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Nainital Zoo - A Complete Travel Guide to the Only Zoo in Nainital

8 mins. read

Nainital, popularly known as the Lake District, is a beautiful Himalayan lake town that is surrounded by enchanting seven hills, snow-covered mountains, captivating rivers, exotic flora and fauna, rich cultural heritage, local delicacies, and so much more. Nainital is situated at the Kumaon Himalayas at the height of 2,000 meters from sea level. The summer capital of the United Provinces, Nainital, got its name due to the emerald mountain lake Naini, which has a mythological relevance. The picturesque Naini Lake or Nainital Lake is believed to have been formed when one of the eyes of goddess ‘Sati’ fell in the Naini Lake, and Lord Shiva carried the body of goddess Sati after her demise. The Himalayan town of Uttarakhand, Nainital, has something to offer everyone and is one of India's most popular tourist destinations. The Nainital Zoo, situated at an altitude of 2,100 meters from sea level on Sher Ka Danda hill, is one of the unique experiences for travellers, as Nainital Zoo is the only zoo situated in Nainital. Before a brief history of the Nainital Zoo, here is a short history of Nainital and how the place has become a popular Himalayan vacation destination.

History of Nainital  


Nainital was formed back in 1841, when a European sugar trader, P Baron, constructed the first Europen style lodge in the region. Soon, the region became a favoured destination for various British troops, colonial officials and their families for outing purposes. Slowly the region converted into a town and attracted various other travellers because of its spellbound beauty. Later, the landslide in the year 1880 played a major role in the formation of Nainital as the great landslide devastated the newly formed town into two different parts, which did not stop Nainital from growing. Rather, the people of Nainital regrouped and rebuilt the town again, which is known as Nainital today.

History of Nainital Zoo

The concept of preserving the endangered species and conserving the biodiversity and wildlife came in Nainital in 1972, and in 1974 a suitable biosphere was preserved for the same cause. The Nainital Zoo got established in 1984 and was formally open for the general public from 1st June 1995. The zoo was the habitat of India’s only Siberian Tiger which was rescued from Darjeeling until its death from 2001 to 2011. The official name of Nainital Zoo is G. B. Pant High Altitude which got its name from Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant. Ever since March 2022, the Nainital Zoo is managed by the Bharat Ratna Pt. G. B. Pant High Altitude Management Society for its management work.

The Uniqueness of Nainital Zoo

Nainital Bear Zoo

The unique thing about Nainital Zoo is the fact that it is the only zoo situated in the Himalayan town Nainital and one of the best places to visit in Nainital. The Nainital Zoo is home to some of the endangered and exotic animals like the Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Himalayan Palm Civet, Kalij Pheasant, Snow Leopard, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Barking Deer and many more. The Nainital Zoo is a high altitude zoo that is situated at the height of 2,100 metres on Sher Ka Danda hill. In terms of sustainability and a greener environment, the Nainital Zoo is kept completely polythene free. The zoo has also developed itself in the field of scientific research and education, which is a step towards wildlife rehabilitation, species conservation and revival of endangered flora and fauna. Other few segments that add to the beauty of Nainital Zoo are Butterfly Park, Cactus Dome, Herbarium, Insect Museum, Orchadarium and various cafes.

Special Attractions of Nainital Zoo

Nainital Tiger

The special attractions of the Nainital Zoo have to be Bengal Tigers, which is the largest army in the Nainital Zoo; Red Pandas, which are found predominantly in the Eastern Himalayas; and Himalayan Black Bear, which hibernate in the upper Himalayas. Apart from wildlife animals, Nainital Zoo is also home to some of the vast species of exotic and high-altitude birds like Lady Amherst pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Red Jungle Fowl, Sun Conure, White Peafowl and much more. The Nainital Zoo is located close to some of the best tourist attractions of Nainital hence the zoo receives major footfalls of tourism from all parts of the world every year.

How to Reach Nainital Zoo

The Nainital Zoo is located at a distance of 2 km from the Tallital Bus Stand. Some travellers also prefer to trek to the zoo which is also one of the most feasible options to reach the Nainital Zoo. The nearest airport to Nainital is the Pantnagar Airport, located at a distance of 70 km. Travellers can also reach Kathgodam Railway Station, which is the nearest railway station to Nainital located at a distance of 36 km. Taxi and local buses are available from the airport and railway station to reach Nainital Zoo.

Nainital Zoo Ticket Price

The ticket price of the Nainital Zoo differs from adult to children. The entry fee for adults (above 12 years) is INR 100, for children (5 to 12 years) is INR 50, for adult foreigners (above 12 years) is INR 200 and for foreigner children (5 to 12 years) is INR 100. If the traveller wants to take the camera to the zoo, an additional INR 25 is charged, while INR 200 is charged for professional photography. The Nainital Zoo timings are from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The Nainital Zoo remains closed on Mondays and on public occasions like Holi, Diwali, Independence Day and Republic Day.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Nainital Zoo

The entry gates of the Nainital Zoo remains open throughout the year and enjoys footfalls from travellers from all parts of the world every month. In the summer months, the weather remains soothing and calm in the summer months, perfect for the Nainital Zoo tour. The winter months remain quite cool and pleasant, which is also favourable for wildlife exploration and other Nainital sightseeing activities.

Things to Keep in Mind

The Nainital Zoo is spread in a span of 11 acres, so it is advisable for senior citizens and children to walk slow and take breaks in between the tour. Visitors to the Nainital Zoo must also wear comfortable pair of shoes, considering the huge area of the zoo. Visitors must also be observant at all times and must not feed any eatables to the animals or birds. Lastly, visitors must carry a water bottle or eatables along with them as the Nainital Zoo tour can be tiring and enjoyable at the same time.

Explore the Wildlife at its Best

The Nainital Zoo never fails to mesmerise its visitors due to its wide variety of exotic and endangered species of animals and birds. The Nainital Zoo is also one of the most prefered destinations for tourists due to the all-around weather of Nainital. Explore our various Nainital tour packages to explore Nainital at its best and take a tour of some of the best beautiful places of the Himalayan holiday destination.

February 03, 2022


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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