Abhayaranyam - 5 Things to Know Before Visiting
The mini zoo housing elephants and deers.
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Abhayaranyam mini zoo is part of an ecotourism project aimed at the rehabilitation of all animals from the Kodnad Elephant Training Centre 2 km away. The elephant training centre was only 2.5 acres in area along the banks of the Periyar River and the land became insufficient as the number of animals kept increasing. This resulted in the formation of Abhayaranyam and moving of animals from the training centre.
Abhayaranyam and the nearby Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary
During the 1950’s, Kodanad was one of the largest elephant training centres in the country. Twenty years later when the government banned capturing elephants, it became a centre for training young elephants which were rescued from several parts of the state of Kerala. In addition to elephants, the centre later started to house other animals and birds developing it as a mini zoo.
As the number of animals significantly increased, it became very difficult to keep all of them in the 2.5 acre area of Kodanad Training Centre. As a result, all the animals were moved to Abhayaranyam which has an area of 200 acres allowing Kodanad Elephant Training Centre finally closed for good.
What to see at Abhayaranyam
Abhayaranyam mini zoo is located in the midst of a forest with areas allocated for animals such as the spotted deers, sambar (a large deer native to the Indian Subcontinent), and elephants. The 100 acres of the forest adjacent to the Periyar River are allocated just for the elephants so that they have lots of areas to roam around freely. The spotted deers and sambars are kept at large fenced areas. In addition to watching the small variety of animals, hiking through the trails inside the forest is also possible at Abhayaranyam.
Abhayaranyam mini zoo is still under development, aiming to establish it as a wildlife safari place in the model of other national parks in the country.
Getting to Abhayaranyam
Abhayaranyam is located at Kaprikkad town in Ernakulam district of Kerala State in Southern India. The nearest town is Perumbavoor (10km) from where there are multiple buses to Kaprikkad. The nearest major railway station is an Aluva and from Aluva there are buses to Perumbavoor.
Attractions Near Abhayaranyam
Paniyeli Poru Rapids
8.39km from Abhayaranyam
Located in the Periyar river, the water here is forced to flow through narrow crevices in large rocks creating a turbulent water flow. The turbulence cant be seen from the surface.
Iringole Kavu ഇരിങ്ങോൾ കാവ്
9.86km from Abhayaranyam
A sacred grove with a temple. It is one of the 108 Durga Temples in Kerala believed to be consecrated by Lord Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu.
11.11km from Abhayaranyam
Athirapally Falls are the most famous waterfalls in Kerala State of Southern India. Nicknamed as the Niagra of South India, the waterfall is situated at the Chalakudy River in the Thrissur District. It is 25 meters tall and over 100 meters wide. The fall is nicknamed ‘The Niagra of India’ because of the water thundering down in the entirety of its width during the peak monsoon season between June and October.
13.54km from Abhayaranyam
Located in the Athirappilly panchayath in Thrissur district of Kerala
13.92km from Abhayaranyam
A rural village with a check dam, hanging bridge, and a nice little park. You can bath in the river waters here after visiting the majestic Athirappilly waterfalls of Kerala.
13.95km from Abhayaranyam
A horizontal waterfall with a rocky bed surrounded by green forests.
Discover More Attractions in Ernakulam, Home of Abhayaranyam
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What Visitors Say About Abhayaranyam
Kodanadu Elephant training center
So here is the thing with this place- if you are an animal lover, you will be devastated to see the elephants in chains and deers in the cages, if you are not you probably won't be bothered much. The place houses around 7 elephants that were rescued or legally asked to be moved. It acts as a small sanctuary and stories of each of these elephants are written on one of the boards. They stand in their designated places (in chains) feeding themselves. I guess most part of their day is spent like this except for the daily baths they take in the river nearby. In addition to the elephants, there were three deer enclosures as well housing two different kinds of deers. You can walk around all the deer and elephant enclosures and can take a look at the bathing place for the elephants as well. There is a small red sandalwood plantation and many other small gardens around, housing medicinal plants and fruit plants. All in all we spend around an hour and then headed off. And btw, this was the second time we were trying to visit the place. First time we went on a Monday and the place was closed on Mondays.