Konni Aanakoodu (Malayalam: കോന്നി ആനക്കൂട്) located in Konni is a well known training center for elephant's in Kerala. Its at a distance of 11 km from Pathanamthitta town.
The prime attraction here are the huge cages of wood built to house elephants. These cages are locally known as Aanakoodu and can accommodate 3 to 4 elephants at a time.
The trainers here train the baby elephants which get separated from their herd, or are found wounded or roaming in the forest. Experienced trainers, using their systematic training methods, tame the baby elephants.
Visitors can get a close look at these elephants and can observe and understand a lot about their behaviour, especially that of baby elephants, which are often endearingly mischievous.
Konni is famous for the elephant training centre since ancient times. The elephants were captured from the dense forests of the western ghats/Sahyadri and brought to the elephant training cage at Konni. There these wild elephants are tamed and trained by mahouts specialized as elephant tainers. These trainers take the help of other tamed elephants.
The tamed elephants famous for rendering help to the trainers of the wild ones are;Konniyil Kochchayyappan
There are five members at present in Konni elephant training center. Eva is the youngest member who is only 7 years old.Soman
The elephant capturing at Konni traces back to 1810 AD. The major elephant capturing locations include Mundom moozhy, Mannarappara and Thura. The elephant training cage which is present now was built in 1942. The wood of "Kambakam" (Hopea ponga) was used for this. The present training cage has the capacity to train 6 elephants. The dimensions of the training cage are 12.65×8.60×7 metres. The elephant training cage and its premises comprises 9 acres (36,000 m2) of land. The elephant capturing was officially stopped in 1977 by Govt: Circular though it was actually stopped many years prior to that.
Presently the elephant training cage is a major tourist attraction. It houses a history museum as well. The elephant training centre functions as an elephant welfare centre. The elephant calves estranged from the herd and found lost in the forest are brought here and are provided with medical facilities and proper care.
The details of Konni Elephant Training Centre and Training Cage are mentioned in the articles of the famous Aithihyamaala by Shri Kottarathil Shankunni. "Aithihyamaala" is referred as one of rare collection of articles of Kerala History.
Konni Elephant Training Centre has to its credit of gifting the Elephant Samyuktha to the Republic of Portugal as a mark of friendship and co-operation with the Republic of India.
Konni is on the Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Highway/SH-08) and is very well connected to major towns and cities of Kerala through Pathanamthitta.
The nearest Railway station is punalur, 25 km and Chengannur Thiruvalla which is around 41 km.kottayam60.
The nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 99 km from Pathanamthitta. The Cochin International Airport is around 124 km from Konni.