India being a vast country with plenty of mammals and several fauna species, is a home to a large number of Zoos, spread all over the country. Some of the Zoos in India have earned the reputation and recognition all over the world for their enormous and exotic collection of mammals, birds and reptiles. No doubt, Indian zoos are also great family destinations while traveling. Some of the zoos also engage in captive breeding program, conservation study of biodiversity and educational outreach. Zoos in India provide a naturalistic environment for the well being of the animals. A unique example is the Junagadh Zoo devoted to the preservation of the endangered Asiatic Lion. The main objective of the Zoos in India is to protect the animals in captivity and also to educate the common people about the endangered and rare species of the earth.
Following are the top 10 legendary zoos in India:
Mysore zoo oficially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is located near Mysore palace in Mysore, India. The 245-acre zoo is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in south India. It was established by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world. The zoo is a home to elephants more than any other zoo in India. Some of the other exotic fauna includes striped Hyena, Jungle cat, Asiatic black bears, African Elephant. It is also the only zoo in South Asia to host a Gorilla.
Hyderabad Zoo, also known as The Nehru Zoological Park, is one of the largest and best zoos in India. Located in the city of Hyderabad in 1963, The 380 acre zoo was named after the first prime minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru. Adjacent to a picturesque lake, the zoo provides abundant opportunity for capturing the wonderful green vegetation and the rare species of animals on camera. Zoo houses numerous species of birds, animals, reptiles and fishes. One of the striking features of this zoo is that you can spot rare white-backed vultures here. Some other special attractions include the Tiger Safari and Lion Safari Parks in an almost natural forest setting, Elephant rides and children Train.
Trivandrum Zoo, also known as Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is located in the temple city of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of kerala, India. Occupying 55 acres of woodland, lakes, and lawns, this zoo is an annexe to the Napier museum. It is one of the well-landscaped and oldest zoos in the country. Home to 82 species from around the world, animals are kept mostly in open enclosures. Indigenous species includes Indian rhino, Asiatic lion, royal Bengal tiger, leopard, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque and many others. The zoo includes a reptile farm which exhibits both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is the most saught after destination in Chennai after the beach. Covering 602 hectares and with almost 3,000 visitors a day, Arignar Anna Zoological Park is the largest zoological garden in India. Home to seven white tigers, the zoo houses more than 170 exotic species of fauna in about 81 enclosures. The animals are kept in large enclosures preserving then in their natural habitat. The Chennai Zoo is a specialty breeding place for the rare Lion Tailed Macaque, found only in the Western Ghats.
Officially known as the Assam State Zoo, Guwahati Zoo is located within the Hengrabari Reserved Forest at Guwahati, Assam, India. Founded in 1957, Assam state zoo is the largest zoo in the North East India. Spread over an area of 1.75 square kilometers, the zoo is a home to Asiatic lion, the royal Bengal tiger, the Himalayan black bear, the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, capped langur, the stump-tailed Macaque and a variety of avifauna and indigenous reptiles.
Nandankanan Zoological Park is a zoo and botanical garden located in the capital city of Bhubaneswar within the environs of the Chandaka forest in the state of Orissa. Spread over 400 hectares of forest area, Nandankanan Zoo is renowned all over the world for its exotic white tigers. The zoo is also organizing a breeding program for the White Tiger, Gharial Crocodiles, Black Panthers and Pangolin. It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared a sanctuary. Lion safari Tours is one of the major attractions among the tourist here. Some other rare species includes Manipuri Deer, Hippopotamus and Wild Ass.
Darjeeling Zoo, also known as Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, located on the slopes of Jawahar Parbhat just below the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, is recognized as the best Zoo in India in 2008. Just about 85 km. from Bagdogra Airport, the zoo is a home to some of the rare species of animals not found elsewhere. Some of the species includes snow leopard, red panda, Tibetian wolf, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan salamander, Siberian tigers and many others.
Delhi National Zoological Park is situated near the Old Fort in Delhi. Spread over 214 acres, the zoo boasts more than 2,000 species of animals and birds belonging to various places around the world. The rare Manipur Brow-antlered deer is the emblem of the Delhi Zoo. The zoo is well organized and animals are kept at large enclosures making it one of the best zoos in India. Some of the well known species found here are hillock, gibbon, white buck, white tiger etall.
Nainital Zoo, officialy known as Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Zoo, is situated in the hills of Sher ka Danda, about 1 km from Tallital Bus Station at an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level. It is the only zoo in the Uttarakhand state. The high altitude zoo serves a natural habitat to snow leopard, barking deer, Siberian tiger, the Himalayan black bear, eagle, owl, hill fox, ghoral, silver pheasants, wolf and many other animals.
Junagadh Zoo, also known as Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden is the oldest zoo in the state of Gujarat situated in 1863 by the Nawabs of Junagadh. The Sakkarbaug Zoo has taken the task of preserving this rare species of Asiatic Lion by starting the Endangered Species Captive Breeding program earning the status of the largest breeding center in the country. According to this program, the lions are bred in the zoo and then let out in the nearby Gir Forest. Other animals found in the zoo are tigers, leopards, lions, elephants, flamingo birds among many others.