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|Named for||Konni elephant cage|
|• Body||Konni taluk|
|• Total||41.45 km2 (16.00 sq mi)|
|• Density||670/km2 (1,700/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Nearest city||Pathanamthitta, Pandalam, Punalur, Pathanapuram|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Pathanamthitta|
Konni is an important town on the Main Eastern Highway (SH 08). Konni is about 10 km away from the district headquarters. Konni assembly constituency is part of Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency).
The lush green land has been prominent as a haven of wild elephants and as an elephant training centre. The large area of thick forest with wild animals made Konni to emerge as another tourist spot for safaris and trekking. In Kerala there are two elephant training centers, the other located at Kodanad. It is located in the Adoor revenue division and the it is one of the major towns situated near it.
The nearest Railway station is punalur, 25 km and Chengannur Railway Station. Kottayam 60 km. The nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 99 km from Pathanamthitta. The Cochin International Airport is around 124 km from Konni. The Main Eastern Highway ( Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Pala-Muvattupuzha Road / SH – 08 ) connects the town to other major towns.Konni is 10 kilometres from Pathanamthitta and 16 kilometres from Pathanapuram both of which are in the same route. Konni-Kalleli-Achankovil Road- This is a new road built by PWD which provides an easy access to Tamil Nadu(Tenkasi) via Achankovil.This is a part of Chittar-Achankovil Road Project. Most of the stretch covers the Forest Division and the scenic beauty provides a feast to the eyes. This route reduces the distance between Sabarimala to Tenkasi by about 21 kilometres. Konni to Achankovil is 39 kilometres. Konni-Chandanapally Road—This road connects Konni to the major and main cities and towns of the districts like Adoor and Pandalam and Tiruvalla. Konni-Vazhamuttom-Vallicode-Chandanapally-Kodumon-Adoor—24 kilometres Konni-Vallicode-Kaippattoor-Thumpamon-Pandalam—22 kilometres. Konni-Thannithode-Chittar Road—This is an alternate route to Sabarimala.
The nearest Bus station is located at Konni, Pathanamthitta
Elephant Training Center
Konni has a major elephant training center, located 11 km from Pathanamthitta. The prime attraction here are the huge cages of wood built to house elephants. These cages are locally known as Aanakoodu and can accommodate 3 to 4 elephants at a time. The trainers here train the baby elephants which get separated from their herd, or are found wounded or roaming in the forest. Experienced trainers using their systematic training methods, tame the baby elephants. Visitors can get a close look at these elephants and can observe and understand a lot about their behaviour, especially that of baby elephants, which are often endearingly mischievous.
Konni is famous for the elephant training centre since ancient times. The elephants were captured from the dense forests of the western ghats/Sahyadri and brought to the elephant training cage at Konni. There these wild elephants are tamed and trained by mahouts specialized as elephant tainers. These trainers take the help of other tamed elephants.
The tamed elephants famous for rendering help to the trainers of the wild ones are: Konniyil Kochchayyappan, Ranji Padmanabhan, Balakrishnan, Soman, Venu, Rameshan, and Mani.
Elephants in Konni
The present members of Konni elephant training center are Soman, Priyadarshini, Meena, Surendran, Eva and krishna,in which krishna is only 6 years old.
History of Elephant training
The elephant capturing at Konni traces back to 1810 AD. The major elephant capturing locations include Mundom moozhy, Mannarappara and Thura. The elephant training cage which is present now was built in 1942. The wood of "Kambakam" was used for this. The present training cage has the capacity to train 6 elephants. The dimensions of the training cage are 12.65×8.60×7 metres. The elephant training cage and its premises comprises 9 acres (36,000 m2) of land.
The elephant capturing was officially stopped in 1977 by Govt: Circular though it was actually stopped many years prior to that.
Presently the elephant training cage is a major tourist attraction. It houses a history museum as well. The elephant training centre functions as an elephant welfare centre. The elephant calves estranged from the herd and found lost in the forest are brought here and are provided with medical facilities and proper care.
The details of Konni Elephant Training Centre and Training Cage are mentioned in the articles of the famous "Aithihyamaala" by Shri Kottarathil Shankunni. "Aithihyamaala" is referred as one of rare collection of articles of Kerala History.
Gift to Portugal
Konni Elephant Training Centre has to its credit of gifting the Elephant "Samyuktha" to the Republic of Portugal as a mark of friendship and co-operation with the Republic of India.
How to reach: Konni is on the Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Highway/SH-08) and is very well connected to major towns and cities of Kerala through Pathanamthitta.
Other Tourist attractions
Muringamnagalam Sreemahadevar Temple
This temple is more than 1000 years old and is located nearly half a kilometre from Konni Junction. It used to belong to the Pandalam Royal Family. It is the biggest temple in east of Pathanamthitta district and biggest Siva temple in Pathanamthitta. Kalleli Oorali Appooppan rules over a pantheon of 999 hill deities. At the sacred grove inside Konny reserve forest he is awakened through kumbha pattu, a ritual art form that dates back to ancient times. Bamboos and stones come together to make their mysterious music, a wild tribal rhythm that resonates in the primeval stillness of the night. "Kalleli Kavu is the only place of worship where this art is still performed," says P V Shantakumar, temple committee president.
A ritual that springs from an age-old agrarian culture, kumbha pattu involves the rendering of songs to the accompaniment of indigenous instruments. "The kumbham is nothing but a bamboo stick shaped according to some specifications.
Then there are farm implements like iron sickles, dried arcanut leaves and tree skins. In the beginning they used to sit around bonfire and sing the praises of Oorali Appooppan," he says. Smooth, pumpkin-shaped boulders are picked from the near-by river for kumbha pattu. "They make a very distinctive sound when tapped with the dry bamboo piece. In the silence of the night it will instantly draw your attention," he adds.
The ritual pays reverence to all five elements, its lyrics stemming from the wild ecology that surrounds the temple. The song is basically a plea for protection from all evil and unknown energies.
"Settlers who were scared of animal attacks and other threats of the wild used to invoke Oorali Appoppan, their guardian deity, through the ritual. It’s believed that Kumbha pattu will erase all fears from your mind, refreshing your heart and spirit," he says.
Kalleli kavu is a place that celebrates the Dravidian culture and its practices are totally different from the regular tantric procedures.
"We don’t follow the vedic style of pooja. Padayanai, pongala, mudiyattam and azhi pooja are the major rituals. Grilled tubers are distributed as offering along with porridge made of bamboo rice. We follow the ancient customs and rituals only.
There are no dance or music programmes even during the festival days," he says. Kumbha pattu is conducted on all auspicious occasions and usually it starts in the evening, continuing till the early hours of the dawn. "In the song everything from the birth of the deity to the purpose of his incarnation are explained. Now we are conducting a 10-day ritual that started on the day of Vishu," he says.
Passed down orally to generations, the kumbha song contains many obsolete names and terms.You will come across erstwhile geographic areas like Malanad and Thulunad," he says. Practised by a particular caste, usually an elderly member of the community leads the ritual with other singers.
"And it’s Kokkathod Gopalan Asan who heads the team now. I think kumbha pattu is one among the toughest ritual songs as it’s not easy learning centuries-old tribal slang. It takes a lot of time and dedication to master the art," he adds. Achankovil and Aluvamkudi are two ancient temples located here.
Kattathipara in Kokkathodu is a nearby tourist destination located a few kilometres away from Konni. Kattathipara is particularly attractive with its gigantic rocks and the triple-echo phenomenon.
Kumbhavuruthy is a waterfall amidst thick forest
Adavi Eco Tourisum Kutta Vanchi sailing is the main attraction here. about 7 km from Konni Town.
Kalleli Oorali Appooppankaavu, Pathanamthitta Gavi is a tourist spot in konni assembly constituency
Sri Kalleli Oorali Appoopankaavu is an ancient temple located in Kallelithottam in Konni, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The deity here has long been worshipped as the supreme power of nature and the lord of around hundred and one Mala Daivangal (Mountain Gods). The temple is also noted for its festival which falls during the Monsoon season of Kerala. The major ritual performed in this temple is the Karkkidaka Vavu ceremony, a Hindu ritual observed in memory of the departed souls of ancestors. During the day, special offerings in the form of tender coconuts and betel leaves are offered to the presiding deity of this temple. Anayoottu (feeding of elephants), Vanarayoottu (feeding of monkeys) and Meenoottu (feeding of fish) are
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Konni Elephant Training Centre.|
- "Assembly Constituencies – Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- "State Highways in Kerala". Archived from the original on 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-17.