Elephant safari at Kappukadu
Kappukadu in Thiruvananthapuram is a perfect holiday destination for elephant lovers and also the nature enthusiasts.
Kappukadu is located 20 km away from Thiruvananthapuram railway station and 25 km away from the airport. A journey along Thirumala-Kattakada route to Kottur will take you to the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre here. On the way, travellers can see the open jail and also the crocodile breeding centre. However, the crocodile breeding centre is not operational at present.
The Elephant Rehabilitation Centre has fine cottages for the visitors. Each air-conditioned room here will be will be enough for the stay of four persons and the charge for a day is Rs 2000.
Non-AC cottages are also being constructed which will be charged below Rs 1000.
As far as elephant lovers are concerned, they can enjoy a whole day in company of the animals. They can watch the caretakers bathing the pachyderms and feeding them. If interested, they also can enjoy a jumbo safari.
Furthermore, the visitors can indulge in bamboo raft ride on Neyyar dam. For children, facilities such as swing and play area are provided.
Among the members of the ‘jumbo’ family here, Raja and Rana are the star attractions.
Both were brought to the centre respectively from Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram in injured condition. Now Raja has turned two while Rana is three-and-a-half-year old.
Conversely, both are entirely different in character. Rana seems bit naughty while Raja is composed. The two will meet visitors near the trench.
In the next enclosure, you can see Ammu and Minni. The two are set free. However, trenches have been dug out to stop them from moving towards with spectators.
Maniyan, another elephant, is spending his post-retirement life in a nearby enclosure. Jayasri will take the tourists for safari. Sundari, Agasthyan and Unnikrishnan completes the family.
After consuming an evening meal comprising sugarcane, jaggery and plantain fruit, each animal used to move to their respective enclosures carrying the green fodder for ‘supper’ and it is a sight to behold.
A jeep safari can be taken out to Chenampara colony via Kavadimoola. The road is fine for the first few kilometres. A wild stream flows alongside the route for a short distance. After the Chenampara junction, the off road begins and you will require a four-wheel drive jeep to negotiate the rough terrain.
The vehicle facility will be arranged by the officials at the rehabilitation centre. The jeep can travel up to Kaithod. Then a journey on foot will take you to another colony once you cross a stream.
The surprise lies ahead _ a serene waterfall. Here you can take a dip and possibility of danger is almost nil. Watch out for those slippery rocks.
Once the summer turns acute, the water flow will be less. So it will be appropriate to make a call to the centre before you plan this package. After wo showers, the entire scenario changes. With the commencement of monsoon, the water fall will turn majestic. Then you have to keep an eye on the leeches too. For the jeep safari, a four-member family has to shell out Rs 1200.
Apart from the waterfall, visitors can enjoy the beauty of Agasthyarkoodam from the watchtower located on the way. Hence the package is titled ‘Agasthyadarshanam.’ Lodging facility is also provided on the watchtower which will be charged Rs 4000.
A number of trekking g packages _ Kappukadu-Irappupara-Kizhakkumalappara, Kappukadu-Irappupara-Mankod, Kappukadu-Kathiramudi, Kappukadu-Kattadikunnu are also made available.
Also visits to Neyyar dam and the Lion Park can be planned along with the trip to Kappukad.