Tamil Nadu Tourism - Wild Life Index - Vandalur Zoo
One of the Great place to enjoy with your family in Chennai is Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo. It is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, about 31 kilometers from the city centre and 15 kilometers from Chennai Airport. Founded in 1855, the park was the first public zoo in India. Spread over an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres), including a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation centre, the park is the largest zoological garden in India. The zoo houses 2,553 species of flora and fauna across 1,265 acres (512 ha). As of 2012 the park houses around 1,500 wild species, including 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures. As of 2010, there were about 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 25 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park. The park, with an objective to be a repository of the state's fauna, is credited with being the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai National Park.
The deer park was opened in 2008. It covers 35 hectares (86 acres) and is home to more than 100 animals including sambar and spotted deer.
The lion park has been developed in an area of 30 hectares (74 acres) at a cost of about 2.358 million and is operational since October 1990 providing the visitors a 15-min drive into the safari. The safari contains 15 animals and these are involved in captive breeding.
Elephant safari was introduced in the zoo in the summer of 2008, providing a ride on elephants for a tour around the zoo. The park is the only place after Mudumalai in the Nilgiris that organizes elephant safari rides in the state. There are 3 elephants in the park and 2 more have been brought from Mudumalai to start the safari.
The reptile house or the serpentarium is built, at the cost of 0.4 million, in a twining snake-like model with entrance and exit points in the snake's mouth and tail, respectively. The house was opened to public in the year 1989 and has 24 enclosures exhibiting 4 species of poisonous and 10 species of non-poisonous snakes. It contains a total of 104 snakes, including 41 Indian pythons, 21 Burmese pythons and four cobras.
Small mammals house
The newly constructed Small Mammals House has animals such as the grizzled giant squirrel and the Malayan giant squirrel. The zoo also houses many small carnivores and animals of the Western Ghats.
The shark-modelled aquarium, with its entrance and exit points in the form of gills of the shark, is set amidst a pond and houses 31 species of fresh-water fishes. The pond surrounding the aquarium too has different varieties of fishes
Facilities Inside the Park
The park has tree-lined paved paths for long treks inside the campus, enabling the visitors to walk 15 to 20 kilometers (9.3 to 12.4 mi) during a visit. Battery-operated vehicles with a range of up to 80 kilometers (50 mi) are available for rent. There are about 9 such vehicles in addition to the 4 battery-operated vans used for the lion safari and 4 diesel-run road rails used for going around the zoo, and the zoo plans to purchase more. Each vehicle can carry 15 to 20 people, and each trip takes about an hour. A trial program of 20 rental bicycles for visitors, including 5 for children, was launched in 2008 as an eco-friendly option intended to reduce demand for the battery-operated cars. An e-bike facility was also inaugurated on 20 February 2010.
How to Reach
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.
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.
Travel by car: The zoo can also be reached by car and the zoo contains a big area for car parking.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park Timings
The zoo is available for visiting from 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening on all days except Tuesdays.
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