Kodanad is about 30 km from Ernakulam town in the highranges on the southern bank of the River Periyar
Elephants are an integral part of Indian mythology and culture. In God's Own Country, elephants are often referred to as the sons of the 'Sahya' (the Western Ghats). Once a part of every day life in Kerala, elephants are the most ornamental and auspicious animals here. No festival or celebration is complete without an elephant procession. Rows of majestically caparisoned elephants, replete with colourful silken parasols form the most spectacular part of any event in Kerala.
Kodanad, set on the Southern banks of the Periyar River amid the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant training centres in Kerala. Earlier elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests in the East and North of Kodanad) were trained here. Since the introduction of a ban on elephant capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training centre. The famous Malayatoor Church is near Kodanad.
Muthanga of Wayanad district and Konni of Pathanamthitta district are two other elephant training centres in Kerala. Another attraction for elephant lovers is Punnathur Kotta, of the neighbouring Thrissur district, where some 40 elephants of the Guruvayoor Temple are groomed.
Activities with Elephants
In the mornings at the riverside, tourists informally get a chance to experience hands-on bathe and massage of adult and baby elephants under the supervision of its Mahouts. Bathe and massage of elephants are normally done with small flat rocks, and husk of coconuts.
Kodanad offers elephant safari to the visitors at the main park. At the park, the old 'Kraal' is maintained to house elephants, which is a structure made of wood compartments that can accommodate up to 4 elephants.
Visitors to Kodanad can watch feeding of elephants as nearly 80% of an elephants day is spent on feeding. It is fascinating to watch elephants feeding themselves in their natural environment.
Watching baby elephants during their early training years of early life as it takes a lot of training in their early years.
The is also a 'mini zoo' that shelters wild animals which have become unfit for survival in the local forest and some inmates of the zoo are very rare species.
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 30 km.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 65 km.