Konni, Elephant training center, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala

 In the SW Indian state of Kerala, elephants are being widely used in the periodic temple festivities, rituals  and other social functions, besides the lumber industries. You may be  tempted to say that there is no Hindu temple in Kerala that is not associated with elephants. Hence these huge animals are respected and revered. Some famous elephants do have huge fans. 

Located in the Pathanamthitta district  of Kerala  Konni on the bank of river Achakovil,  is considered one among the important  elephant training center's in in the state.  Konni has been   famous for the elephant training center since ancient times. The elephants  captured from the dense forests of the western ghats/Sahyadri and  are brought to the elephant training cage at Konni.  Elephant training being a curious  curious learning activity, lots of visitors come to this place throughout the year.  Locally called   Aanakoodu,  giant elephants are housed in in sturdy cages made of thick wooden logs.  These   can house up to 3 to 4 elephants at a time.

Konni elephant training center, Kerala. keralatourism.org

Above image:  Town Konni, a nice hill station surrounded by a picturesque lavish green meadows and rolling hills  is  about 10  km  from Pathanamthitta town. Visitors get to understand  the behavior of elephants and how receptive they are to the traditional training being given here. There is an  elephant museum (opened in February 2021) which carries lots of information  on matters related to elephants and highlights the bond between humans and pachyderms....................

The museum covers  the life and evolution of elephants and different stages of captive elephant management, obviously, the first of its kind in the country. There are  huge-scale murals of elephants near the entrance plus  touch screen kiosks and information panels. from them we learn  about  human-elephant relationships and the impact  elephants  on the life of Kerala .The state' culture has close links with the elephants. The museum also covers elephant habitats and their shrinkage resulting in their raids in the fringe areas of the forest. Plans are afoot to have a 3D theater various subjects related to elephants.   

An unseal  fact about this place is  the  authorities do not let the elephant dung go to waste.  Here they recycle  them  them an convert into   paper.  Here, they also sell unadulterated pure  honey and sandalwood.  The place is  surrounded by clove and pepper plantations. Elephants trapped from the forest area are also tamed here. Konni  surrounded by lush green wooded areas   provide an eco-tourism hub of Pathanamthitta district, where the project  on elephant trading  and their rejuvenation  from health point of view  form its nerve center. Also included in the project are the  elephant kraal (shelter), a photo gallery, modern elephant shelters, an elephant museum, shops to sell forest produce, a children’s park, a biogas plant and a paper-making unit.   The Adavi Eco-tourism project jointly launched by the departments of Forest and Tourism is part of the third phase of Konni Eco tourism project and is just five km from Mundommoozhy on the proposed Achencovil-Chittar hill highway..

The elephant trainers pay main attention to baby elephants that are either  separated from their herd or been found injured.  The experience trainers  use age old techniques  that  have been passed down through generations to deal with elephants of different temperament.  The elephants that  are taught to obey specific commands from the trainers are taken for special exercise walks in the morning and are given baths and specific diets as part of trading program. At Konni,  baby  elephants  are quite playful and children enjoy them very much. As for big elephants, they are being used to take the visitors including children  for rides around the place  

Konni elephant training center, Kerala en.wikipedia.org

Aanakoodu or Elephant cage at Konni facebook.com

Near hill town Konni. pathanamthitta.nic.in


The Elephant Camp in Punnathur Kotta, Guruvayur, Kerala: 

Punnathur kota, Kerala, elephant camp flicker.com

.Punnathur kota, Kerala, elephant camp agefotostock.com

Above images: The Elephant Camp  located in Punnathur Kotta, at a distance of 3 km from the  popular Guruvayur Temple dedicated to lord Sree Krishna is equally famous.  Here, the  Elephant Camp houses 58 elephants  on a plot covering   11.5 acres of land and is home to the largest number of captive elephants. Invariably they are all offerings made by devotees to the Guruvayur temple. 

Previously owned by the Punnathur Kings, the temple  purchased it in 1975. The Elephant Camp is also a training place for the elephants where they learn how to participate in daily temple rituals and temple processions. Guruvayur temple is famous for yearly elephant race  and the winner gets to  chance to carry the idol  of Lord Guruvayur during the Shiveli procession.  To treat ailments in the pachyderms, the trainers use old  traditional methods  here also visitors got a chance to  see  elephant training  and  even offer food under the supervision of the mahouts.