Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary

Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary  (Kodanad Elephant Training Centre) is a rural riverside village in the Ernakulam district of the state of Kerala . Its a popular picnic spot and tourist destination in kerala too. It is the only elephant rescue and training center in Kerala specialized for rescuing and training stranded adult and baby elephants from the forest regions across Kerala. Kodanad Elephant Training Camp, Kerala is situated on the south bank of Periyar River, about 42 kilometers east of Kochi (Cochin) city.

There are many walkways alongside the river and they offer a unique experience to the visitors. The Elephant rescue and care centre for central and southern forest region of Kerala is located here. Kodanad is known for its ‘Elephant Kraal’, elephant rescue centre, mini zoo and its access via river boats to the seasonal pilgrimage center of Malayattoor. Malayatoor church and Kodanad are located on the opposite banks of the Periyar river with unspoiled and rustic views of surroundings. Kodanad’s rural locality with elephants attracts visitors, film crews,and foreign tourists all around the year.


In 1950-60s, kodanad elephant training centre used to be the largest of several elephant training centres for captured Elephants from the adjoining forest regions. They were trained using Mahouts, specially skilled people also known as Paappaan in Malayalam language. In 1970s, there was a ban to elephant capture by Government of India and from then on, Kodanad is primarily used as a rescue training centre.

Activities with Kodanad Elephants.

Elephant bath in Kodanad Elephant Camp

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.

Elephant Safari in Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary

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.

Elephant Feeding in Kodanad

Visitors to Kodanad Elephant sanctuary 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

Baby Elephants Washing in Kodanad

Watching baby elephants during their early training years of early life as it takes a lot of training in their early years.The facility is closed on Monday’s for tourists. 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.

Watching kodanad baby elephants at their infancy and various stages of their growth has become a unique feature that attracts visitors to Kodanad. At least four to six baby elephants are brought in and trained every year. Tourists arrive at Kodanad fascinated by baby elephant’s various stages of development at the Care centre. Training plays an important role for elephants while their brains develop and they learn vital survival and cultural knowledge. The baby elephants at Kodanad are owned and taken care by the Department of Forest. Once they become adults, someone buy them out in auctions. In Kerala, elephants are used for a variety of traditional jobs such as timber loading & wood moving, or as temple elephants for religious Hindu festivals & events

Kaprikkad Ecotourism project

Kodanad is in the list of Ecotourism destination projects sponsored by the Government of India. As a part of this project, Kaprikkad, a village lying 3 km adjacent to Kodanad on the river bank has been set up in 2006 for entertaining visitors in the most natural and environmental friendly way.

Nearby tourist attractions

  • Thattekkade bird sanctuary (25 km)
  • Bhoothathankettu dam (25 km)
  • Munnar (100 km)
  • Malayattoor Christian Pilgrim Center (across the river)

Best Season:
September to May

Opening Time:

8am to 5pm ( Monday Holiday, Sunday 8am to 12pm )

Emergency Details:
Divisional Forest Officer,
Malayattur Forest Division,
Kodanad, Eranakulam Dist.
Ph: 0484 2649052



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