Punnathurkotta Elephant Sanctuary ThrissurThrissur has a very close connection with nature and animals in particular. Apart from the zoo, there is also an elephant sanctuary here known as the Punnathurkotta Elephant Sanctuary. This particular sanctuary is one of the main tourist attractions in Thrissur and draws in a large number of tourists on a daily basis who come to witness these majestic animals live their daily lives and operate in the wilderness.
The sanctuary is located in Punathurkotta which is a comfy little town and has on offer a lot of lush greenery. The route towards the sanctuary is one of the most scenic of routes and fills you up with immense enthusiasm to explore the entire sanctuary.
This sanctuary happens to be one of the biggest elephant sanctuaries in the world. More than 60 elephants have made it their home. But don't think these elephants just walk in to the sanctuary, they are in fact donations that are made by devotees of the Guruvayur temple. Each elephant is, therefore, a donation to the sanctuary. These elephants not only get to live in their natural habitat but it also houses a training school for them where they are trained in performing daily tasks such as transporting logs from one place to another, carrying the deities on their backs for the procession etc.
These elephants are used on a daily basis at the temple to perform various rituals and are of special importance during various festivals dedicated to Lord Krishna that are part of the temples yearly rituals.
Elephants of all ages can be found here and tourists are allowed to pose, ride and also help in washing these elephants by mounting on their backs.
Although a place of great interest for tourists, several concerns have been raised regarding the safety measures that are adopted at the park to safeguard these elephants. There have been several footages of elephants being chained down and beaten and various instances of big elephants running amok causing damage to its surroundings and people as well.
The sanctuary is open from 9 am to 6 pm.