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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Towards the northwest Kegalle, is an Elephant Orphanage, which is home to orphaned elephants since 1975. It is a 25 acre coconut property managed by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department adjoining the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was built to protect and nurture the elephants found orphaned in the jungle. Here, they are fed, bathed and given medical treatment to raise as a healthy elephant. In 1978, the orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife. Since its inception, till date, the orphanage is home to around 60 elephants.

Inside the Orphanage
The Orphanage visit timings are 8:30am to 5:45pm. Visitors can meet the elephants and see them getting bathed and fed. You will be surprised to see the baby elephants gulp down several huge bottles of milk, in one go. Watch them getting fed by mahouts, and then bathing them in the river. See the grownups ‘working’ elephants, and the females add a baby to the herd.

Things to Do in Pinnawala and Around

Meet the Elephants
The nursery for elephants is home to more than 60 elephants. It is just the perfect place for relaxation and having fun with the elephants. Visitors can watch them getting bathed and also fed by bottles. People also help the mahouts in their work. Meet the attendants there and know more about the place and the elephants in the orphanage.

Elephant Freedom Project
About 10 km from Pinnawala is Kegalle; famous for the Freedom Project of Elephants. This is a shelter for captive elephants. It is a safe home for them and no fun activity or riding is allowed here. So one can spend some time loving them and also take a walk in the area.

Ride an Elephant
Pinnawala Jumbos is the place where a tourist can enjoy an Elephant Ride. This place is nestled amid rubber plantations. About 3 km from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, this is a fun place also perfect for photography.  

Visit a Buddha Temple
Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa or the Grand Temple of The Gautama Buddha is counted among the most beautiful Buddha temples in Sri Lanka. About 23 km from the Orphanage, this temple was built in 2012 to mark the 2600th anniversary of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment. The statues, painting and carvings inside are done by highly skilled artists of Sri Lanka.

Pinnawala Open Zoo
A few walks away from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, this zoological garden was opened for public on 17 April 2015. The first open-air zoo in Sri Lanka, this is divided as the Sri Lankan Zone and World Zone. It is home to animals like Leopard, Wild Boar, Chital, Lion, Asian Elephant, Sambar and Purple faced leaf monkey.

Charmingly called “Little England”, Nuwara Eliya is only a few hours from Colombo. This place is completely different from the rest of Sri Lanka, and serves as the perfect spot to relax. A quiet place with breathtaking sceneries, Nuwara Eliya with its picturesque landscape and temperate climate makes for a perfect escape. The place has a vague British country village feel to it; with its colonial era bungalows, Tudor style hotels, and well tended hedgegrows and pretty gardens.

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