Pinnawala is a small rural village in the Kegalle District of Sri Lanka and is about 90 km away from the capital, Colombo.

Pinnawala is a small rural village in the Kegalle District of Sri Lanka and is about 90 km away from the capital, Colombo. It is quite prominently known for its elephant orphanage which is visited by locals as well as tourists through-out the year. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, somewhere halfway between the current commercial capital Colombo and Kandy the last Royal kingdom of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala orphanage is the dwelling place for about 84 elephants under protection and is also a nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants. The orphanage is open to the public.

Tourists Attractions in Pinnawala

  • Elephant Orphanage

This elephant orphanage is located at Pinnawala in the Kegalle district. The main access is from the Colombo - Kandy main road on the turn towards Rambukkana. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 as a place for the shelter and care of wounded elephants fallen into ditches or abandoned baby elephants found in the jungle.

The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is under the administration of the National Zoological Gardens. The main daily activities taking place in the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage are Feeding of Milk to baby elephants and the river bathing sessions. This area is not a jungle, but a 24 acre garden with coconut trees. Elephants are taken for their daily bath in nearby Ma-Oya (a river) at 10.00 am and 2.30 pm in the afternoon. Elephants lie down on riverbeds and allow the Mahouts who look after them to scrub and clean their body. In the bathing time, visitors can see elephants walk one followed by the other, then cross the road and down to the river.

  • Elephant Ride

On the way to Kandy, near to the elephant orphanage Pinnawala, there are also places that undertake elephant rides. One can ride, feed the elephants or rub their body.

  • Spice Garden

Many Spice Gardens are located enroute to Kandy and on the way to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. These Spice Gardens have almost all the spices grown in their gardens. Visitors will be taken on a conducted tour of the Spice garden by knowledgeable experienced staff. One is allowed to touch the plants and smell the leaves, flowers etc. At the end of the tour, a lecture will be given on the uses of Spice. One could also visit the spice sales outlet and purchase spices.

Pinnawala on map