Top 17 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India to Include in Your 2023 Travel Itinerary

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Come and experience the wonders of wildlife at a zoo, a place filled with excitement for people of all ages. Immerse yourself in the natural habitats of various animal species, taking in the sight of their natural behavior and feeding them. Escape into the wilderness for a day of hiking and revel in the beauty of nature. In India, there are numerous zoos that serve as homes to endangered and exotic species. These zoos provide the opportunity to expand your knowledge of different species while capturing stunning photographs of nature and wildlife. To truly appreciate the wildlife of the country, do not miss the chance to visit these remarkable Zoos in India.

17 Exceptional Zoos in India

Zoos offer a perfect avenue to educate your children about the magnificent animals that coexist on our planet. Among the multitude of zoos in India, here are some of the finest ones that offer a unique insight into the wildlife of the country.

1. National Zoological Park – A Delightful Adventure

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Embark on a weekend getaway with your little ones at one of the oldest zoos in Delhi. The National Zoological Park is equipped with modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for a family outing. Observe an array of animal species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and exotic creatures, all in their natural habitats. This zoo not only offers a haven for wildlife enthusiasts but also provides an excellent opportunity for nature and wildlife photography. Marvel at the life and habits of diverse animals such as Asiatic lions, hippos, swamp deer, zebras, and numerous other wild species.

Moreover, this zoo boasts an impressive collection of over 100 reptile and lizard species. Although feeding the animals is not permitted, you can still have an unforgettable day exploring the wide variety of wildlife. Nature and animal lovers will find this place to be an absolute treasure, where one can observe plant species and enjoy the breathtaking view of wildlife amidst open spaces.

Location: DelhiTimings: 9.30 am to 4.30 pmEntry: 20 – 40 INR for Indians, 100 – 200 INR for foreigners


2. Mysore Zoo – Unveiling Exotic Wildlife

Originally known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological gardens, the Mysore Zoo stands as one of the oldest and most remarkable zoos in India. Established in the 18th century, this zoo encompasses an enchanting garden that captivates visitors with its picturesque charm. Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, wildlife, and bird watching within the zoo’s premises. Discover a multitude of bird species, reptiles, mammals, and other captivating creatures that call this zoo their home. Take pleasure in a rewarding day exploring the varied wildlife that resides here.

Spanning over 157 acres of land, the zoo serves as a sanctuary for abandoned animals, offering them a safe haven. Witness captivating animal shows or engage in one of the many educational programs organized by the zoo. During summers, you can also indulge in boat rides with your children, relishing the serene green atmosphere that surrounds you. Keep an eye out for marvelous avian creatures like ostriches, pelicans, eagles, parrots, vultures, and an array of bird species. Don’t forget to explore the lake park within the zoo, which boasts scenic waterfalls. Feel the thrill of wildlife as you embark on a safari within the zoo’s boundaries.


Location: MysoreTimings: 8.30 am to 5.30 pmEntry: 50 INR for adults, 20 INR for children

3. Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park – Wildlife Encounter

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This renowned attraction in Pune is highly favored by tourists. Capture the beauty of nature and wildlife at this zoo while enjoying a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This picturesque location is perfect for a delightful day spent with loved ones, offering both educational and entertainment value. Immerse yourself in the wonders of flora and fauna, as you embark on an extraordinary journey within the zoo’s grounds. It’s an ideal destination for families and children to create lasting memories.

Marvel at a variety of extraordinary animal, bird, and reptile species, which are typically unseen in your everyday life. Indulge in the tranquility of the zoo’s serene atmosphere, adorned with lush vegetation and a diverse range of animal inhabitants. Additionally, the zoo is home to numerous endangered species. Explore different sections of the zoo and capture stunning photographs of exotic animals and birds in their natural habitats.

Location: PuneOpening Hours: 9.30 am to 6.00 pmEntry Fee: 15 INR for adults, 5 INR for foreigners, and 25 INR for the disabled


4. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park – Abundant Fauna

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Nestled amidst the majestic Eastern Ghats, this zoo is located within the sprawling Kambalakonda Forest Reserve. Encompassing over 600 acres of land, it offers a captivating glimpse into a multitude of animals and birds. It’s a fantastic place for children to spend an entire day, and one of the Andhra Pradesh’s largest zoos, presenting diverse zones for nature and wildlife enthusiasts to explore. Feast your eyes on carnivores, mammals, birds, and even spot colorful butterflies along your journey.

Embarking on a hike within this zoo is truly mesmerizing, as it offers a scenic immersion in rich flora and fauna. The zoo provides informative insights about various animals and birds, allowing visitors to expand their knowledge. Children can enjoy a delightful mini train ride within the zoo’s premises. Keep an eye out for captivating animals and birds such as lemurs, monkeys, deer, pumas, jaguars, hyenas, porcupines, and many more. In close proximity to the zoo, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy, including pristine sandy beaches and the breathtaking Araku Valley.


Location: VisakhapatnamOpening Hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pmEntry Fee: 10 INR for adults, 5 INR for children

5. Nehru Zoological Park – Awe-Inspiring Adventure

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This zoological park, located in South India, is renowned for its vast size and diverse collection of animals and birds. With over 1500 species, visitors can encounter creatures such as rhinos, Asiatic lions, panthers, and tigers, creating a captivating experience. The park offers exciting safari rides that are particularly enjoyable for children, as well as a mini-train ride that provides a unique opportunity to observe wildlife within the zoo. Among the wildlife, one can spot deers, antelopes, and numerous other fascinating species. Furthermore, the park features captivating zones to explore and offers an array of enjoyable activities for kids.

The Nehru zoological park symbolizes a haven of biodiversity with its flourishing flora and fauna. Within its boundaries, one can find mandrills, bonnets, star tortoises, elephants, chinkaras, bisons, and many more captivating creatures. Various amenities are available within the zoo, including a food court, children’s park, butterfly park, Jurassic park, and toy train rides. To enhance the exploration experience, bicycles are available for a nominal fee, allowing visitors to leisurely acquaint themselves with the surroundings. Additionally, boating, an aquarium, and a museum are among the attractions found within the park.

Location: Hyderabad

Timings: Open from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm


Entry: Admission fee for adults is 20 INR, while children can enter with a fee of 10 INR.

6. Nandankanan Zoological Park – A Scenic Marvel

Situated amidst breathtaking landscapes, the Nandankanan Zoological Park stands as an expansive sanctuary where visitors can adopt their favorite animals. This park captivates visitors with its abundance of wildlife within the Zoological Park and its stunning array of flora and fauna in the Botanical Gardens. Taking a stroll through picturesque gardens is a delight in itself. With over 200 enclosures, this zoo offers a close encounter with numerous species of animals and birds, including exotic and endangered ones. From platypus and panthers to macaws and pythons, visitors can witness an extraordinary range of wildlife, including tigers, sloth bears, and many more captivating creatures.

For an exciting adventure, visitors can embark on a white tiger safari, exploring the wetlands near Kanji Lake, or engage in hiking to discover various animal and bird zones within the zoo. Covering a sprawling area of 75 hectares, the Botanical Gardens offer a diverse range of gardens to explore. Whether it’s the meticulously designed dry garden with beautiful stonework, the charming butterfly park, the serene greenhouse, the enchanting rosarium, or the vibrant orchid house, there is something for everyone. Additional highlights include the Japanese garden, Mughal garden, landscape garden, heritage garden, and more. This ultimate paradise for animal and nature enthusiasts is truly a sight to behold.


Location: Bhubaneshwar

Timings: Open from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm

Entry: Children can enter for 50 INR, while adults and foreigners can enter for 10 INR and 100 INR, respectively.

7. Alipore Zoo – Embracing Nature’s Beauty

Established in the 18th century, the Alipore Zoo encompasses a vast expanse of 46.5 acres, creating an ideal destination for families with children and nature enthusiasts alike. This zoo offers a plethora of wildlife experiences and is an excellent place to capture precious moments. The remarkable variety of animals and birds found here includes zebras, deers, antelopes, lorikeets, ostriches, emus, and more. By immersing oneself in the wonders of this zoo, visitors can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature as they explore various animal and bird zones.

Witness a spectacular array of wildlife at the zoo, including the enchanting jungle cat, jaguar, pheasants, cockatoos, and painted storks, among many others. Explore the various attractions within the zoo, such as the majestic elephant house, the captivating panther house, the mesmerizing aquarium, and a separate zoo designed specifically for children. Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and the animal kingdom as you spend an entire day capturing picturesque moments and experiencing the untamed beauty of wildlife. Children will revel in the joy of getting up close and personal with the diverse range of animals and birds, providing them with an educational adventure.


Location: Kolkata

Operating Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entrance Fee: Adults – INR 25, Children – INR 10

8. Arignar Anna Zoological Park – India’s Grandest Zoo

Discover the cherished Arignar zoological park, a favorite destination for picnics in Vandalur and the grandest zoo in all of India. Immerse yourself in the distinctive flora and fauna that grace this spectacular zoo. Situated in Chennai, this unique zoo is unrivaled in South East Asia. Encompassing a vast area of 1260 acres, it shelters both local and exotic animals. Prepare to be captivated by the 138 diverse species of animals, including the awe-inspiring Himalayan brown bear, regal lions, majestic tigers, and magnificent elephants. The Arignar Anna zoological park, India’s grandest zoo, also offers exhilarating elephant rides, an educational center, and a mini Jurassic park.


Location: Chennai

Operating Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entrance Fee: Adults – INR 50; Children below 2 years – Free; Children aged 2-12 years – INR 20

9. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park – A Haven for Endangered Species

Situated in the picturesque Darjeeling, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a haven for a diverse range of animals. Also known as the Darjeeling zoo, it is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. Established in 1958, this remarkable zoo is nestled at an astounding elevation of 7000 feet, making it the highest zoo in all of India. Renowned for its exceptional breeding and conservation programs, the zoo has garnered international acclaim for its conservation efforts. Serving as a breeding center for snow leopards and red pandas, it nurtures these endangered species, among others. Prepare to be enthralled by the fascinating Asiatic Black Bear, graceful Barking Deer, elusive Leopards, vibrant Yellow and Blue Macaws, elusive Pangolins, majestic Himalayan Wolves and Monals, striking Red Jungle Fowls, magnificent Yaks, regal Temminck’s Tragopans, and many more extraordinary creatures.

Place: DarjeelingOperating Hours: 8.30 am to 4.30 pmAdmission Fee: Indian Nationals – INR 20; Foreigners – INR 50

10. Sakkarbaug Zoological Gardens – An Exquisite Establishment

Sakkarbaug Zoological Gardens, also known as Sakkarbaug Zoo, is a tremendously vast zoological park situated on the Junagadh Rajkot Highway and is renowned for its purebred Asiatic Lions. Housing a diverse range of captivating birds and animals, the zoo, also referred to as Junagadh Zoo, offers an enchanting experience. Among the animals found here are Wild Boar, Blue Bull, Antelope, and others. Additionally, there is a natural history museum and a veterinary hospital within the premises.


Place: JunagadhOperating Hours: 9 am to 12.15 pm and 3 pm to 6 pmAdmission Fee: Adults – INR 10; Children (3 to 12 years) – INR 5

11. Chattbir Zoo – A Remarkable Enclosure

Also known as Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park, Chattbir Zoo is situated in Zirakpur near Chandigarh. This zoo is home to a variety of animals, birds, and reptiles, encompassing an extensive 202-acre area. The highlight of the zoo is the Royal Bengal Tiger. Chhatbir Zoo Chandigarh is one of the finest places to visit with your children.


Place: ChandigarhOperating Hours: 9 am to 5 pmAdmission Fee: Adults (above 12 years) – INR 20; Children (3-5 years) – INR 5

12. Nainital Zoo – An Elevated Experience

Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, commonly known as Nainital Zoo, was established in 1984 and is located in Nainital. Situated at an elevation of 2100 meters, this zoo covers an expansive area of 4.6 hectares. Filled with a multitude of endangered species, it is one of India’s largest zoos. Some of the animals that can be observed in this zoo include the Himalayan Civet, Hill Partridge, Tibetan Wolf, Sambar, Barking Deer, and Royal Bengal Tiger. Additionally, a vast variety of bird species are housed here.


Place: NainitalOperating Hours: 10 am to 4.30 pmAdmission Price: adults – INR 50; Kids – INR 20

13. Beautiful Gardens – Gulabh Bagh And Zoo

Situated within the Gulabh Bagh, Gulabh Bagh Zoo in Udaipur is an exceptionally well-maintained zoo that captures the attention of visitors worldwide. The zoo is conveniently located near the rose garden, within walking distance. The garden is a spectacle in its entirety, with an added attraction of a toy train that operates within the premises, catering to both children and adults. The zoo is home to a wide variety of animal species, but the most captivating one is the mesmerizing wide-eyed owl.

Place: UdaipurOperating Hours: 8 am to 5.30 pmAdmission Price: INR 5


14. Lucknow Zoo – Haven for Exotic Creatures

Lucknow zoo, also known as the Nawab Wazid Ali Shah Prani Udyan, is immensely popular among animal enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. It ranks among the largest zoos in India, encompassing an expansive area of 71.6 acres. Its establishment in 1921 was a tribute to the visit of the Prince of Wales to Lucknow. This zoo houses an array of captivating creatures, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, White Tiger, Lion, Wolf, Great Pied Hornbill, and the majestic Golden and Silver Pheasants.

Place: LucknowOperating Hours: 8.30 am to 5.30 pmAdmission Price: Adults (Above 12 years) – INR 60; Kids (5-12 years) – INR 30


15. Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden – A Paradise of Gardens

Popularly referred to as the Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan, the Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece renowned for its exquisite beauty. It is also known as the Patna zoo and was established back in 1969. It boasts a staggering collection of over 800 animal species, including the Jackal, Himalayan Black Bear, Spotted Deer, and many more fascinating creatures.

Place: PatnaOperating Hours: 8 am to 5.30 pmAdmission Price: Adults – INR 30; Kids – INR 10


16. Gopalpur Zoo – A Natural Haven

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Situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, this zoo is elevated and renowned as one of the most popular tourist destinations. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the natural habitat of region-specific animals, while also offering breathtaking views and a truly unique experience. Visitors can witness captivating creatures such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Asiatic Lion, Red Fox, and an array of other remarkable animals.

Location: Kangra

Operating Hours: 9 am to 5 pm

Entrance Fee: INR 20

17. Guwahati Zoo  – The Animal Kingdom


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Guwahati zoo is an extraordinary haven not only for the animals that call it home, but also for the tourists who visit this sprawling establishment spread across 430 acres. It holds the distinction of being one of the largest zoos in India, renowned for its picturesque views and unparalleled experiences. Established in 1958, it has become a major tourist attraction due to its diverse collection of flora and fauna. Within the zoo, visitors can encounter a staggering 900 animals, birds, and reptiles, representing over 113 different species, including exotic creatures like Giraffes and Kangaroos.

Location: Guwahati

Operating Hours: 7 am to 4.30 pm

Entrance Fee: INR 10

Zoos are delightful places for individuals of all ages to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature and wildlife. They offer opportunities for picnics and weekends spent marveling at magnificent creatures. India is home to numerous zoos that house a myriad of exotic and endangered species. By visiting these zoos, you can gain deeper insights into their habitats. So, while embarking on a journey to explore and embark on a tour of India, be sure to indulge in a memorable experience at these incredible zoos.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Indian Zoos

Where can the largest zoo in India be found?

The largest zoo in India is situated in Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai.

Where is the smallest zoo located?

The smallest zoo in India can be found in Maharajbagh zoo in Nagpur.

When was the first zoo established in India?

The Thiruvananthapuram Zoological Park, established in the 18th century, holds the distinction of being India’s first zoo.

How vast is the second-largest zoo and where is it located?

Spanning an impressive 437 hectares of land, the Nandankanan Zoo is the second-largest zoo in India.

Which zoo houses the dangerous Anaconda in India?

The enclosures of the Mysore zoo are home to the formidable Anaconda.

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