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Chennai Weekend – Vandalur Zoo

November 12, 2007

How was your diwali????

Mine was good – a bit of office :-), ran around my sis-in-law kids, progressed on my fillet crochet ( i know a blog on that is due), did a test swatch of my new yarn, gobbled festive food along with my fav dessert – gulab jamoon with ice-cream, saw some cricket and visited vandalur zoo. I am not into crackers and i really hated the mornings due to them. The neighborhood starts the fireworks at 3am and damn i lost some good weekend sleep. 

So some titbits on vandalur zoo this time, a calm and cool place to spend your day.

Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur zoo is on NH-45, around 5 kms from tambaram. A local train heading to chengalput is a good bet to reach vandalur from the city. There are lots of buses too plying from various parts of the city. We took the bike and headed to NH-45 through the GST road. India still has to learn the highway etiquitte, so be careful while driving. There is a huge paid parking lot, so probs for all those private vehicals. The entry and exit are through a huge concrete structure, which is given a rock finish. The ticket is 15 bucks for adults and 10 for kids, as usual shell out extra money to use still camera and camcorder. Tuesday is a holiday for the zoo and expect the weekends to be crowded.

The zoo itself is huge (1000+ acres) and relatively maintained clean with helpers working all the time.  The zoo attracts classes and masses and a lot of clutter and crowd at the entry and exit is common. Once you walk further into the zoo, the crowd disperses and its relatively calmer. Its a good place to have a walk, talk some sweet nothings – i have seen lot of new couples enjoying a bit of privacy, have some soulful thoughts. The animal/bird collection is good and the kids will enjoy themselves, but remember its a huge place and involves some workout, so expect your kids to throw tantrums and asking you to carry them. I saw a caged van rattling around once in a while, probably for a safari or so (actually, i do not have a idea) you can check that out too. There is a small whale shaped aquarium at the exit to check. Though there is a hotel at the entrance and a ice-cream shop, literally nothing is available once you go a bit deep into the zoo, so do carry bottled water and few munchies. The zoo is in a litter-free zone and be careful before you throw away those empty packets and bottles, bins are provided for the same.

As for my comments about the place. Its very much away from the city and there is lots of green, spend some time to get some fresh air. Though maps of the zoo are placed around on huge boards, there are not much user-friendly, i would have prefered a hand-out with a detailed map for an extra cost atleast as an option at the ticket counter itself.

If you have visited the zoo and have some comments, do leave them here.

Link to wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arignar_Anna_Zoological_Park
On mouthshut.com – http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Arignar_Anna_Zoological_Park-74599-1.html

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One Comment leave one →
  1. shridevi balaji permalink
    May 11, 2009 12:57 pm

    HI

    I had visited the Arignar Anna Zoological Park yesterday and had a great time. Regret that this blog is quite old but i wanted to write what i felt about the zoo.

    I agree the zoo is well maintained (within the limits and standards) ofcourse 🙂 and its a liter free zone and eco friendly environment. Its great to see a public place without pollution of vehicle emissions, good job here. pls keep this up. They have a few good battery operated vehicles and bi cycles to go around the zoo, thats pretty nice.

    Its hot like hell in chennai and i really felt bad for the animals who were literally too heated up in the hot sun. The water facilities and supply is too inadequate for the animal range, only the crocodiles and the hippopotamus had their ponds partly filled with water. All the other animals had water served only in a few pitchers which i think is hardly enough. The place is not so green, thats again another lack of water symptom. If there is good water facility the plants and trees will really look more green and not brown like i saw yesterday. My heart jus goes for the lions who were literally deserted in the hot sun – and think of the aggressive ferocious animal – they were so poorly quiet and calm too tierd to look up in the hot sun. The Lion safari place is completely brown and surrounded by just rocks with no sign of green plants or trees. When I enquired the staff, they say the water supply is really inadequate. The snakes are the lukcy ones kept inside air conditioned cabinets 🙂

    Looking at this sight, my first thought was why wouldnt they shift this zoo to some pleasant place in tamilnadu where the climate is not as bad as chennai – say ooty, kodaikanal or even yellagiri or yercaud?? the animals will really not be heated up in this hot weather.
    Also if the zoo needs to increase the entrance fee or ticket amounts – increase the same and please for god sake increase the water supply into this place.

    I am sure if this zoo is privatised a lot of amenities will be increased and it will be a nicer place for the animals. But with a little more efforts, the Govt can increase facilities here.

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