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Enigmatic India

This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Zoos of India

Zoos had always fascinated me during my childhood and, probably do so for most of the children. As a child, I had the opportunity to visit many zoos across the country when went for the annual LTC(Leave Travel Concession). As I grew up and got caught up with the worldly & material pursuits, this interest slowly decreased and died down.

A year after Shreya was born, we decided to visit the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. I stepped into a zoo probably after a decade or more and was not excited at all. However, as a father I had to do what was good for the family and what my daughter enjoyed. As I went through the different enclosures, I started reliving my past and each moment gave me the same sense of pleasure what I probably experienced years ago. From that point onwards, visiting the local Zoo became a family ritual and all of us enjoy doing so.

In the recent past we have visited three Zoos across India and some of the highlights of each are follows:
Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad(

Located in the old City Hyderabad and adjoining the Mir Alam Tank this Zoo is a feast to the eyes. The enclosures are large and green enough. Though the zoo had a variety of animals and birds, I liked the Hornbill, Parakets, Hippo, Reptiles and the big cats enclosure. There are three safaris i.e. Lion, Tiger and Wild buffalo, however, it was not exciting as I had seen better safari elsewhere. There are enough green patches for people to sit-down and enjoy a meal or two. Most part of the zoo one needs to walk and for kids there is a toy train(not sure where this name came from?) which takes one along the zoo. Interestingly there is a Masjid inside the zoo and we have seen people offering prayers there. The best time to visit is just after the monsoons when the zoo is quite green.

The unique thing about this zoo is that one can adopt an animal by paying some annual fees. The person adopting the animal gets certain privileges like getting to interact with the animals, his/her name being displayed in the enclosure and some free trips to the zoo. I had seen this concept in the much-publicized Singapore Zoo where MNC/persons have adopted a particular enclosure or an animal. To get more details please contact the Zoo curator.

Nandankanan Zoological Park, Bhubaneshwar

Located in my hometown of Bhubaneshwar, Nandakanan Zoo perhaps is one of the best Zoos that I have come across in India. Apart from having one of the highest number of white tigers, the two safari i.e. tiger and lion are excellent. A lot of lion and white tiger cubs were born in the last six months which reflects the successful breeding program that is being adopted in there. Adjoining the zoo is a lake on which one can go for boat riding and a rope-way experience over the lake that takes you to the Botanical garden.

All the big cat enclosures are big enough to give them a natural surrounding experience. The alligators/crocodile section is good and the “birds” section is a delight to watch. The aquarium is not good and needs a complete revamp. The absence of a Giraffe and Zebra is also probably disappointing for the visitors. Like most of its counterparts in India, there is a toy train to take you around. Lot of greenery around and a large campus to spend the whole day. A lot of migratory birds do visit the zoo during the winter season and it add to the wildlife.

The zoo was devastated during the 1999 super cyclone that rocked costal Orissa. However, it has come back fast and now had thousands of visitors flocking this place.

Bannerghatta Zoological Park, Bangalore

This zoo park is an extension of the Bannerghatta tiger reserve. The zoo is a small one however it is unique for few things. Plastics are not allowed inside the park and there are employees at the entrance who check your baggage and remove all plastics items and pack them in paper bags. There is a good collection of snakes especially the Indian King Cobra where there were four of them in one, however some of them are in such enclosures that are potentially dangerous to general public. We went for the safari ride and it was not good, for most part the lions and tigers were not there in the open and we could see then only in their enclosure. You can still enjoy this zoo and off-course there are zebras there which have proved to be a good crowd puller.

You can visit the Central Zoo Authority site( to get some more details.

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