If you’re sitting at home rummaging through the internet and racking your brain to look for places to visit on a weekend with your little one, this is like fate extending a hand to you with a list of zoological parks you can land up at. India has been sheltering hundreds of wild animal species since time immemorial, and some of them are housed in these zoos that you don’t want to miss. Cognizant of the fact that watching television at home is detrimental, we would suggest all parents to take their little ones to a zoo for an elevated experience and knowledge of animal species that they can never learn through textbooks.
1. Mysore Zoo
Mysore Zoo or Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is one of the oldest zoos in India. It is home to a wide range of wild species and takes the credit for an alluring vast number of visitors with its rich breed of flora and fauna. Mysore Zoo is a must in the itinerary for sightseeing in Mysore. Mysore Zoo is a pleasant experience also because most animals are kept in well-spaced enclosures and it’s a delight to see them move around freely. The Mysore zoo abounds in natural vegetation cover and comprises of various rare species of plants & trees that are hard to find somewhere else. It is located inside the city unlike many other Zoos in India and Mysore Zoo is considered to be one of the best and oldest in the world.
2. Nandakanan Zoological Park
Nandankanan Zoological Park is located 20 kms ahead of the capital city Bhubaneswar in Orissa. By sprawling across dense and tranquil forests of Chandaka, Nandankanan serves the first captive gharial breeding center of India. The name that literally means the “Garden of Pleasure” is the most picturesque park to bring an opportunity to discover unique flora and fauna flourishing in their most natural habitat.
The Nandankanan Zoological Park is also known as Nandankanan National Park where arrays of enthralling facility like boating, white tiger and lion safaris (safari in a sense to encounter these royal animals) reptile park, aerial ropeway and cable car at the zoological park which is a nocturnal animal house established for the wildlife lovers to get a penchant for wildlife.
3. Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Do you want to find yourself wandering amidst flora and fauna and enjoy life in the most relaxed way with your kids? Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur Zoo is the ideal place located in Vandalur, a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai about 31 km away from the city center and 15 km from the Chennai Airport. It is the largest zoo in terms of area covered and is filled with nature’s wonders from sanctuary aviaries and walk-through aviaries to butterfly houses, crocodile enclaves and an aquarium surrounded by a pond. Other facilities include treks inside the campus, a snack bar for munching during long walks and an elephant safari in which you get to tour around the zoo on the back of an elephant with an aerial view. Stop by this zoo to while away time in the lap of nature with your kids.
4. Nehru Zoological Park
Located at a distance of 16 km from the city of Hyderabad, Nehru Zoological Park is one of the most visited places in Hyderabad because of the vibrant greenery it contains. Around 100 species of birds, animals and reptiles are sheltered in this zoo-like the Indian rhino, Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, panther, Indian elephant, etc. You can also relax, take a walk or have a picnic with your kids in the long stretching lawns amidst the zoo. Other facilities that’ll grasp your attention are the multiple safari trips throughout the park, educational shows, feeding sessions, a natural history museum, food court and a train ride that runs through the park to give you a cursory view of the park to make your kids hop with joy.
5. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Acquiring an area of about 68 acres, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is situated in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The Zoo is renowned for some of the rarely seen species in the whole world including Red Panda, Siberian Tiger, Tibetan Wolf, Black Bear and Snow Leopard. Other species are Himalayan Tahr, Blue sheep, Himalayan sheep, Himalayan Monal and Grey Peacock Pheasant. Tourists from all parts of the globe come and visit this park to get the glimpse of these rarely found animals.
Settled at a height of up to 2133.5 m, Padmaja Naidu is one of famous and highest Zoo in India. The main idea behind the formation of the park was to conserve the endangered species of fauna.
6. Gopalpur Zoo
Dhauladhar National Park, also known as Gopalpur Zoo, is one of the main attractions of Dharamshala and Palampur that draw attention of wildlife enthusiasts. This is located at a distance of 3 km from Nature Bloom Luxury Resorts and Cottages, this national park is one of the major attractions of the destination.
Tourists visiting the“Mini Zoo” situated in the complex can spot animals like leopards, black bears, angora rabbits, Asiatic lion, sambhar, red fox, varieties of wild deers etc. It was set up by the wildlife department of Himachal Pradesh Government over an area of 30 acres. The best time to visit this place is from April to June in summers and from November to February in winters. Avoid travelling during monsoon months as the area is prone to landslides. (Zoo is closed on Monday.)
Area and Altitude: It covers an area of 12.5 hectares of lush green landscape at an elevation of 1200 meters on the Dhauladhar Mountains. Forest Cover: Dhauladhar Nature Park lies in the Himalayan biogeography zone and has wet temperate forest cover.
7. Gulabh Bagh and Zoo
Gulabh Bagh Zoo is located in the largest garden called Gulabh Bagh in Udaipur, Rajasthan and tacit to the name it has a variety of well-maintained roses. The mini zoo within the garden is a short walk away from the rose gardens. A very few number of species of animals are housed in this zoo including the wide-eyed owls and has enough places to visit within the vicinity like the toy train which is open to the kids and the adults. There is an enormous artificial water body called Kamal Talai which adds to the palace like beauty of the Garden and a Navlakha Mahal, a religious place for parents to visit.
8. Chattbir Zoo
Chattbir Zoo, formally known as Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, is located close to Zirakpur 17 km away from Chandigarh, Punjab and is an abode to varsities of wild animals and birds from the Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic lions to peacocks and bats in an extensive area. It is an ideal place for a picnic with a water body within the park which will make you experience tranquillity at the very best. The lion safari for the visitors is another facility that the zoo provides to gratify your zoo experience.
9. Pt. G.B Pant High Altitude Zoo
Pt. G.B Pant High Altitude Zoo is a high altitude zoo situated in Nainital, Uttrakhand. It’s the only zoo in the state located on the ‘Sher ka Danda Hill’ at the height of 6,900 ft above the sea level giving the visitors a splendid view from the top while walking on steep slopes. Accessible by foot or a shuttle service, it’s a must visit for everyone. Some of the wildlife species found in here are the Himalayan black bear, Tibetan wolf, barking deer, Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, etc. It also shelters a variety of high altitude birds that are seen fluttering around the zoo. It is a place to be with your kids to inhale unpolluted air and enjoy picturesque views.
10. Alipore Zoo, Kolkata
Alipore Zoological Garden usually called as Alipore Zoo (Alipur Zoo) or Kolkata Zoo was established on 1875. It was opened for people from 6thMay in 1876. Locally it is called as Alipur Chiriakhana or Kolkata Chiriakhana in West Bengal. This garden covers approximately an area of 20.4 hectare (50.4 acre).
The first Superintendent of the Zoological Garden of Alipur, Rai Bahadur Ram Brahma Sanyal had played an important role to develop it. Today, it is the main tourist attraction in Kolkata.