COVID-19: Elephant rides in Jaipur’s Amer Fort and Hathi Gaon resume after 9 months

COVID-19: Elephant rides in Jaipur’s Amer Fort and Hathi Gaon resume after 9 months

The Rajasthan government has allowed elephant elephant rides inside the famous Amer Fort of Jaipur. This significant decision was made keeping the wellbeing of
mahouts in mind, whose livelihoods are completely dependent on elephant tourism.

The elephant rides were prohibited because of the Coronavirus outbreak. The ban was implemented on March 18 and all the
mahouts living near Amer Fort and Hathi Gaon regions have been struggling to make ends meet since then.

As of now, the elephant rides at Amber Fort for tourists will be organised between 8 AM and 11 AM only that too following strict protocols related to the pandemic. A Department of Archaeology and Museum order, dated November 23 reads, “It would be mandatory for mahouts and tourists to wear face masks. Also, thermal screening is a must before the ride. Before and after, the tourists and mahouts have to sanitise their hands.”

As per the updates,
mahouts in the said regions have decided to follow a self-imposed roster on a daily basis as tourist footfall is quite low in these times. As mentioned in a TOI report, Mahout Ballu Khan said that there are 100 elephants which they have decided to divide into 50-50 batches. On the first day, a batch of 50 elephants will go, and the next lot of 50 will go the next day.

A number of news stories were published talking about the poor conditions and the plight of mahouts and elephants because of no employment. The issue was brought to Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s notice.

Elephant safari is one of the prime attractions at the grand Amer Fort in Jaipur. These rides make for an interesting experience and are considered one of the best ways to explore the fort.

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