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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Amar Grover

Elephants feature prominently in Indian culture and design, from Ganesh, the ubiquitous ‘elephant god’, to architectural & decorative motifs. But for the tiger, it would probably be the national animal.

Yet all is not well with India’s elephant population. Whether used in temples to bestow blessings, for tourist rides (for example at Amber Fort near Jaipur) or for circuses, many end up being exploited and abused.

The ECCC and its hospital look after and rehabilitate captive pachyderms, as well as educating visitors on the importance of elephant conservation.

Located near the Yamuna River and surrounded by farmland, over twenty well-fed elephants are free to roam, enjoy water pools and live as ‘natural’ a life as possible despite their domestication.

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Around 30km north-west of Agra, it’s a straightforward half-day excursion. You can also combine it with Fatehpur Sikri without backtracking to Agra, for a full day’s excursion.

When to do it

The centre is open all year round, seven days a week, but visit by appointment only.

October to March will be the most comfortable visiting period. May to June are very hot so avoid visiting during these months if possible.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Grand Imperial Hotel

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India[25.5 miles]

One of Agra’s oldest and most characterful hotels revamped for the modern traveller yet retaining its vintage feel and ambience.

Official star rating:

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India[29.2 miles]

Agra’s finest hotel boasts unfussy luxury with uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal and architecture of refined Mughal and Rajput design.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Uttar Pradesh, India

Home to the iconic Taj Mahal, the relentlessly congested and clamourous city of Agra and its hinterland host an array of superb Mughal architecture, along with vigorous bazaars.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, India[24.8 miles]

An atmospheric ‘ghost city’ that provides a fascinating and unique insight into the Mughal court, and superb example of Mughal planning and architecture.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free