The first public zoological park of India, Arignar Zoological Park aka Vandalur Zoo is located in Vandalur. It was established in 1855, affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India. Thanks to its impeccable management that it is still one of the most popular tourist attractions locally; visited by large groups of tourists all year round.
The Aringar Zoological Park remains open for all days of the week except Tuesdays. The timings are 9 am-6 pm.
Indian children above 5 years and below 12 years will be charged INR 35
Foreign children above 5 years and below 12 years will be charged INR 250
Locals will have to shell out INR 75
Whereas the foreign nationals will have to shell out INR 500
For taking the Handycam inside, the locals will have to pay INR 250, whereas, for the same, foreign nationals will have to pay INR 500.
For videocam, locals will have to pay an extra INR 500 whereas foreign nationals will have to shell out INR 1000
History of Arignar Anna Zoological Park
It was in 1854 when Edward Green Balfour, who was the director of Government Central Museum at Madras had convinced the Nawab of Carnatic (Arcot) to donate his animal collection to the museum. Due to this step of the Nawab, soon, a large number of visitors started gathering at the museum turned zoo.
It is said that within a year, the zoo had over 300 animals which included mammals, birds, and even reptiles. And eventually, the zoological park ended up being a popular tourist attraction in Madras. Later on, it was then transferred to the Madras Corporation and was shifted to People’s Park near Chennai Central railway station.
Then, by 1975, it was moved out of the city. The reason behind this step was space constraints as well as increased noise pollution. By 1976, the forest department of Tamil Nadu gave away 1,265 acres in the Vandalur Reserve Forest. For building the same, work started off in 1979 and it was only by 1985 that the zoo was officially opened for the public.
Major Attractions in and Around Arignar Anna Zoological Park
1. Ranganatha Temple
One of the Hindu temples in Srirangam, the Ranganatha temple is devoted to Lord Ranganatha which is one of the forms of the great deity Vishnu. While on your visit to this incredible tourist getaway, you can feel the spiritual vibes. Apart from that, the magnificent Dravidian architecture of the temple will take your breath away.
2. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial
This memorial was established where the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. It is a very interesting place to spend some quality time with your loved ones.
3. Fort St. George
Built-in 1975, this is the very first English fortress in India. The fort consists of the former Anglican Church, St. Mary’s Church. Also, it has a St. George Fort Museum, a Flag Staff, and Wellesley House. Overall, it is a very interesting place to visit while on your trip to the zoo.
4. Kishkinta Water Theme Park
The theme park is located nearby Vandalur Railway Station in Chennai. A great place to enjoy yourself with your loved ones. It offers the tourists exciting dry rides and is also an ideal destination for family and group entertainment as well.
How to Reach Arignar Anna Zoological Park
The nearest airport is the Chennai International Airport. It is located 15-16 km from the Thiruvanimiyur area. After deboarding at the airport, you can easily get a cab and reach your destination.
You can also travel by well-maintained road networks to Anna Zoological Park, Chennai. Depending on your location, you will need to choose to travel either by bus or your own vehicle. As for traveling by bus, the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal is considered to be one of the largest bus terminals in all of Asia. According to data, buses from nearby seven connecting states have good connectivity with this place.
You can also consider traveling to Chennai by railways as well. It is to be noted that Chennai has three major railway stations namely Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, and Tambaram Railway Station. After deboarding at one of these railway terminals, you will need to further travel by some means of public transport like a cab.