Konni, Kerala

This small attractive hilly town situated 11 km from Pathanamthitta district, is famous for its elephant traning centre and elephant rides. An agricultural region, Konni is an important center for cash crops and is surrounded by coffee, ginger, rubber and pepper plantations. It is the entry point to the forest bordering the district. It is also popular for ‘Aanakoodu’ (Elephant Cage), where wild elephants caught from the forests were brought, tamed and trained for work. This lush green land with acres of thick forest is an important tourist spot for those who are interested in trekking, elephant safari, wildlife watching etc.

Access to Konni :
By Rail – The nearest Railway station is Chengannur, which is 34 Kms away and another is Thiruvalla which is around 41 kms from Konni.
By Air – The closest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 99 km away from Pathanamthitta. The Cochin International Airport is around 124 km from Konni
By Road – Konni is well connected by all major towns and cities of Kerala through Pathanamthitta district, which is about 11 kilomtres .

The major routes from Konni are :

The Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Road / SH – 08 ) which connects the town to other major towns .
Konni-Kalleli-Achankovil Road- This road that stretches over the Forest Division provides a visual treat to your eyes. It provides an easy access to Tamil Nadu (Tenkasi) via Achankovil. This route reduces the distance between Sabarimala to Tenkasi by about 21 kilometres.
Konni-Chandanapally Road– This road connects Konni to main towns of the districts like Adoor and Pandalam.
Konni-Thannithode-Chittar Road–This is an alternate route to Sabarimala.

The nearest Bus station is located at Konni, Pathanamthitta

Tourist Attractions In Konni :

The Konni Elephant Training Centre – Located a dozen kilometres from Pathanathitta, Konni’s main attraction is the elephant-training center comprising of 9 acres of land. The huge cages built of wood to accommodate elephants are locally known as ‘Aanakoodu”. These huge cages can accommodate 3 to 4 elephants at a time. The experienced trainers here with their systematic methods train the baby elephants that are found wounded or roaming in the forest separated from their herd. It is very interesting to watch the way these elephants behave here, especially the baby elephants, which are often endearingly mischievous.

These wild elephants are tamed and trained by mahouts specialized as elephant trainers. They train them to relate to new kinship patterns with the help of other tamed elephants to learn and interact with human beings.

Elephant taming here dates back to 1810 A.D. The present elephant-training cage was built in the year 1942 A.D, made from the wood of “Kambakam”. The dimensions of the training cage are of Length 12.65 Meters, Width 8.60 Meters and Height 7 Meters. The present training cage has the capacity to train six elephants. The major elephant capturing locations are Mundom moozhy, Mannarappara and Thura. Though the capturing of elephants was officially stopped during the year 1977, this practice of training the elephants draws the attention of tourists and hence became a major tourist spot. This training centre has a History Museum. It also functions as an elephant welfare centre. You can see estranged baby elephants that have been newly brought in, medicated, fed, bathed and trained.

The Konni Elephant Training Centre and Training Cage are even mentioned in the articles of the famous “Aithihyamaala”- which is referred as one of rare collection of articles of Kerala History.

It has also 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. The other elephant training centre in Kerala is located at kodanad.

How to reach : Situated on the Main Eastern Highway of Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha route, Konni is well connected by all major towns and cities of Kerala through Pathanamthitta.

Achankovil River : The scenic Achankovil River, which joins Pamba, runs through Konni. It has several tributaries with lush green banks.

Muringamangalam Sree Mahadevar Temple : This beautiful siva temple located half a kilometer from Konni Junction is more than 1000 years old. Once being the property of the Pandalam Royal Family, Muringamangalam Sree Mahadevar Temple is the biggest Siva temple in Pathanamthitta district. The other two ancient temples located here are the Achankovil and the Aluvamkudi temple.

Kattathipara : This tourist destination in Kokkathodu is located a few kilometres away from Konni. This beautiful place is particularly attractive for its gigantic rocks and the triple-echo phenomenon.

Kumbhavurutty Falls : This beautiful waterfall is located amidst thick forest.

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