Located in the quaint little village called Pinnawala in Kegalle, is an iconic Sri Lankan tourist attraction that one should certainly visit, when a trip to the island is made. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world, has earned recognition the world over for its dedication towards the welfare of the Asian elephants. It is not simply an elephant orphanage, but also a nursery and a captive breeding ground, which has nurtured and cared for countless elephants since its inception in the year 1975.
One of the most unique experiences that visitors will be able to enjoy here, is observing the bathing elephants, as they interact and play, unhindered by the gazing masses. The Orphanage is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, allowing visitors to interact with the elephants during the regulated bathing and feeding times. Visitors are also entitled to witness the daily caring routines of the elephants which include bottle feeding elephant calves and feeding the mature elephants.
Elephant Orphanage Pinnawala was established with the noble intention of caring for abandoned young elephant calves. Without the guidance and protection of the mothers, these elephants were easily falling prey to the dangers of the wild as they were struggling to survive on their own. Not only has this foremost establishment among the attractions in Pinnawela provided shelter for these young calves, but it has also ensured the safety and wellbeing of mature wounded elephants.
A visitor to Sri Lanka who is passionate about wildlife of the island should not miss out on an opportunity to experience the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness the beauty of the rural parts of Sri Lanka and to grab the perfect souvenir to carry home.
Today one can easily travel to Pinnawala by flying to Kandy with Cinnamon Air and enjoy a time of pure bliss and delight, observing these graceful giants of the jungles as they live in perfect harmony with man.