Maitri Bagh, which translates to Garden of Friendship, is a zoo cum park and a serene attraction for adults and children alike. It is the biggest zoo in the region of Bhilai. It offers a wide array of options for one’s entertainment and caters to the thrill and delight of the visitors. The entrance gate flaunts a pair of giraffe models that welcome all the excited visitors. Maitri Bagh was established as a symbol of friendship between the USSR and India, in the year of 1972. The Bhilai Steel Plant, SAIL developed it. It is also widely referred to as The Friendship Park and is visited by tourists in huge numbers.
Entry and Timings
The entry fee to the Maitri Bagh Zoo is INR 20 for Indian nationals and INR 10 for Indian children. The fee is INR 20 for foreign nationals, and the entry is free for children of a non-Indian nationality. Maitri Bagh remains closed on all Mondays. The operating hours of the zoo are from 10 AM to 5 PM on all days of the week (except Monday). The park is open from 10 AM to 7:30 PM. The musical fountain takes place from 7 PM onwards on only Saturdays and Sundays. The operating hours of the toy train ride are from 3 PM to 6 PM on the open days. Guides are available on request.
How to Reach Maitri Bagh
Maitri Bagh is located in Bhilai, very close to Bhilai Waterworks. Once in the town of Bhilai, travellers can opt for either auto-rickshaws or hire a private vehicle. The nearest airport to Bhilai is the Swami Vivekanand Airport in Raipur. It is also well connected by both rail and road. It is approximately 9 km from the District Headquarters.
Activities and Attractions
The Maitri Bagh Zoo is spread over an area of about 167 acres and is home to several exotic animals and birds. White tigers are the main attraction of this zoo. You can also find 39 species of animals, birds and reptiles including a bunch of endangered species.
There is a musical fountain situated on the island in the artificial lake of Maitri Bagh. This dynamic display shoots, twists and sprays jets of water into the air in response to the pulsating beats and rhythm that accompanies it. Each movement of the jets of water is lit by brilliant colours making all of it an enthralling presentation and is sure to leave you awestruck.
Maitrey Express ride is the toy train that covers the whole zoo and is a hit among the children. There is also a flower show that is held here annually and is frequented by locals and tourists. Huge amounts and varieties of flowers and vegetables are put on display, making it a colourful sight to behold.
You can organise a picnic, sit beside the calm and beautiful lakes, take a refreshing stroll in the park, witness the musical fountain, visit the zoo, hop onto the toy train and end the day by getting a picture clicked at Pragathi Mandir.
The broad spectrum of activities offered in Maitri Bagh is bound to keep its visitors pleasantly occupied for hours at a stretch. Travellers are recommended to visit this Garden of Friendship, while in Chhattisgarh, along with their friends and family and experience the several attractions that it has to present.