Situated close to the lovely Kandy district, 90km northeast from Colombo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for rescued, injured or abused elephants which is the first and one of the largest of its kind of the world. The orphanage is reachable by bus or vehicle from Kegalle town.
The Orphanage was started in 1972 to prove safe heaven to elephants and relocated to its present location in 1975. Around 70 elephants have found homes at Pinnawala, including some small babies who have been born into the herd. Abandoned and disabled elephants get lot of love, care and protection in this orphanage. The elephants consume about 14,000kg of food every day and more than 100 people are employed to care for the herd feeding them with leaves from palm trees. The elephants go to bathe in the river Ma Oya which is just in front of the Orphanage every day between 10.100 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Feeding time is about an hour earlier. The visitors can photograph elephants taking food, rubbing themselves on the trunks of the trees, baby elephants splashes about in the water or even baby jumbos roaming around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human protectors.
Pinnawala Elephant orphanage is one of the popular attraction in Sri Lanka and one of the must see places.