To start with I must say thanks to everyone for reading and Liking Chennai Diaries. We had seen many temples, beaches, markets etc of Chennai, So, this post will take you to the wildlife of Chennai. In this post we will see Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Snake Park, Guindy National Park and Crocodile Park.
Chennai had the distinction of having first Zoo of India which was started in the year 1855.In the year 1976 the zoo was shifted from Moor Market to Vandalur Reserve Forest in the outskirt of Chennai city. Zoo at Vandalur started in the year 1985.Arignar Anna Zoological Park is one of the biggest zoos in South East Asia extending over an area of 602 ha. The existing landscape was utilized as it is and all the animals are exhibited in large open island type enclosure with simulated environment.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park is one of the modern and scientifically managed zoos of the Country with 262 full time staff apart from petty contract workers. The zoo has a well-equipped zoo kitchen, zoo hospital and quarantine facility. A zoo school was opened in the year 2000 for the teachers, students and general public where regular zoo education and conservation programs are conducted.
We had visited this Zoo in the year 2011.The negative side of this Zoo is that it is very far from city. Anyone visiting Zoo gets tired just by reaching Zoo. We reached at 1100 hrs.
Address: ARIGNAR ANNA ZOOLOGICAL PARK, Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600048
Contact number: 044-22751089
This Zoo is located in Vandalur, a suburb located 32 km south of Chennai city and 15 Km from Chennai Airport. There is frequent Bus services from Tambaram Bus stand for this zoo. The Bus numbers are A18, B18, E18, G18, M18, M18G, M18N, 18L, M52, G70, 70V, 70A, 114, M118, 118P, G118, 170A, 170L, 170T, 170K, M500, 500B, 500C, 515, 517, 518, 555, 555N, 566, 566B.
Timings: 0900 – 1800 hrs, closed on Tuesday
Ticket rates – Rs. 30/- for Adults (Above 12 years) and Rs 10/- for Children (5 to 12 Years).Still Camera fee is Rs 25/- where as for Video Camera fee is Rs 150/-
After purchasing ticket we entered inside the Zoo. There was a stop from where battery operated vehicle starts. As no vehicles were there we decided to walk. We picked up ice creams and milkshakes from Aavin booth and started walking. It was very pleasant walk and we were following crowds. The path leading to Animals and Birds Shelter was fully covered with trees, plants; shrubs etc and we were happily walking. First we saw the Birds shelter. There were many Birds shelters. My son was very excited to see peacock, parrots, vultures, stork etc. After we finished Birds section we saw Deer, Sambhar, Nilgai etc. It was all together very nice experience and we were actually enjoying our walk as well as watching animals. After walking for long distance we all were tired and we were looking for exit signs. We were unable to find any exit signs. Then we saw a hoarding which had zoo map and the directions to follow. Seeing that map we realized that we had not completed even 20% of the Zoo area and even the exit gates are far off.
God has shown some “DAYA” on us and we saw battery operated vehicle was coming on our way. Unfortunately there was no unoccupied seat as the vehicle was full at the start point. There was just one seat left next to Driver seat. We requested him and somehow he got agreed to adjust 2.5 of us in vehicle. Then he took us to show us Bear, Lion, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Jackal, wild cat, Chimpanzee, Elephant etc. We had finished all these places in just 15 minutes. At the last animal point, few passengers got down from vehicle and we got comfortable seats. We reached at exit point and paid 100/- to driver. (Official ticket for Battery operated vehicle was Rs 30/- per adult).
It was very nice experience and we should be proud to have such a large well maintained Zoo. If anyone is planning to visit this Zoo, it’s better to take battery operated vehicle unless until you like walking and wanted to cover Zoo by walking. The Zoo also has Serpentarium and Aquarium which we missed that day. We had heavy lunch at the TTC Restaurant inside the zoo and returned back.
2. Chennai Snake Park: The Chennai Snake Park Trust is a not-for-profit NGO constituted in 1972 by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker and is India’s first reptile park. Located on the former home of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, the park is home to a wide range of snakes such as adders, pythons, vipers, cobras and other reptiles. The park gained statutory recognition as a medium zoo from the Central Zoo Authority in 1995.
Chennai Snake Park is next to the Guindy National Park .It is located on Sardar Patel road in Guindy OR the best landmark for this park is that it is just next to IIT Madras. This is one of the eco friendly and environment friendly biological parks that attract many tourists. This park is highly recommended from my side to visit. I always find this park interesting.
Address: Chennai Snake Park, Sardar Patel Road, Guindy, Chennai.
Timings: 0830- 1730 hrs, closed on Tuesday
There are many Crocodiles, turtles and tortoises also in this snake park. There is also a cage inside which there are 3 chameleons .There is a board over the cage which says to find chameleons. Chameleons camouflage themselves with the trees around them. This is real fun to find all three Chameleons. There is a Library and museum also inside the park giving details of Snakes. Also continuous video show, talk show on TV plays inside information center. Park also exhibits live show on Snake. The bad part of this information center is that people come inside Snake park, sit in nice air conditioned information center and trying to make this place as Lovers point. Economical entry ticket (Rs 5/- per adult) is the main reason for all this.
3. Guindy National Park – This national park spreads over an area of 270 hectares and is the smallest national park in the country. I am very much disappointed with the maintenance of this park. It is strict no from my side to visit this park. It is just a waste of time. Instead go to Snake Park first and still you have time to spend then you can roam in this park. It is like a children park with few animal enclosures. Here you will find free roaming deer outside park. Complete disaster. Please avoid going there.
4. Crocodile Park – The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for the Herpetology commonly known as Crocodile Park is one of the largest reptile zoos in the world and one of the oldest non government environmental Organization in Asia. It is spread over eight and a half acres of land is home to over 2500 reptiles. Unfortunately I didn’t visit this park, but heard a lot of good comments about this park. It is on the way towards Mahabalipuram.It says there are more than 1500 varieties of Crocodiles in this park.
Address: Post Bag No. 4, Mamallapuram 603104
Phone no: +91-44-27472447
Website: www.madrascrocodilebank.org (Website seems quite interesting)
Entry Tickets: Rs 35/- (adult) and Rs 10/- (Children), Rs 20/- (Still Camera) and Rs 100/- (Video Camera). Rs 60/- (adult) and Rs 20/- (Children) for Night Safari
Timings: 0830 hrs – 1730 hrs, closed on Mondays. Night Safaris on Saturdays and Sundays 1900 – 2030 hrs
Greening tip for today is: Fix Dripping Faucets and running Toilet
Image Courtesy: Google image