From the narrow market lanes to the old world charm of historic monuments and the thriving nightlife, Delhi has all that attracts travellers from around the world. One such place that can make your trip a fulfilling one is the National Zoological Park.
The National Zoological Park in Delhi is among the most prominent tourist destinations of the city. It offers a unique opportunity to see a wide variety of animal, bird, and plant species. If you are in Delhi and planning to take a tour of this treasure of India’s biodiversity, here is all you need to know.
1. About the National Zoological Park Delhi
Also known as the Zoological Garden or the Delhi Zoo, it is essentially 176 acres of fortified area that serves as a home to over 1000 animals and birds from around the world and a Kos Minar from the Mughal period. The history of the National Zoological Park, Delhi (now New Delhi), dates back to the year 1952 when the Indian Board of Wildlife created a committee to look into the creation of the park. Carl Hagenbeck, the owner of the famous Hamburg Animal Park in West Germany, was hired to design and plan the zoological park. He came up with the idea of moat enclosures and presented a preliminary plan of the zoo, including waterways, walking trails, and sewage systems that got approved by the Indian Government in 1956. After three years of hard work and dedication, the park was inaugurated on November 1, 1959, as the Delhi Zoo. However, it was renamed the National Zoological Park by the then Indian Government, promoting it as an inspiration for other Zoological parks of the country.
Since then, this National Zoological Park has been a famous picnic spot in Delhi among people of all age groups. Furthermore, its unique collection of plants, birds, and animal species attract wildlife and nature lovers from all over the world.
Besides being a famous attraction, this National Zoology Park in Delhi is also a part of the conservation breeding program that is regulated by the Central Zoo Authority. The program involves the conservation of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, Asiatic Lion, Brow Antlered Deer, and the Red Jungle Fowl.
2. Flora and Fauna at the National Zoological Park, Delhi
Delhi’s National Zoological Park offers an enriched environment for animal and bird species to thrive. At the same time, it also plays an important role in the conservation of endangered species and reduces man-animal conflicts in urban areas. Here you can find many birds, mammals, reptiles, and other animals living in an environment that is close to their natural habitat. Some of the special attractions of this National Zoology Park in Delhi include White Tiger, Gaur, Jaguar, Rhinoceros, Elephants, Brow-Antlered Deer (Sangai), Lion Tailed Macaque, along with migratory birds, and other animals. Additionally, the lush greenery of the park is supported by over 100 varieties of trees and plants, some of them having medicinal value.
3. National Zoological Park, Delhi Timings and Entry Fee
The National Zoological Park is generally open for visitors from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in summers and 0:30 am to 4:00 pm in winters, i.e. 1st April to 15th October and 16th October to 31st March, respectively.
3.1 National Zoological Park Delhi Ticket Price
- Adults – Rs. 80 /head
- Children of 5 – 12 years and senior citizens over 60 years – Rs. 40 /head
- No entry fee for children below the age of 5 years
- Adults – (Other countries) Rs. 400 /head; (SAARC countries) Rs. 200 /head
- Children of 5 – 12 years – (Other countries) Rs. 200 /head; (SAARC countries) Rs. 100 /head
- No entry fee for children below the age of 5 years
The park also allows educational tours for both school and college students with a concessional entry fee. Details are mentioned below.
- Students (1st – 5th class) – No entry fee
- Students (6th – 8th class) – Rs. 20 /head
- Students (9th and Above) – Rs. 40 /head
- Staff members – Rs. 40 /head
NOTE: The Zoo is currently closed for the general public due to the COVID -19 pandemic. Any further intimation about the reopening of the National Zoological Park, Delhi, including timings, ticket price, etc will be updated here as well as on its official website.
4. How to Reach Delhi’s National Zoological Park?
The National Zoological Garden in Delhi is in proximity to the below-mentioned bus terminals and railway stations, making it easily accessible for guests in the city.
- Old Delhi Railway Station
- New Delhi Railway Station
- Sarai Kaley Khan Bus Terminal
- Inter-State Bus Terminal, Kashmiri Gate
Those travelling within the city can take the metro to the zoological park from the following stations.
- Khan Market Metro Station
- Pragati Maidan Metro Station
- Jawahar Lal Nehru Metro Station
Besides, the National Zoo is a few kilometres drive from the below-mentioned historical places in Delhi, allowing visitors to dive into the history of the capital city of India.
- Sabz Burz
- India Gate
- Nili Chhatr
- Nila Gumbad
- Purana Quila
- Lodhi Garden
- Talaqi Darwaza
- Safdarjung Tomb
- Humayun Tomb
- Tughlaqabad Fort
- Ashokan Rock Edict
- Nizam-ud-din’s Shrine
- Khairul Manzil Masjid
- Mehrauli Archaeological Park
5. Attractions of The National Zoological Park in Delhi
Here is what you can see at Delhi’s zoological park.
Black Buck, White Buck, Leopard, Chinkara, Chowsingha, Brow-Antlered Deer, Swamp Deer, Asiatic Elephant, Gibbon Hoolock, Panther, Lion, Single Horn Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wolf, Indian Bison, Sloth, Hog Deer, and Lion-tailed Macaque, Jackal, Langur, Himalayan Black Bear, Chimpanzee, and Barking Deer, among other rare and common mammals, can be spotted at the zoo.
Birdwatchers and wildlife photographers can spot a variety of rare and commonly found birds, including Grey Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Peafowl, Pheasant Kalij, Spoonbill, Vulture, Ibis, Heron, Jungle Fowl, Kite, Munai, Owl, Parakeet, Pelican, Stork, Cockatiel, Macaw, Emu, Finch, among many others.
The zoo also has a variety of this creepy yet beautiful species of animal, including snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles namely Boa Johns, Diadem, Sand Boa, Cobra, Monitor Lizard, Python, Checkered Keelback, Rat Snake, among others.
5.4 Exotic species
White Tiger, Hamdrayas Baboon, African Rhino, Japanese Brown Bear, Eland, Cape Buffalo, WaterBuck, among other rarely found animals are bred in the park.
5.5 Free-Ranging Animals
Reptiles like Snakes, Common Krait & Monitor Lizard, and mammals like Palm Civet, Porcupine, Mongoose & Squirrels can be found strolling on the paths of the park.
The zoological park is not only known for its wide range of animal species but also for a collection of 123 plant species, some of which are known for their medicinal value. The list includes Black Babool. Red Sandal Tree, Queensland Kauri, East Indian Walnut, Red Silk Cotton, Neem, Chinese Fan Palm, Kadam, Silver Oak, Teak, and many more.
6. Facilities for Visitors at The Zoological Park
As per the official website of the National Zoological Park, New Delhi, as many as 27 lakh people annually visit the place (pre-COVID-19 pandemic). Hence, the zoo authorities have arranged for the following facilities to ensure that the visitors have a joyful experience.
- Guide map
- ATM facility
- Souvenir shop
- Direction finding boards
- Battery operated trolley
- Washroom and Drinking water
- Wheelchair for specially-abled and senior citizens
7. Best Way to Take a Tour
The best way to see the animals at the zoo is to walk on foot. However, as some visitors come with babies or senior citizens, the authorities provide the facility of a wheelchair or baby pram. Besides, there are battery-operated trolleys available for visitors on a hire basis.
8. General Do’s and Don’ts
- Do not feed or tease the animals.
- Do not carry eatables to the zoo.
- Do not bring your pets to the zoo.
- Do not try to cross barriers and maintain the said distance.
- Do not play music inside the zoo, especially near the animals.
We hope that the given information will help you plan your weekend trip to this biodiversity treasure of India. Also, check out the Delhi tour package online to explore other attractions of the capital city of India.