Oct 10, 2011

Day 2: Kodanad Elephant Kraal

"Did you go to Thekkady?", a guy from Kollam whom I friended yesterday at Indiblogger meet, asked me when I said to him that I visited Kerala about a couple of weeks ago.

"No", I replied.



I could almost hear him asking "where the hell did you go then?", when I told him the places we (Winnie and myself) visited. He gave a surprised grin, of the same kind which Jijo, the cab driver, expressed when we said "take us to some interesting place nearby" after coming out of Kallil Bhagawati temple.

The best part about going on a trip without having any plans ahead is that you get to talk to local people and find about many places that are interesting, but usually do not find any mention on the web, or through word of mouth. After all, for both of us, since journey is more important than the destination, we were enjoying every moment we spent in and around Ernakulam, with no intention to boast "I too went there"!

It must have been a different kind of an experience for Jijo as well, because he was always called to drive a cab, and (I think) never before was he called to guide a trip! "Have you been to Elephant Kraal?", he asked with an enthusiasm reflecting the feeling you are my guest now and its my duty to show you around!

When we asked him to tell us more about the Kraal, we quickly recognized that that was where we wanted to go. We drove out of the Pulavazhi Kallil Road to reach the elephant kraal in less than 15 minutes. "The Kraal is the only place in Kerala where they rescue and train adult and baby elephants, captured from forest", he said while driving.

a cute baby elephant taking its mid-day nap

The elephant kraal is also famous for the elephant safari, which we could not go to since we did not get any elephant to take us on a ride. There is a mini zoo just outside the kraal, maintained by the Department of Forest, perhaps not to disappoint you if you are not able to see any elephants.

 caged beauty

deers lunching

meditating crocodile (can you see a small 'human' face in its neck?)

the lone adult elephant that we spotted at Kraal

exterior of the mini zoo at Kodanad