Many tiger reserves in India have facilities to provide elephant rides to the visitors. 4 to 6 persons can take a ride on one elephant. It is a thrilling experience. The mahout sitting on the head of the animal has an excellent rapport that has to be seen to be believed. The mahout carries a small iron spike and uses both feet tucked behind the elephants ears to control it. He commands in the local language. One will be surprised to see the agility of the elephant on steep paths and while crossing water filled nullahs. The elephant will react to the presence of wild animals like tiger, pather etc.
Visitors sit on a platform with raised sidewalls called howda. For a comfortable ride wear loose clothes with colors suitably matching the surroundings. One should sit relaxed and follow the lurches of the elephant's movement like traveling in a ship. At the end of a couple of hours journey it would be pleasant to reward the mahout, the kavadi (the attendant) and the elephant suitably.
Elephant ride at Ranthambore Rajasthan is a popular attraction.
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