Kodanad is an elephant rescue centre about an hour from Cochin. If you turn up before 8am you can watch the mahouts scrub their elephants with coconut husks in the Periyar river. The animals are surprisingly dainty, placing their feet carefully as they negotiated the slippery river bank. They are also tremendously charismatic no wonder so many stories are told about elephants.
The largest liked having her feet scrubbed. She was also the most cooperative, as if she realised her two carers had drawn a short straw having to clean her massive body. Another elephant was a ‘little bit mad’ and rolled about using her trunk as a snorkel. The third and smallest elephant was cheeky, as was her mahout, who made sure she was singled out for photos and therefore tips.
The attraction at Kodanad was the elephant training centre where wild elephants caught from various forests in Kerala were kept and trained. Kodanad has been a tourist destination. The government banned catching wild elephants in few years ago .The Kodanad elephant training centre started losing its glory as a tourist destination. Elephant safari which was also closed due to legal issues in using animals for such use.Other attractions was a mini zoo and a park adjacent to the river Periyar. The mini zoo was closed due to protests from animal welfare for keeping a large number of animals in small area. The animals from Kodanad were shift to a palace known as “Abhayaranyam”, which is spread across several acres of forest land .
Currently, the elephants in this place which are available for visitors to watch. The park has been renovated and well maintained. Many visitors still visit Kodanad for week-end picnics and family gathering.
Kodanad is no longer a major tourist destination. People from the nearby area can visit this place to spend some time in the evening or the week ends. Entry to the Periyar river from the park is one of the attraction for visitors. You can see the bathing the elephants in the river.If you are on the way to other attractions like Paniyeli Poru, you may stop by and spend some time here.
Kodanad is about 16 km from Kochi Airport. There are no direct buses. If you are willing to take a combination of auto rickshaw and buses, you might have to hire a taxi from the Airport.If your are using Taxi, from airport, go towards Kalady ,then to Malayattoor. Cross the bridge connecting Malayattoor and Kodanad.The elephant training centre is about 2 km after the bridge.
By bus: From Perumbavoor , there are number of buses to Kodanad.If you are coming from Kalady or Angamaly, we have to take a bus to Malayattoor. From Malayattoor, the elephant training centre is about 2 km walk or you can hire an auto rickshaw.
By train: The nearest railway station is Angamaly. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or a bus to Malayattoor.
You can spend some time with the nature. Here there is a small botanical garden and a pretty good park with lot of play structures. Kids will enjoy the park. You can entry to Periyar river and swim or bath during summer season.
The popular pilgrim centre Malayattoor church is about 2 km from Kodanad. Other tourist attractions like Paniyeli Poru and Abhayaranyam are not very far.
At any time of the year is fine to visit this place. Summer would be ideal if you are planning to get into the river. December to May would have low water level in the river.
Admission timings: Open Tuesday to Sunday. Monday is a holiday. Park is open from 8am to 4pm.
The main attraction of kochi to kodanad is the elephant ride. so don’t forget to explore the jungles on the back of the huge beasts and looking through Kerala Honeymoon Packages from Mumbai ,Kerala Tour Packages from Hyderabad
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