Riding on elephants in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a tropical country and has the highest number of wild elephants in Asia. It is revealed that there are more than 5800 wild elephants in the recently concluded elephant census in Sri Lankan jungles. The elephant had been a very useful animal for the country in the past. Elephants were used to perform heavy tasks such as carrying logs in the jungle and at construction sites. Today elephants are not being used to do such heavy works because with machines it has turned to be easier and cheaper. But, still, elephants are being used in traditional ceremonies such as procession, recreation activities (playing golf and elephant ride). Elephant races are also organized in some of the areas in Sri Lanka, especially during the New Year festival.
Riding on elephants is one of the most popular activities among the visitors in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is popular for elephants and elephant ride is one popular activity, perhaps it is the most popular activity that elephants take part today. It is one of the most exciting activities, especially for foreigners.
At the moment there are around 150 tamed elephants in Sri Lanka. The number of elephants from these tamed elephants is being used to perform elephant rides. This is not only adding unusual experience for you but also it allows you to explore the nature of the island. Usually, these rides take one or two hours, sometimes even longer. The elephants used in rides are trained to do rides and mahout (the companion of the elephant) is always with the elephant during the ride.
Usually, several people can ride on an elephant at a time. There is a platform made of iron bars fixed on to the elephants and riders need to sit facing sideways. You need to climb several steps before placing yourself on the elephant.
Usually, these elephant rides take place in the countryside and elephant majestically march through the patches of jungle and villages. Then the riders have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside of the island. One can have the opportunity to see many animals and birds during the ride. The climax of the elephant ride is the point, where the elephant goes through the water. These elephant rides are offered in many Asian countries such as India, Thailand and Sri Lanka and it is has become a popular activity among the millions of tourists in the region.