Okay, let me address the obvious criticism that many reviewers have of the place - the handling of the elephants. I did see some of the elephants in chains, and a couple of times the handlers poked them to move them in a direction. This is my first visit to such an elephant sanctuary and so, I have nothing to compare it to, but the fact that only some of the elephants were chained seemed to indicate that the handlers know which of them are safe around people and which might act a bit aggressively. I would prefer not to see the animals being poked, of course, but I am not sure how elephants are managed in other similar places.
What we did enjoy was feeding the elephants fruits and milk, and being able to touch and pat them from so close. The baby elephants were full of energy and clowning around, which certainly makes us laugh. When the whole group of 20-30 elephants are led for their bath, that is also a good thing to watch from the viewing area, as the young ones charge ahead and the older ones lumber in and plop down on their sides to be scrubbed.
It is a good place to visit on the way to Kandy, although it does get a bit crowded during the feeding time.