Elephant rides in Amber Fort banned | india | Hindustan Times
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Elephant rides in Amber Fort banned

Rajasthan's tourism department has banned elephant rides at the Fort after one of the pachyderms ran amok earlier this month.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2005 12:37 IST

Rajasthan's tourism department has banned elephant rides at the historic Amber Fort after one of the pachyderms ran amok earlier this month killing a guide and injuring two foreign tourists.

"We have decided to impose a ban for an indefinite period and propose to

conduct fresh medical check-ups of the elephants in Amber area," Pawan Kumar

Jain, assistant director, Department of Tourism, said.

On Sep 15, one of the elephants taking tourists to the fort went wild, trampling a tour escort to death and injuring two Belgian tourists.

The escort, Vinod Bambha, was killed by the elephant when he was trying to click a photograph. The elephant was apparently provoked by the camera flash.

Jain said that many elephant owners were found guilty of not feeding their animals properly or keeping their surroundings unclean.

Well placed sources in the tourism department said a committee constituted by the state government a few days back in its report found that out of 91 elephants that were checked, six were not in a sound mental condition.

Two of these were found untamed while one had serious injuries, the sources said.

Experts warned that using the six elephants to ferry tourists was risky.

The experts are still to conduct their checks on 25 elephants. Around 116 elephants ferry tourists in the fort.

The Tourist Guide Association (TGA) earlier had claimed that 20 of the 116 elephants used to ferry tourists to the fort were blind.

Amber Fort, 11 km from the state capital, is a famous tourist site. Tourists, especially foreigners, prefer riding an elephant to go up to the fort that is perched high on a barren ridge.

The fort, begun in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, the army commander of Mughal emperor Akbar, is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture.