Abhayaranyam mini zoo and eco-tourism project, Kaprikkad

Abhayaranyam is an upcoming project in Kaprikkad village, Ernakulam district of Kerala. Hundreds of deers are kept here and visitors can enjoy the animals roaming around in a natural forest area, with proper fencing for safety of animals and visitors. Read more about the wild life safari and mini zoo at Kaprikkad, near Kodanad.

Abhayaranyam eco-tourism project is not a familiar name to many travellers and also hasn't found it's place in the Kerala tourism map yet. However, if everything works out as planned by the government, this place could become one of the biggest attractions in Ernakulam district.

What is Abhayaranyam eco-tourism project

Kodanad Elephant Training Centre was a popular attraction in the banks of Periyar in Kerala. Even though it was started as an elephant training centre, over a period of time, hundreds of animals and birds were brought into this place and it was developed as a mini-zoo. As the number of animals significantly increased, animal activists started complaining about keeping such a large number of animals in a small area of 2.5 acres of land in Kodanad. Deers were struggling in a very small fenced area. Elephants had no space to walk around.

The objective of Abhayaranyam project is to develop an animal rescue centre for the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals.

Animals at Abhayaranyam Zoo, Kaprikkad

This project is aimed at housing the elephants and other animals in open area of about two hundred acres with proper fencing to keep the animals safe. Also, this project is proposed to be a wild life safari place in the model of Bannerghatta National Park. Large cages will be provided for birds. Animals like deers will be kept in large areas of land. Elephants will be housed near the bank of Periyar, with free roaming space.

This project is under the Nature Study Centre (NSC), Kalady, with its headquarters in Kodanad.

Current state of Abhayaranyam

I visited this place on April 2, 2015. Even though this project was announced in 2010, there is no much progress on the development. All the spotted deers and Sambar deers are moved here and visitors can watch the animals, which are kept in a large fenced area.

Walking trails are already constructed from the main gate to the area where the deers are kept. Beyond that, you can go through the trails to enter the woods and mini forest. There will be no guides or sign boards to help you since the place is not officially opened for tourists.

Currently, there are about 100 Spotted deers and Sambar deers and no other animals or birds are there. In addition to watching the animals, you can walk around in the natural forest through the trails and enjoy the nature.

Recommended: A day at the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

There is an eco shop located in the entrance area of the project. You won't get a lot of items there other than some sandalwood oil and lemon grass oil.

Admission: There is no admission fee as of now. You just have to sign your name and details at the entrance. The place is closed on Mondays.

Abhayaranyam Zoo, Kaprikkad - Visiting hours

Wild safari and other activities

Once the Kaprikkad project becomes fully operational, it will be the first zoo in Kochi area. Wild life safari will be one of the interesting activities. The total area is about 200 acres, out of which 100 acres will be for Abhayaranyam, to keep the elephants to allow free roaming. This will be an ideal place to spend some time with the nature in the banks of Periyar river.

Nearby attractions

The nearby attractions of Abhayaranyam include:

1. Paniyeli Poru eco-tourism destination and picnic area - 9 km

2. Kodanad elephant training centre - 2 km

Long walking trails at Abhayaranyam, Kaprikkad

How to reach Abhayaranyam and where to stay

Abhayaranyam is in Kaprikkad village, which is 2 km away from Kodanad, 3 km from Malayattoor and 10km from Kalady. For more details on how to reach Kaprikkad and accommodation facilities, read Kodanad elephant training centre.

For more information, you may contact the forest department officials:

Divisional Forest Officer,
Malayattur Forest Division,
Kodanad, Eranakulam Dist.
Ph: 0484 2649052

Attention visitors: If you come here with lot of expectations to see animals, birds etc, you may be disappointed. The project is still under development and it may take several years to complete, if it goes in the current slow pace.


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More articles: Abhayaranyam Zoo Kaprikkad Kodanad Elephant Training Centre Kochi Travel Destinations Kerala WildLife


Guest Author: Rose mary30 Apr 2015

We recently visited Kodanad and were disappointed to see there are no more animals there except few elephants. We were wondering what happened to the mini zoo they had in Kodanad. No one there was able to explain what happened to them.

Thank you for sharing information about Abhayaranyam. If we had read your article before going there, we would have visited this place as well.

Guest Author: Anthony04 Jun 2015

It was a pity to see the way the animals were kept in Kodanad. More than hundred animals were kept in a very small area of less than 1 acre land. Glad to see now they can roam around freely in Abhayaranyam. Hope to see more and more animals enjoying their freedom in this nature park.

Guest Author: Thomas Sebastian09 Jun 2016

So, the zoo has been transferred from Kodanad to Kaprikkad. This is not known by most tourists visiting Kodanad, even from Ernakulam district. Very useful to have the article published.
Someone know, which is a better place to visit Kaprikkad or Thattekkad?

Guest Author: Vyas Kumar Shenoy16 Jun 2016

The earlier zoo was in Kodanad, which got transferred to this place Kaprikkad as said in the article. Elephant Kraal was once the main epicentre of eco-tourism in Kerala. Now, I wonder what happened to Elephant training cente as there is no news afresh about the new place. Is it a place easy to access from Trichur?

Guest Author: Priya19 Sep 2016


Thanks for all the beautiful photos. Can you tell me if there is any accommodation facility within Abhayaranyam? Can I stay inside the forest, close to the animals? Is it safe to visit this place with a family of small kids?

Author: Tony John19 Sep 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0


There is no accommodation facility available inside Abhayaranyam. It is a reserved forest area with very minimal amenities for the visitors. The nearest hotels are Whispering Waters resort at Paniyeli Poru and Elephant Pass resort in Kodanad.

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