Also known as the Asian elephant, the Indian Elephant are a gentle giant. Often tamed for use as a load-bearing animal, elephants are prized for their massive strength, their tranquilize nature when tamed and also worshiped in India as an embodiment of the elephant headed God Ganesha. Elephants have been used historically in India as the mounts of rulers, and as a part of warfare. The magnificent elephants are found in many parts of India. Some have their secured homes in many of the renowned wildlife sanctuaries sharing an abode with other animals. Herds of these large animals can also be spotted while crossing roads in the jungles of South India and even other parts of India. It’s a breathtaking sight and one that you will definitely want your camera ready for.
Top 5 places to spot wild elephants in India
Periyar is a protected area and a nature reserve in the state of kerala in South India. Located in Thekkady close to the plantations, in the Cardamom hills region Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary covers a vast area of 777 sq km. It is one of the fascinating jungles to spot wild elephants in India. The sanctuary has a huge number of Tuskers. The most popular way to explore the sanctuary is by mechanical boat rides. Take a boat ride on the lake and you will surely spot the herds of wild Elephants playing around.
Kabini Forest, Mysore
If you are passionate about seeing Asiatic Elephants in their wild passion, natural habitat and raw intensity then Kabini is your destination. Located in the south-eastern end of Nagarhole National Park, about 69 km from Mysore, Kabini is all about spotting elephants that are roaming free. The forest reserve is spread across a vast area of 55 acres and comprises of water bodies and forest lands. It is one of the best places in South India for getting the sights of large herds of wild elephants.
Punathoor Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, Guruvayur
Guruvayur is located 29 km north west to the cultural capital of the ‘God’s own country’, Kerala. This narrow coastline strip and one of the 10 paradises in the world maintains a unique elephant sanctuary, the only one of its kind in India and across the globe. Located about 3 km away from the Guruvayurappan Temple, this sanctuary is bliss for the elephant lovers. Managed by the Guruvaur Devaswom Board, it houses a huge number of elephants. You can spot them everywhere in innumerable poses from flapping ears to swaying trunks, feeding and taking a bath in the pond. You can take plenty of photographs, draw their pictures but better not to indulge in buffoonery with them. You can definitely bring bananas.
Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Bhubaneshwar
Located about 20 km from Bhubaneswar in the state of Orissa, half an hour`s journey is the Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary. The sanctuary enclosed with dense bamboo and kochila trees. The sanctuary houses a strong team of elephants nearing 70 in numbers. Many watch towers are constructed inside the sanctuary at vantage points to easily get a view of the elephants. From the Kumarkhunti Watch Tower you can easily spot the Elephants inside the waterholes, bathing and frolicking with the birds.
Sahakari Spice Farm, Goa
If you think that Goa is the only place of surf and sand and entertainment then give a visit to the Sahakari Spice farm, located on the Ponda Belgaum Highway for a welcoming change. The spice farm is a great place to take a view of the tamed elephants and enjoy in a bit of fun and frolics with them. Just watch the Pachyderms taking bath, scrubbing each other, feeding splashing water on each other and many other striking activities of the tuskers. The elephant ride available here adds to the enjoyment.