Elephants are the pride of India, and that is why elephant villages are an important part of the ecosystem. One such village is Hathi Gaon in Jaipur.
What it is?
Hathi Gaon (or Elephant Village) Housing project for 100 elephants and their mahaout is located in the foothills of the Amber Palace and the Citadel near Jaipur. The initial design involved structuring the landscape to create a series of waters to collect runoff because this is the most important resource in the desert climate of Rajasthan. The idea of site planning is to create structures and systems that will help restore landscapes after a decade, uniting tropical landscapes that form an elephant’s natural habitat. It is recommended that wastewater be channeled to a stretch of reeds and native species planted along the waterfront so that it is not only to stabilize the area but also to be sown with reproducible vegetation.
What is there to see?
Along with all the houses and lodgings for elephants in the village, there is a large artificial lake specifically designed for elephants to relax and bathe after a long hard day. People can visit the place and enjoy the view of many elephants playing and bathing outside, which is rare in this part of India.
Why is it special?
I think this is the perfect place to leave the city for all its inhabitants. Families with children can spend time in cool breezes and leaves while elephants entertain themselves and their visitors. This is a paradise for photographers because I think elephants are one of the best animals to shoot. Ideally, summer is the best time of year to visit, because more elephants may be bathing together at this time of the year. However, I would recommend anyone to visit the place in any season. Ancient Jaipurites may remember seeing elephants bathing in a pond in front of Amer Fort. Now that’s the past. The government has invested more than Rs. 5 crores in building this village from scratch so that elephants can bathe in their own yard.