Top 10 Largest Zoos In India In 2023
Although zoos may not be the most popular tourist spots, they can still be very entertaining to visit. They have a lot of different plants, rare animals, diverse ecology and large areas, which make them vital for nature lovers and animal fans. Here is a list of the ten biggest zoos in India that have a great variety of creatures.
1. Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park
The Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, the largest in India and all of Asia, is located in Andhra Pradesh. It is named after the Lord of Seven Hills, "Sri Venkateswara", in Tirupati. This newly developed zoo is based on a very special theme of mythology, and its size is 1254 hectares. It is home to around 75 species of wildlife.
2. Arignar Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur Zoo)
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park situated in Chennai is the biggest zoo in India and is popularly known as Vandalur Zoo. It is spread over a vast 602 hectare area and houses a variety of 1500 species of animals, some of them being endangered and rare species. This public zoo, which was founded in 1855, has become a popular destination for tourists from India and around the world due to its unique wildlife assets.
3. Nandankanan Zoological Park
The Nandankanan Zoological Park, which literally translates to 'The Garden of Heaven', is the second biggest zoo in India, located in the state of Odisha. It was the first zoo in India to become a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2009.
The park covers a large area of 437 hectares and has been open for almost sixty years, boasting around 1600 different species of wildlife. Additionally, it houses the state's most expansive Orchid House and multiple aquaria, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike due to the wide range of plant and animal life.
4. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The zoological park in Andhra Pradesh, named after India's former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is reported to be the third largest of its kind in the country. Covering an area of 253 hectares in the Eastern Ghats, an area abundant in biodiversity, the park is located in the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest. It is home to 80 different species of wildlife.
5. Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden
The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is the most extensive zoo in the north eastern region of India and occupies a space of 175 hectares within the Hengrabari Reserved Forest at Guwahati in Assam. Founded in 1957, it expanded to include a botanical garden and a museum in 1982, which now contains 53 different species of wildlife. It is not only an attraction for its variety of plants and animals, but also serves as a breath of fresh air for the city of Guwahati, as it is surrounded with large swathes of greenery.
6. Nehru Zoological Park (Hyderabad Zoo or Zoo Park)
The Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, named after India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is one of the largest zoos in the country, covering an area of 153 hectares. It is one of the most popular attractions in Hyderabad, home to over 1100 animals of 100 different species. Its location near the Mir Alam tank also gives it an added advantage as it is a great destination for migratory and exotic birds, making it an ideal spot for tourists and nature lovers.
7. Sakkarbaug Zoological Park
The Sakkarbaug Zoological Park, India's second oldest and largest zoo, covers an area of 84 hectares in Gujarat. Established in 1863, it became the only zoo in India with African Cheetahs in 2009 when it exchanged three of its lions with a Singapore zoo for two sets of the species. At present, it is well-known for its purebred Asiatic lions and contains nearly 1500 varieties of animals, plus a national history museum.
8. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (Darjeeling Zoo)
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, located at an altitude of around 7000 feet in the gorgeous hill station of Darjeeling, is the largest high-altitude zoo. Commonly referred to as the Darjeeling Zoo, this 27 hectare wildlife sanctuary was established in 1958 and is most popular for its many red pandas. The zoo is named after the Indian activist and politician Padmaja Naidu, and is recognized as a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo is home to 156 different animal species, including endangered species such as snow leopards, Siberian tigers, gorals, exotic birds such as rose ring parakeets and hill mynas, and of course, the red pandas. The zoo's authorities have also successfully conducted captive breeding programs for snow leopards, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf, and the red panda.
9. Kanpur Zoological Park (Allen Forest Zoo)
The Kanpur Zoological Park, situated in the city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, is a 76 hectare zoo, which is amongst the few in India that are established in a natural forest. It has also been awarded ISO certification for ‘Environment Management System Standard’. It is a popular tourist destination in the state, boasting 125 types of wildlife among its lush environment.
10. National Zoological Park
The National Zoological Park, which is situated in New Delhi, covers 71 hectares of land wherein 130 species of flora and fauna can be found. It has been established since 1959 as the Delhi Zoo, and was renamed to the National Zoological Park in 1982. Its green expanses are part of the Central Zoo Authority's conservation breeding programmes for various species.
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