3 Amazing Days In An Elephant Sanctuary. Jaipur, India.

aw many working elephants in the streets of Jaipur, so I knew this might be a place where I could find an Elephant Sanctuary in India

In this one-year journey in India, I decided to visit Rajasthan, a state in northwest India. This state shares borders with Pakistan, so you can imagine how much desert it has. I was so excited about coming to this part of India for many reasons; people have been talking about the palaces and outstanding buildings there. But honestly, I was more eager to go down the mountains (I have lived in the Himalayas for the past 5 months) and finally see some elephants. I mean, I am in India, after all!. And what better place to visit an Elephant Sanctuary than Jaipur, India. So, taking advantage of my time in Rajasthan, I visited an elephant sanctuary. But more than just being a regular visitor, I had the fantastic opportunity to stay and work with these magnificent creatures for three days!!!.

And let me tell ya all about it!

Unfortunately, elephants in India and Asia work. They have worked for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. It isn’t enjoyable, but it is a reality today. So, in different places and rooted in this situation, elephant sanctuaries take care of already domesticated elephants that were exploited in one way or another. My biggest concern was to find a place where I knew that Elephants are treated ethically and correctly.

Elephant Sanctuary in Jaipur India

I was in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and I started seeing many working elephants in the streets. I knew this might be a place where I could find an Elephant Sanctuary where I could work. After researching, I came across Elefantastic, a critical foundation providing fair services for elephant tourism. After studying their website, reading the reviews, and watching some YouTube videos about this place, I decided to visit them.

I called Rahul, the owner, who told me that one of his drivers would pick me up at the hotel. I swear, you guys, I was so excited that my heart was beating fast while waiting and watching my clock every minute. At 3:00 in the afternoon, the driver arrived. 15 minutes later, we were entering Elefantastic, and wow!!! I saw 4 elephants right away; they were just there eating very calmly. 

aw many working elephants in the streets of Jaipur, so I knew this might be a place where I could find an Elephant Sanctuary in India

Tamana

I met Rahul, and he introduced me to Tamana, a 19-year-old elephant (the youngest of the group), who was my “assigned elephant” for the afternoon. He explained some of the care I should take and introduced me to Tamana’s caretaker. I spent all afternoon with this beautiful creature: I fed her, washed her, walked with her, petted her, and hugged her the whole time. We connected amazingly. I cried during the first 20 minutes I was with her; it was such a powerful sensation. Looking around the farm, I could see many more elephants; there were 12 at the time all around me.

When the day was finishing, I got the opportunity to do volunteer work for two more whole days in this incredible place. That’s why I tell you dreams come true: I asked for this before I arrived, just like that!

Sampa & Chanda

I stayed and slept on this beautiful farm surrounded by elephants (I literally find difficulty falling asleep at night because of the elephant’s noises, lol, so cute!). Very early in the next day, I went with Sampa, a 24-year-old elephant, and Chanda, a 33 years old blind elephant, and Rayu and Dristi, the two caretakers of each elephant- to have their daily exercise routine, which is to walk from 8 to 10 kilometers a day. We went very early to avoid the heat. The ride was beautiful! I had to open my hips very wide for two hrs. It was physically painful, but it was totally worth it.

My job during those days was basically the same as the first afternoon; I fed, petted, walked, and bathed them. It takes so much work that one complete family cares for just one elephant.

I have learned so much about these beautiful novel creatures. I feel utterly humble in their presence, and they carry so much love in their eyes. 

Elefantastic today holds 24 elephants, 22 of which are female. Most of them were elephants used in rides, and 6 of them were rescued from the circus. None of them are breaded here. 

After my stay in this place, working hand-by-hand with this fantastic elephant and its caretakers, I feel impressed by the labor they make. I want to thank Elefantastic for allowing me to have one of my life’s most powerful and beautiful experiences.

Of course, I made a detailed video showing you a day at an Elephant Well-Fare Farm. You are going to see the most cute elephants! I hope you like it. 

Much love,

Pia

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