A Bliss Of Natural Wilderness
The Delhi Zoo, close to Purana Qila, near ITO, was established in 1959 and is spread over an area of 214 acres. It is regarded as one of the finest zoo in Asia and efforts have been made to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds. There are more than 2,000 animals and birds species from places like Africa, America, Australia and even Asia. There is a lot of greenery around the zoo and it is an ideal picnic spot especially in winters.
The National Zoological Gardens is one of the most serene environs the city of Delhi could offer. Visitors are welcomed at the entrance by the Mughal Kos Minar and while climbing up the red sandstone gate, one gets a chance to admire the vast expanse of the Zoological Park too.
The winding pathways here are laid with the red Badarpur gravel, and the green shrubs differentiate the red with the undulating brown-green vast stretches of grass. After a walk of over a kilometre, the pathway diverges into two different directions. On the right side lies the administrative building with a library, which is a storehouse of information on animals, birds, plants and other popular and rare zoological species in India.
The pathway to the right leads to the cages of the animals such as Chimpanzee, Hippopotamus, Spider monkey, African Wild Buffalo, the Gir Lion and Zebras etc. On the left hand one can enjoy the water animals. There are swamps made for the water birds, which looks better during the migratory season, when Macaque, Banteng, Emu, Hyenas, Axis deer, Fallow deer, Peafowl, Hog Dear and the Jaguar take refuge over here. In the centre of the zoo, is the underground Reptile Home complex for the nocturnal animals including the King Cobra, Pythons and many other species.
What keeps the National Zoological Park apart from the other zoo is the concept of maintaining more than 200 varieties of trees that are properly displayed along with their respective descriptions. The boards notify and interest the non-botanist with complete knowledge of the hanging deep yellow Alamtas or the Phulahi hedges or the drought resistant Lahura trees. The well-trimmed natives of Delhi bistendu are the ones easily identifiable lined up along the pathway.
There are open-roofed mobile vans available at affordable charges within the zoo and is the best option for tourists to avoid the exertion and heat of Delhi's summer season. This place is also a good picnic spot as there are a number of parks in the complex. There are ample numbers of water points and drinking water facility, still its better to carry your own water bottle. A cafeteria is also available outside the zoo.
Timings: Summer 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Winter 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday closed.