July 30, 2009

The oldest public zoo of India

Site Name: Vandalur Zoo
Site Type: Zoological Park
Location:  Vandalur, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The oldest public zoo of India
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India

Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road as this is centrally located in the city
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

Chennai is considered as the gateway to South India. The capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India has hundreds of tourist sites which include museum, British period monuments, temples, beach, etc.Today, you can find a lot of amusement parks and other such things in Chennai. However, Zoo is one of the oldest attractions of Chennai, which still remains as favorite for a lot of people. 

Vandalur Zoo a.k.a. Arignar Anna Zoological park is located at Vandalur, a suburb 30 kms away from Chennai city. One of the unknown facts is that this zoo is the first public zoo in India. It was founded in 1855 CE. Another interesting fact is that this is the biggest zoo in South East Asia. 

Vandalur zoo houses more than 170 species of animals, birds and reptiles and it is spread over 1260 acres. The zoo was originally called as Madras Zoo and it was located in the heart of the Chennai city. In 1975 CE, due to space constraint the zoo was moved to Vandalur.

You might get tired to cover the entire zoo by walking. There are battery operated vehicles and cycles available for rent in the zoo. Elephant safari is an attraction added to the zoo few years ago.

The most attractive place in the zoo is lion safari for sure, where you can find lions in their natural habitat. You will get a feel of visiting wildlife sanctuary. I would say it's better than that as generally you will hardly get to encounter any animals in the wildlife sanctuaries. White peacock and white tigers are my favorites in this zoo. The reptiles section is really amazing. I have never seen so many varieties of crocodiles in such a large number anywhere else so far.

Do visit this place. Very important! Don't forget to take your children along with you. They will definitely love this place more than you.

Happy travelling.


  1. This is good to know. Maybe )'ll visit it when )'m coming to India.

  2. It has been over twenty-years since I was last at a zoo.

  3. That white tiger-an irresistible sight. Thanks for a few seconds of pleasure.

  4. Your this post on India's first public zoo was very interesting. I appreciate all your observations and they would be useful while planning our next programme. Regards.
    Waman Karnik

  5. Great post! I always love to go to the zoo. I just know that India have a great zoo, thanks for sharing.

  6. I never knew the greatness of our Vandalur zoo! Thanks for your valuable inputs. I will make visit soon.

  7. no doubt this post gives an overall detail to the visitors. this blog can be considered as a tourist guide