Elephants waiting patiently, standing in a row with their trunks resting on the wooden poles, watching as the mahouts prepare their daily snack – this is the view that greets you as you visit the Balle Elephant Camp either at nine in the morning or six in the evening. Wooden fires lit under the three pointed stone platforms on which sit the massive cauldrons brewing millet into thick gravy. Once ready, this thick brew is cooled off on large stone slabs before being rolled into football sized mounds. And then the fun starts – the mahouts take these millet balls and move towards the elephants, now standing with their trunks raised upwards and their mouths agape. The mahout pops the millet ball into the elephant’s mouth and it is immediately swallowed by them as they wait for more. This routine is held every day in order to add some variety to the diet of leaves, grass and bark which an elephant consumes almost for eighteen hours daily.
Although the Balle Elephant Camp is a fantastic experience, people who have visited the place earlier will miss the star attraction of this place – Drona, the majestic tusker who was the carrier of the Golden Howdah at the Mysore Dasara procession for eighteen consecutive years. A huge but gentle creature, he was the darling of the people as he walked majestically in the procession through the streets of Mysore. His life was cut short unexpectedly when he came in contact with a high-tension electric wire that was laid through the Kakanakote forest. A tragic loss that can never be reversed.
|Timings||All days of the week 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM|
|Visit Duration||1 to 2 hours|