What do you think of when someone says India? Maharajah’s, desert, forts, camels, steaming hot curries and of course elephants…
Facts: Indian elephants can spend up to 19 hours feeding and they may produce about 220 pounds of dung per day!
Fran’s favourite animal has always been an elephant so her dream finally came true in Jaipur. Our tuktuk driver Babu took us to an elephant sanctuary on the outskirts of the city. The first place we arrived at was run by a little Indian man dressed in Western style clothing. He sat us on bamboo stalls and gave us the sales chitchat which seemed to go on forever. Lydia instantly distrusted him, his price seemed lot of money for just an elephant ride. Even to feed the elephants with our own bananas would cost us rupees. He seemed a bit slimy and got annoyed when we started haggling which is the norm in India. We agreed to look elsewhere and piled back into our tuktuk and asked Babu to take us to another place. He drove for about 20, no 10 seconds and stopped at a sanctuary literally next door.
This is where we met Vijay….
Now Vijay was a character. We took an instant liking to him as he kindly welcomed us. We saw how much he loved his elephants. He was also one of the many Indians we met who had a severe dislike for marriage seeing it as a prison sentence… Anyway, he took us on a walk with the elephants through the green woodland but that was before we had to even get onto the elephants! Vijay showed us by holding the large flapping ears, placing one foot on the trunk and hoisting yourself up onto the neck and then turning around without falling off. Ha it was a sight! I’ll post the video of Lydia climbing up soon. We stayed for a few hours feeding the elephants and drinking chai. Vijay seemed to relax around us and began to show us his more cheeky side… We really did have a lot of fun and the elephants were beautiful!
When you are looking for an elephant sanctuary just be careful you are not charged over the top. Have a figure in mind before you ask them and be clear what your are getting for the price.