Exploring Jaipur | The elephants of Hathi gaon

The elephant village Hathigaon at Jaipur India

What is Hathi gaon?
Hathi gaon ( Elephant village ) is a small village that was set up by the government in 2010 to give proper shelter and water facilities to all the families and their elephants that served tourists in and around Amer Fort during the day.

Where is this place?
A km from the junction where Jaipur-Delhi Highway and Amer Road meet.  (see the map below)

What is there is see?
Along with all the homes and shelters for the elephants there are big man-made ponds in the village designed specifically for elephants to relax and bathe in it after a long hard days work. People can visit the place and enjoy the sight of many elephants playing and bathing in open which is a rare sight in this part of India.

Why is it special?
I think it is a perfect ‘get away from the city’ kind of place for all the city dwellers. Families with children can spend sometime in the cool breeze and greenery all around with elephants entertaining themselves and their visitors.
It’s a photographers paradise as i think elephants are one of the best animals to photograph.

What is the best time to visit?
Evenings after 4pm.
Ideally, summer is the best season to visit the place as the probability to get to see lot of elephants bathing together is more during this season. However, I would advise one to visit the place in any season.

More info.
Old Jaipurites might remember watching elephants bathe in the ponds in front of the Amer Fort. Well, that’s the thing of the past now. The government invested more than Rs. 5 crore in building this village from scratch so the elephants can bathe in their own backyard.

Elephants bathing at Hathigaon Jaipur

Talking to a mahout, I discovered that all the elephants working at the Fort, barring 2-3 of them, are females. They are preferred over their male counterparts because of their calm and docile nature. Each family in the village manages 3-4 elephants. Contrary to popular believe, these families are not the owners of these elephants. They are employed by companies or individual investors to care take the animals. Each elephant cost around Rs. 30-40 lakhs hence good care of these gentle giants is necessary. Most of these elephants are bought at the Sonepur Cattle Fair, the largest cattle fair in Asia.

I was in awe at the stamina of the elephants when one of the mahouts told me that he bought his elephant to Jaipur on foot from Sonepur. That’s more than 1100kms. It took them one month.

How to get to Hathi Gaon?

The Elephants of Hathigaon, Jaipur.

Presentation by Central University of Rajasthan


9 thoughts on “Exploring Jaipur | The elephants of Hathi gaon

  1. Can you provide any information on visiting the elephants and helping with their care, especially bathing. We plan to be Jaipur for two or three weeks in June of 2014 to volunteer with an I-India project to help school street children and would love to spend time in the village if allowed.

  2. Hey Kyla
    Nice to hear from you.
    There was a news recently in the local daily about visitors helping villagers of Hathi gaon. Give me some time to find out how it works. Will get back to you with the same.

  3. Hi, I just wondered if anything had been found out about working with and looking after the elephants at Hathi Gaon? I am travelling to India early next year and would love to take part in something like this, Thanks Hannah

      • I also looked into Hathi Gaon but it did not seem to be what I was looking for. I contacted Renuka Salvi, at Enchanting India and she found an elephant experience for me at Dera where I will be able to feed, bath and learn to ride an elephant. I am going in June so if you are interested you should get in touch with her. Kyla

  4. Hi Hannah, I just spent an Amazing day there on Holy and trust me you dont want to go anywwhere else but there. It was incredible! The people were amazing. They invited my husband and I to come back and stay with them. They will welcome you with such love and will love the help. You will get to bath the elephants with rocks ride them after getting on them by their trunks! With only a blanket on their back you paint them you swim with them you can sit in their house for hours and feed them sugar cane its amazing! !! They dont tell you your time is up you care welcome to stay and have tea and just enjoy the day and talk. You will walk away having the best day of your life! !!!!! Dont go any where else! !!!!!! Elephant village! !!!!!!!!

  5. I am planning to go there, before reaching thought read some article if its there then sudden found your article is posted which is really informative.

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