Visiting Vandalur Zoo aka Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Vandalur Zoo (Arignar Anna Zoological Park) is a zoological garden situated in Vandalur, a suburb in south of Chennai. The Zoo is home of total of 148 species with a combined population of nearly 1342+ animals including some endangered animals and birds. The Zoo itself spread over an area of 1490 acres amidst of lush green trees with a lake inside it called Otteri Lake.
See the below album for getting a glimpse of the inmates of the Zoo.
The Zoo was originally located in Park Town (Chennai Central station) is moved to Vandalur due to space crunch and to accommodate the growing number of animals. The Zoo in Vandalur was inaugurated by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MGR(M.G.Ramachandran) on 1985.
There is an entry fee collected at the entrance of the Zoo including tickets for Camera if you have one. There is also a 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler parking facility available near at the entrance.
About the Zoo
The Zoo has variety of wild animals ranging from Lion, Tiger, Bear, White Tiger, Cheetah, Elephant, deer, Giraffe, etc. The White tiger and the Lion Safari will attract the visitors very much. Since, the Zoo is spread over a vast area (around 4 to 5kms approx on road) there is a paid safari in electric vehicle which takes you to almost every place in the Zoo. You can also rent a cycle available in Zoo premises for roaming around the Zoo. The Zoo map below,
Please click here to see the enlarged picture.
This Zoo is perhaps the one of the biggest Zoo in India where each animal has some considerable amount of space to live when compared to other Zoo where they are caged in a small space. The Zoo also has more number of reptiles like Crocodile, star tortoise, variety of snakes, lizards, etc. We all know that Chennai and its adjoining areas are very famous for migratory birds and Zoo itself has some good number of rarely seen birds including variety of Storks, Cranes, Heron, etc.
- The Zoo has drinking water facilities at many positions to serve the thirst of the visitors.
- There are also resting huts where you can sit and rest for some time when you feel tired.
- Inside the Zoo there is also a canteen where they serve tea, coffee and snacks to refresh and energize you to cover the whole place.
- You can also find rest rooms at some places to answer your nature calls.
- Waste bins in every corner for keeping the Zoo clean from wastes.
Time required to cover
It may take minimum of 4 to 5 hours by walk and if you want to see all the animals and spend some considerable amount of time. So, plan for a full day trip by starting early in the day.
How to prepare yourself?
- Start early in the day so that you can complete your trip before getting too hot due to the Chennai’s temperature.
- Take enough drinking water if you do not drink water outside.
- Better take an umbrella (useful regardless summer or winter) with you. Even though, there are more trees and shady area across the Zoo it will help you if you are not used to Chennai’s sun heat.
- If you are interested in photography, then this place will be a gift for you. You can enjoy clicking the animals living in a vast area.
How to reach?
- The nearest railway station is Vandalur station.
- People from outstation can come to Tambaram and pick a local train ticket to Vandalur. From Tambaram, it is just 2 stations away towards Chengelpet.
- For Chennaites, you can pick up the Chengelpet local train that starts from Chennai Beach.
- For others, you can reach Guindy or Tambaram whichever is nearby and board Chengelpet bound local train. See the route map below.
- Try bus routes, if any of the above did not help you. Search here.