A visit to the zoo is a part of almost everyone’s childhood memory. If not a real one then it’s there in our school books. My real experience happened to be at Delhi Zoo which is also known as National Zoological Park.
Delhi Zoo is located on Mathura Road in New Delhi. It is sprawled over an area of 176 acre.
history of delhi zoo
There was no zoo in the national capital before the opening of Delhi zoo. The idea of having a zoo in the national capital originated in 1951 and started taking shape in the coming years. Carl Hagenbeck of the Zoological Garden of Hamburg was hired for presenting the plan of the zoo.
This plan was then modified according to the local conditions and approved by the government in 1956. The park was inaugurated in 1959. Later, its name was changed to National Zoological Park, Delhi in 1982.
Delhi, the capital of India before and after independence, has perhaps seen more of history than any other town in India. Mehrauli Archaeological Park in Delhi (India) is a world heritage site with time ravaged monuments from the 10th century to the British era. Read more about it here.
This zoo is home and breeding ground to around 1300 animals. It is a fairly well maintained zoo with about 130 species of Indian and international animals and birds.
Timings of Delhi Zoo
Timings 1st April to 15th October- 0900 Hrs to 1630 hrs
16th Oct to 31st March – 0930 hrs to 1600 hrs
Closed on Fridays and National Holidays.
Entry fee of Delhi Zoo
Adult INR 40
Children 0-5 years age -Free
Children 5-12 years age INR 20
Senior Citizens (age 60 and above)- INR 20
Adult INR 200
Children 0-5 years age -Free
Children 5-12 years age INR 100
There are special discounted tickets for students on educational tours.
Separate charges for still and video camera.
Paid parking space is available outside the zoo.
A guide map that costs INR 10 comes handy to know about the routes in the zoo.
Shuttle service available inside the zoo at INR 70 per adult, INR 30 for children aged 5-12 years and free for children up to age 5 years. A wrist-band is given to you to wear when you pay for the shuttle service. The shuttle is more hop-on/hop-off kind so you may have to wait for it in between to go from one place to another.
Animals and birds in Delhi zoo
You can see White Tiger, Bengal Tiger, African Elephant, Asiatic Lion, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Jackal, Cheetah, crocodile, chimpanzee, Spider monkey, Macaque, Palm civet, porcupine, mongoose in this zoo. Reptile section of the zoo has cobra, rat snakes, python and more.
Some nocturnal animals like bats can be difficult to spot as they hide and sleep during the daytime.
Great Indian Hornbill, peafowl, eagles, peacock, cranes, parakeets, ducks, storks are some of the birds that can be seen here.
A lot more than just a zoo
Delhi zoo is not a place meant for wildlife enthusiasts only. Besides the photographers, school kids on educational trip, nature enthusiasts, you will many different people visiting this place. Especially in a country like India, it is a place for a picnic with family, hanging out with friends, educational or fun trip for children.
It is also a meeting point for lovers and often a place for get-togethers with the extended family. You can understand this by the number and groups of people who visit this place.
Is Delhi Zoo worth a visit?
Delhi Zoo or National Zoological Park is worth a visit because it is a well-maintained zoo with hundreds of animals, birds and many kinds of trees and plants. You get to observe them and also spend time close to nature.
Most of the developed countries have amazing zoos with great collections of animals and birds. They have good infrastructure and facilities to take good care of the animals and birds living there. In comparison to the zoos in such countries, Delhi zoo may not be at par with their expectations. But it is anyway a good place to visit.
I had been to Taipei Zoo in Taiwan which is the best zoo that I have visited till now. It is world-famous for its resident panda family, as well as an impressive array of reptiles, insects, birds, and other animals. Click to read how to reach, the best time to visit, how to pay, availability of locker facility and more: The ultimate guide to Taipei Zoo for the whole family.
I had read mixed reviews about the Delhi zoo before visiting. The reason behind this could probably be the expectations of the international visitors. Also, there have been many cases of animals dying in the zoo during the last few years.
Delhi zoo losing its animals
A 14 year old tigress named Kalpana had died due to kidney failure in the Delhi zoo during April 2020. During September 2020, an adult female baboon had died due to infection. From January 2020 to September 2020, total 65 deaths had taken place in Delhi zoo.
During October 2020 a lioness named Akhila died at Delhi zoo due to pulmonary renal complications. She had been facing health issues for nine years and was being treated for the same. According to the zoo authorities, there has been a decline of about 47 % in the animal deaths this year in comparison to last year.
The good and the bad
News like these are quite disheartening for the wildlife and animal lovers. It often makes me think about the advantages and disadvantages of keeping animals in zoo. Keeping animals in zoos deprive them of their natural habitat. On the other side, there are many endangered species that need to kept in a safe environment. Zoos also help breeding of these animals and in education and research purposes. What do you think about it?
Measures being taken by Delhi Zoo authorities
Many steps have been undertaken by the zoo authorities for the improvement of the zoo. CCTV cameras have been installed for better monitoring of the animals and also to monitor the visitors to keep a check that rules are not being violated.
Under an enrichment campaign, animals habitat is being improved so that conditions similar to the animals natural habitat can be provided to them for their better overall health.
Under the animal exchange programme, other zoos in the country are being approached for animal exchange so that breeding of the animals can be ensured.
The breeding programme started with a pair of brow antlered deer was very successful and many deers from the herd were distributed to other zoos in the country.
Drinking water and Toilet facilities
Drinking water and toilet facilities are available inside the zoo. Outside food is strictly not allowed. This is probably to keep the zoo premises clean and to prohibit visitors from offering food to the animals and birds. There are stalls inside the zoo that sell drinks.
Tips for visiting Delhi Zoo
- Do not bring any eatables except milk for babies. Food is strictly not allowed inside the zoo.
- If you don’t want to get tired, make use of the shuttle inside the zoo.
- Wear comfortable cloths and shoes.
- Avoid visiting the zoo when the weather is too hot as animals would be seeking shelter and won’t be easily visible.
- Do not tease or feed animals.
- Follow the rules and instructions given by the staff.
Places to stay near Delhi Zoo
One of the best luxury hotels in Delhi, the Lalit offers five-star accommodation catering to the needs for business travel as well as for vacation. Property amenities include Gym, Bar/Lounge, Pool and many more. Click here for reviews, images and booking.
The Imperial is a heritage hotel that provides a luxurious stay to its guests. The old world charm of this property easily transports you into another world altogether. Click here for reviews, images and booking.
La Sagrita is a family-run boutique hotel that provides amazing hospitality at a reasonable price. Comfortable stay, good location and friendly staff make this property a popular choice among travelers. Click here for reviews, images and booking.
Window Shopping, Street Shopping, ethnic shopping or simply people watching, the Vibrant Delhi markets will charm you. Check out when to visit, what to buy & where.
I would definitely recommend visiting National Zoological Park (Delhi Zoo) at least once. A visit to this zoo is a chance for children to create childhood memories and for others to relive theirs.
frequently asked questions
If you are in Delhi, you can take a taxi for Delhi Zoo. Alternatively you can take the metro and arrive at Pragati Maidan Metro station which is about 2 Km away from Delhi Zoo. You can take an auto from here for the zoo.
Delhi Zoo is a place worth visiting. If you have been to any or some of the best zoos in the world and expect something similar then it may not be at par with your expectations.
Delhi zoo is closed on Fridays and National Holidays
3-4 hours are sufficient for visiting Delhi zoo.
National Zoological Park, Delhi is the name of the Delhi Zoo
Any working day during winters would be a good day to visit the zoo. It can get very crowded during weekends and holidays.
No, currently there is no panda in Delhi zoo.
Bags and eatables are not allowed inside the zoo. These items have to be deposited in the baggage area. They would charge INR 1 per bag/article for keeping it safe.
Bags are not allowed inside the zoo.