The vision of these gentle giants swishing their fan-like ears as they sashay down the country roads with a large pile of banana tree stalk snack carried by their trunks might seem like a hallucination in any other part of the world! But here in India it is quite a common sight, especially in certain states such as Kerala, where many temples are known to house elephants. These beasts are in many places very well-cared for, yet there are certain other 'tourist destinations' that exploit this gentle beast for the sake of money-making tricks. But research carefully and find many places in India where the elephants are throughly pampered and are more than willing to provide a unique experience to travellers both domestic and foreign.
Children and adults equally light up with glee at the prospect of seeing the world from the commanding height on the back of an elephant ride. In places like Kaziranga, the elephant ride is among the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the region. In ode to this strong and intelligent animal, here is a look at the amazing elephant rides in India in photos.
Interested to read more about the unique elephant experiences in India? Click here, to read about the unique festival of Thrissur Pooram.
A Ride in the Hills
Students ride an elephant at a camp in Munnar.
Photo Courtesy: roanokecollege
Elephants of the Land of Nizams
Elephant rides conducted at the Hyderabad Zoo.
Photo Courtesy: mrsaiful
A Safari at Bannerghatta
Elephants stand ready for safari rides at Bannerghatta Park in Bangalore.
Photo Courtesy: Marc Smith
Saluting the Animal of Incredible Grace
An elephant ride through the lake near the Nahargarh Fort in Rajasthan.
Photo Courtesy: Matteo
A Royal Tour
A royal tour of the Amber Fort in Jaipur atop the well-dressed elephants.
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Tsai
The Best Way to Observe Nature
An elephant ride through the green paradise at the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal.
Photo Courtesy: Jayanta Debnath
Another shot of the elephants taking travellers on a trip through the Amber Fort in Jaipur.
Photo Courtesy: McKay Savage
On the Lookout for Tigers!
Imagine catching sight of the majestic Tigers from the safety of your perch atop the elephant! Available at Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
Photo Courtesy: Honza Soukup
It Only happens in India!
Travellers enjoying the elephant ride at Kumily in Kerala.
Photo Courtesy: Mikko Koponen
So, Are You Game?
An elephant safari at Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand.
Photo Courtesy: Todd vanGoethem