Located in a rural river side village, Kodanad Elephant Karl is one of the largest elephant training centers in Kerala.
By the river banks of Periyar, 20 kilometers drive from Kochi international airport. Few minutes drive from the sanctuary, there is also a deer park which is spread in 200 acres of natural forest. You can make short trips to Kodanad Elephant Karl from Fort Kochi, Alappuzha, Athirappally waterfalls etc.
Though Kodanad was launched as an elephant training centre, scores of rescued animals and birds are brought there, turning it into a ‘mini-zoo.’ In the past, overcrowding of animals in the enclosure had even led to the death of some animals.
Visitor have chances to watch elephant bath in the river, feed, ride elephants and take photos with elephants.
For a great relief for the elephants housed at the Kodanad Elephant Karl (Kodanad Animal Rescue Centre),the Forest Department is planning to shift elephants to Abhayaranyam, a nature rehabilitation center set up by the department at Kaprikad in Ernakulam.
The facilities at Kodanad have become insufficient due to the increase in the number of rescued animals, necessitating the rehabilitation. Normally, an elephant walks in the forest around 20 km daily. Hence, separate elephant tracks are at the 70-hectre Abhayaranyam, where visitors will be allowed to see elephants and the other animals. Small animals like spotted deer and sambar deer were shifted to Abhayaranyam two years ago. The Forest department authorities are planning to set up facilities for visitors like eco-shop, toilet complex and a cafeteria at Abhayaranyam.
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Two other elephant training centers in Kerala that will interest you are Muthanga in Wayanad district and Konni in Pathanamthitta district. Another attraction for elephant lovers is Punnathur Kotta next to the Guruvayoor Temple, where almost 40 elephants of are groomed.