bathing. A special attraction here is the Elephant Interaction Programme.
Kabini Forest, Mysore
If you want to see Asiatic Elephants in their wild passion, raw intensity and natural habitat then head for Kabini. Kabini is all about Elephants, some 250 of them or more, roaming free. Kabini lies in the south-eastern end of Nagarhole National Park just 69 km from Mysore. The forest reserve is spread over 55 acres and comprises forestland and water bodies and is one of the best places for sightings of large herds of Elephants.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady
Lying close to the plantations, in the Cardamom hills region Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 777 sq kms. It is one of the most fascinating Jungles to spot Elephants. The sanctuary has a large number of Tuskers. This is the only Sanctuary where you can take a boat ride on the lake and view the herds of wild Elephants playing around.
Kodanad Elephant Camp, Kalady
Kodanad is a a major Elephant rescue and care centre which is just 30 km from Kalady on the MC Road. From close quarters and without any fears you can watch Elephants having a bath, baby Elephants indulging in antics. Elephant rides are also available. Entry fee is just Rs 2.
Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Bhubaneshwar
Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary is around 20 km or a half an hour`s journey from Bhubaneswar. The sanctuary covered with dense bamboo and kochila trees is home to a strong team of Elephants nearing 70. Many watch towers are constructed inside the sanctuary at vantage points to spot Elephants. From the Kumarkhunti Watch Tower you can watch the Elephants inside the waterholes, bathing and frolicking with the birds.
Dalma Elephant Reserve, Jamshedpur
Dalma Elephant Reserve some 40 km from the industrial town of Jamshedpur is spread over 195 square kilometers. Inspite of the presence of some 90 Elephants, yet it does not quite figure in the tourist circuit. The Pachyderm presence can be felt mainly around the lake deep inside the thick forests. A forest lodge inside provides accommodation.
Rajaji National Park, Haridwar
Rajaji National Park covers 3 districts of Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal and is spread over 825 square kilometers. It is famous for its Elephant population. There`s a dedicated Motichoor elephant corridor connecting the eastern and western parts of the Rajaji park. The reserve boasts of 10 million-year-old fossils of 50 species of Elephants.
Sahakari Spice Farm, Goa
Those who think that Goa is only about sun and sand a visit to the Sahakari Spice farm, located on the Ponda Belgaum Highway brings in a welcome change. This Spice farm is also a great place to enjoy in a bit of fun and frolics with the tamed Elephants. Watching the Pachyderms take bath, scrubbing them, kids getting splashed with water sprayed by the Elephants, feeding them, Elephant rides all add up to the fun.