Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park of Chennai popularly known as the Vandalur zoo is one of the most beautiful zoological park of the entire South East Asia. This is situated about 31 kms from Chennai city in the Vandalur area which belongs to the Kanchipuram district. Read the article to know more about the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai
About the Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park was established in the year 1855 and it is noteworthy that this is the first public zoo and the largest zoological garden in India. This zoo has got a recognition from the Central Zoo Authority of India. It is spread over 1,488 acres of land and shelters a total of about 170 animal species which are classified as follows:
• 47 species of mammals
• 63 species of birds
• 31 species of reptiles
• 5 species of amphibians
• 25 species of fishes
• 10 species of insects
All these animal species are left to live independently and are not in cages. The place acts as a good habitat for the animal dwelling with lots of big deciduous trees and bushes. It also acts as a good place for breeding.
History of Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Dr. Belford started the Zoo in the year 1855 near the premises of the museum in Madras. Then it was transferred to other places in Chennai and in the year 1975 they decided to extend the park and also to move it to the outskirts of the city due to the increase in the noise pollution in Chennai.
The Tamil Nadu Forest Department decided to establish the zoo in 1,265 acres of land in Vandalur. They started the work in 1979 with an estimation of 75 million and the newly developed zoological garden was reopened in 1985 by M.G. Ramachandran who was the Chief Minister during that period.
Then in the year 2001 the park was extended and is now in about 1,488 acres of land for buiding a rehabilitation center for the wild animals. The zoo was then named in remembrance of the famous Tamil politician Arignar Anna and thus it is called as Arignar Anna Zoological Park . About 800,000 visitors visit the zoo annually.
Animal species in Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Chennai
The Vandalur Zoo is rich in flora and fauna, contains about 170 animal species with 46 endangered animals and many rare species which includes:
• monitor lizard
• European brown bear
• muscovy duck
• bengal tiger
• white tiger
• star tortoises.
The other animal species in Vandalur Zoo which inhabit the Vandalur zoo are Tiger, Hyena, Jaguar, Lion, Wolf, Panther, Jackal, Elephants, Sambar, Camels, Nilgai, Barking Deer, Blackbuck, Hog Deer, Sangai, Baboon, Otter, Hanuman Langur, Lion-tailed Macaque, Leaf-capped Langur and more.
Facilities available for the visitors in Vandalur Zoo
• Battery operated vehicle rides are available to view the zoo easily.
• A well-paved path with the trees lining on both sides makes the visitors to walk easily in the zoo.
• Elephant rides is available from 9:30 am to 11:30 am and 4:30 to 6:30 pm
• Lion safari, the visitors are taken in a special vehicle to the place where the lion lives.
• Hotel Tamilnadu restaurant run by TTDC is available and the rates too are nominal.
• Ice cream parlours and many other shops are present at the entrance of the zoo.
My special advice to the visitors of Vandalur zoo
• The restaurant is crowded and only self-service is available so the visitors having small kids are advised to take their own food.
• There are only limited number of shops and this is also available only in the entrance which sells cool drinks and waters so I advice the visitors to bring snack items and water bottles on their own.
• A cap, good pair of walking shoes and a binocular will make your trip comfortable.
How to reach Vandalur zoo in Chennai
Bus routes to Vandalur zoo
Bus nos A18 from Broadway, B18 from Korukkupettai), PP66 from Poonamallee, PP70 from Avadi), 114 from Red Hills, 170A from Madhavaram and 170T from Kaviarasu Kannadasan Nagar. Also buses to Guduvanchery, Chengalpet, Maraimalai Nagar, Mahendira City, Thiruporrur and Mamallapuram have a stopping in Vandalur zoo.
Train route to Vandalur zoo
The trains from Chengalpattu have a stopping at Vandalur and if you travel in trains from beach station you have to get down at Tambaram. The disadvantage is if you take the train route you have to walk about 1 km to reach the zoo.
Travel by car: The zoo can also be reached by car and the zoo contains a big area for car parking.
Timings of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Chennai
The zoo is available for visiting from 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening on all days except Tuesdays
Entry fees for Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Chennai
The entry fees for adults in Vandalur zoo: Rs. 20
The entry fees for children in Vandalur zoo: Rs. 10
Charges for camera: Rs. 25
Contact Address of Vandalur Zoo
Arignar Anna Zoological Park,
Chennai - 600048