Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located at the village Pinnawala in the district of Kegalla at a distant of 90 km from Colombo.
It is reached by Colombo-Kandy main road. A turn off at the 82 km post at Kegalle leads to the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. The closest Railway station is at Rambukkana 2 km away from the village of Pinnawala.
The primary purpose of the orphanage has been to provide a lifeline to the orphaned baby elephants and adult elephants lost in the wilderness. In most of the occasions the mother of the orphaned baby elephants had been killed, and then there have been accidents of baby elephants falling into pits and losing out to the herd, and there were instances the mother elephant had fallen into a pit and died leaving the baby elephant lost in the jungle. There are instances of adult elephants being killed by farmers to protect their paddy fields and crops resulting in baby elephants orphaned.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was launched to provide the best possible opportunity to the sad victims of such situations. The orphanage is fully geared to provide an environment of happy and healthy life to the beasts.
The centre opens at 8:30 am and closes at 6:00 pm daily. Bottle feeding is at 9:15 am, 1:15 pm & 5:00 pm and bathing time at the river is at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
The highlight is the elephants at the bathing hours at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm daily, the animals are walked 400 m to the river Maha Oya. The visitors seated on the steep rocky banks of the river, are afforded the opportunity, to enjoy the sight of the herd of elephants bathing and playing at the river.
The bathing hours are followed up with the feeding hour at the main center of the orphanage. Baby elephants are bottle fed. Selected visitors have a chance of bottle feeding milk to the baby elephants.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is very popular tourist attraction visited by Sri Lankan tourists as well as by the foreign tourists. Visiting Pinnawela grand opportunity to enjoy the spectacle up close a large herd of elephants interacting together.