Kodanad in Ernakulam District is a renowned Elephant training centre in the Indian State of Kerala. Situated on the river banks of the Periyar River, Kodanad is a small village with ideal locale for training of elephants. Elephants are a much revered animal in Kerala. Elephants are an important element of any auspicious occasion in Kerala. The famous Thrissur Pooram where arrays of well-decorated elephants add charm to the festival reminds one of the significance of the animal in Kerala’s culture. No wonder why such an institution had sprung up in this serene village of Kodanad. Kerala has two more elephant training centres at Konni in Pathanamthitta district and at Muthanga in Wayanad district, but Kodanad is the largest of them all.
Kodanad till the 1970s used to be a major centre for training of elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests around Kodanad. When Government of India promulgated a blanket ban on capturing of elephants, the centre was converted into a rescue training centre since then. They were trained using specially-skilled Mahouts also known as ‘Paappaan’ in native Malayalam language. The rescue centre houses wooden compartments where the elephants are sheltered. The centre also houses a small zoo where various animals rescued from the forests are sheltered. Of them some belong to the rare species which one doesn’t get to see commonly. Kodanad is also frequented by tourists for its pure natural beauty. The lush green environment, the river banks and much more showcases nature at its best. To enhance the tourism potential of Kodanad, Government of India has declared Kodanad as one of the eco-tourist destinations. This eco-tourism project was established in a village called Kapprikad on the banks of the Periyar River, which is just 3 kms away from Kodanad. This eco-tourist destination attracts nature lovers who like to be entertained through the finer aspects of nature in a nature friendly manner.
In the summer during March-June, the temperature averages at 33°C and during the winter it averages at 25°C. It is ideal to visit Kodanad anytime except June-September when it rains profusely. Kodanad is classified under the tropical monsoon climate and gets a fair share of the south-west monsoon rains. For nature lovers anytime is the best time at Kodanad. Be it rain or the sun one has something to love at Kodanad.
How to Reach
The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery is the nearest airport at a distance of 65 kms. Cochin International is well connected with domestic and international destinations. Kodanad is well connected by road and is just 30 kms from Ernakulam city. Ernakulam is well connected with the rest of the country through the national and state highways. From Cochin it is located at a distance of 42 kms. The nearest railway station is the Ernakulam Railway Station at 28 kms with good connectivity with major towns in India.
Other Places of Interest
Malayatoor Church near Kodanad is another famous tourist destination here. Sri Gopalakrishna Devaswom Temple considered as the only Daivajna Brahmin Temple in Kerala, Cochin Thirumala Devaswom Temple which has links with the Vijayanagar Empire, Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town at Mattancherry, Dutch Palace at Mattancherry, Bolghatty Palace in the Bolghatty Island, Palliport Fort, South India’s largest amusement park – Veega land and lot more.