If you want to go for a ride on elephants and pamper your young ones, head to elephant training centre at Konni in Pathanamthitta. The popular tourist place is a delight, especially for children and they will love playing with gentle giants.
Baby elephants that are lost, abandoned and injured in the dense forests are brought to the elephant training centre, which is located around 10 km from Pathanamthitta town on the banks of the Achakovil River.
They are then housed in wooden cages called Aanakoodu, and are trained by expert mahouts. Armed with skills carried forward through generations, the trainers have traditional methods to train the jumbos. Sometimes mahouts take the help of other trained elephants as well. The elephants are taught to obey a set of specific commands, taken for walks in the morning, given baths and specific diets.
Konni has an elephant-training tradition dating back to 1810 CE. The Aanakoodu that we see now was built in 1942, out of a wood called “Kambakam” [Hopea ponga].
Apart from the elephant training centre, we can explore the history museum and visit the paper plant where file boards are made with paper and elephant dung. The vast campus is also home to a wide variety of medicinal plants. If we want to buy some forest products such as honey and sandalwood, there are outlets on the premises.
To have a glimpse of the elephant training centre, check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTJnhl96E60
Phone: + 91 468 2247645
Nearest railway station: Chengannur, about 35 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 110 km