Konni is a popular training centre for elephants in Kerala. Located in the district of Pathanamthitta, it is a major centre of tourist attraction in Kerala, and attracts visitors in large numbers throughout the year.
Situated about 11 km from Pathanamthitta, the main attraction at the elephant-training centre at Konni is the huge cages built of wood to house elephants. This massive wooden cage is locally known as Aanakoodu and can accommodate three to four elephants at a time.
The chief task of the trainers here at Konni is to train baby elephants, which are brought to the training centre after getting separated from its herd, or found wounded and roaming lonely in the forest. Experienced trainers, who employ some of the time-tested methods to tame the baby elephants, follow systematic training methodologies. Some of the training programmes besides making the elephants to obey commands include, daily exercises in the morning, which also include a walk in the premises, followed by bath and feeding of a special diet.
At Konni, visitors can get a close look at these trainee elephants and can observe and understand a lot about their behaviour, especially that of baby elephants, which are often mischievous and are focus of attention of majority of the visitors, especially children.
One can also find bigger elephants at the centre, and a ride on these majestic animals is an exciting one. The bigger elephants are also some times used for works inside the forest land adjoining the training centre.
It is obviously a training school with a difference; where size really doesn''t matter.
Nearest railway station: Chengannur, about 35 km
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 100 km