An Elephant Encounter in Udaipur (India): Panorama of the Week

Where in the world can you wander through a market and almost run right into an elephant?

A lot of places, we’re sure. But most certainly in India. India is a place where truth is often stranger than fiction, where each day features an adventure, and where sensory overload is the norm. Perhaps, then, there is no better place to bump into an elephant than in India.

We did our share of elephant bumping, but one stands out, quite literally — this one, poking around the street markets of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

If you do see an elephant crossing the street, perhaps you should ask him why he crosses the road. Maybe you can follow him for a blessing at the temple for a dose of karmic fortune. Elephant blessings are, well, a blessing. Along the way, you’ll have to dodge all the motorbikes, carts, people — and maybe even other elephants — coming at you from every direction.

Open the panorama below to get started!

Panorama: Udaipur Market and Elephant Encounters – Rajasthan, India

panorama directions

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  1. says

    @Vi: Ha! I wish! He was in movement, there was no stopping him!

    @Noah: It is hard to imagine the immense size of these animals, but also how nimble they are. We’ve been to an elephant conservation area in Thailand that showed the painting skills and more. Really incredible.

  2. Surminga says

    Haha, love elephants, there was an elephant village in Thailand I visited a while back where they played football

  3. says

    That would be so cool to just be around elephants all the time- they are such magnificent and beautiful creatures. I think overall India would be an overwhelming place to be. I mean, it is so crowded in the cities, and very unorganized. But there are definitely good things, like all the beauty and color of all the animals, flora, and fabrics. I guess you just have to find the right place to go, and hopefully you’ll find elephants!

  4. says

    @Katie: India, well captured. You just have to find the right place to go, and you’ll find just about anything!

    @Spencer: Agreed. Something special about elephants.

  5. says

    Wow…what technology! Being able to have 360 degree views is the nest best thing to being there, certainly better than just 3-D. India is just such a thrilling and adventurous place to travel to, at least for this girl. I am actually planning a trip to India myself, no other travel buddies to bog me down, so I can come and go as I please. This trip for me is more a pilgrimage to various spiritual centers; something I have wanted to do as a little girl. Thanks for your wonderful post about India– Cheers, Sara J

  6. says

    Hi Daniel & Audrey

    The magnificent elephants are found in many parts of India. Some have their secured homes in many of the renowned wildlife sanctuaries and some are spotted on busy streets like you spotted one in Udaipur.

    @Katie : Kerala is the best destination if you want be around elephants all the time. Try visiting Thrissur (Kerala) in Mid April – Mid-May. That is the time for Kerala Elephant Festival. You will enjoy it for sure

  7. says

    @Sara: Glad you enjoyed the spherical panorama – the goal is to make you feel like you’re in the middle of it all. Not as good as actually being there, but a proxy until someone can travel there. And, congrats on your upcoming trip to India! It’s such a fascinating place, especially if you will be focusing on spiritual centers. Safe travels and enjoy!

    @Meenakshi: What is incredible is seeing a full-sized elephant on the streets – they are such huge animals, but are also so gentle at the same time. Thanks for sharing information about the Kerala elephant festival – sounds like it would be a wonderful event.

  8. says

    I love the panoramic view of the place. When I made it to the whole screen, it felt that I was there. Udaipur is like a typical Indian city with narrow lanes and bustling shops. Thanks for this amazing view. I really liked it.

  9. says

    I spent quite some time bathing (playing) with elephants in Hathi Goan, Elephant Village in Jaipur. Such a great way to end the day! It’s not a tourist trap (yet!) so you get great interactions with the mahouts, and the elephants of course!
    Udaipur is an amazing city; been there several times and just love the atmosphere, can’t wait te get back!

  10. says

    @Gerd: I’ve read really mixed reviews (some really terrible, quite honestly) of the elephant “villages” in Jaipur — particularly with respect to their awful treatment of the elephants. I’d be interested to see your response, particularly since you are in the business of selling tours in the area.

  11. says

    Hathi Goan was built just for that reason; new stables for the elephants, new homes for the mahouts. There is a vet on the site, and this way there is more control over the way the animals are treated, fed, housed… They also built this giant pool so the elephants can have a bath every day to cool down and generally enjoy them selves. It’s a government scheme that took some time to take of, but now more and more mahouts are leaving their homes to relocate here and enjoy the benefits offered there. It seems to work very well for both the elephants and their owners!


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