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4 Elephant Camps in South India

Written By: Akshatha Vinayak

Elephants are called as gentle giants; though their big physique gives a different impression, they are considered as calm creatures. Of course, when they are aggressive no one can stop them from creating havoc. Elephant Camps are one way for the commoners like us to interact and know about the elephants closely. In this present article, let us take a virtual tour around the elephant camps in South India.

Elephant Camps in South India

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
Photo Courtesy: Hari Prasad Nadig

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp - Shimoga

Timings: 8.30 AM - 11 AM (all days)

Captive elephants are trained, treated (if they are not well), well fed in Sakrebailu Elephant Camp in Shimoga. Sakrebailu is located on the Shimoga - Thirthahalli Road about 14km from the city of Shimoga. Here visitors can look at the elephants bathing in the Tunga River, learn about their food habits. Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is one of the popular tourist places in Shimoga. One can also go on Elephant Safari inside the camp.

 Elephant Camps in South India

Elephants playing at Punnathur Kotta
Photo Courtesy: Shijomjose

Punnatthur Kotta - Guruvayoor

Timings: 10 AM - 5 PM

Punnathur Kotta or Anakotta (Elephant Palace) was once a residential palace of a local king. Later, the place was bought by the Kerala government. Punnatthur Kotta is now a one-of-its-kind elephant camp in India. The elephants here are the religious offerings given to the Guruvayoor Temple. Punnathur Kotta houses around 52 elephants and is a famous tourist place about 3km from the Guruvayoor Temple in Thrissur.

 Elephant Camps in South India

Feeding elephant at Theppakadu Elephant Camp
Photo Courtesy: Mike Prince

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Theppakadu Elephant Camp

Timings: Morning (8.30 AM - 9 AM) & Evening ( 5.30 PM - 6 PM)

In Theppakadu Elephant Camp (Mudumalai Elephant Camp) tourists can not only observe elephants doing their daily routine but also watch a show put up by them. Here elephants are trained to give some shows for the visitors. Theppakadu Elephant Camp is part of Mudumalai Reserve and is one of the famous elephant camps in South India.

 Elephant Camps in South India

Elephant Bathing at Dubare
Photo Courtesy: raju venkat


Dubare Elephant Camp

Timings: Morning (9 AM - 1 PM) & Evening (4.30 PM - 5.30 PM)

Dubare Elephant Camp has played a significant role in the history. Elephants for Mysore (Mysuru) Dasara celebrations were trained in Dubare Elephant Camp in Kodagu. In recent years, these elephants are retired and not chosen for Mysore Dasara. Most of the elephants in Dubare are old and hence they are given retirement. So, Dubare Elephant Camp on the banks of river Kaveri has now become a tourist place. Visitors can also give a bath to the elephants, learn about elephant evolution and also go on elephant rides.

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Things to Know About Elephant Camps

  • Visitors are not allowed to feed any outside food to elephants.
  • Make sure you don't irritate the elephants in any way. Remember you are invading their personal space. So maintain calmness around the animals.
  • Please follow the rules given by the authorities.
  • Don't go too near to elephants unless a mahout or caretaker standing next to the animal.
  • Avoid using flash on your camera as it might irritate elephants.
  • Don't pollute the place with plastic or any other garbage. Use dustbins for throwing wastage.
  • Most of them offer elephant ride inside the camp.
  • Enjoy interacting with the elephants but make sure you don't annoy them in any way.
  • Take your kids as it will be great fun and learning experience for them.
  • Go early as you can witness elephants bathing in the river.

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