Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)

Time Required : 3-4 hrs

Entry Fee : Adults- INR 50
Children below 2 years- Free
Children aged  2-12 years- INR 20
Cameras- INR 25
Zoo round (Adult): INR 100
Zoo round (Child): INR 50

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Also Refered As:

Vandalur Zoo

Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai Overview

One of the most popular picnic spots in Vandalur, the Arignar Zoological Park is an amazing place to discover the flora and fauna of the region.  A favourite weekend spot with both children and adults alike, the Arignar Zoo is situated at a distance of 32 kilometres from Chennai city.

It is the largest zoo of its kind in South East Asia and is sprawled over an area of 1260 acres. In addition to having an extensive collection of endemic and exotic animals, visitors can experience the wild first hand with a trip to safari parks where lions and deer can be easily spotted.

Housing as many as 138 different species of organisms, this destination is every nature lover's paradise. Arinagar Anna Zoological Park is home to a variety of animals such as Himalayan brown bear, lion, tiger, elephant and Indian civit cat.

The zoo also has a reptile house which houses various species of reptiles including the king cobra, python, viper any much more. In addition to this, they have a small built-in Jurassic park which just adds on to the excitement. Elephant joy rides, children's park and an education centre are amongst the other special features of the park.

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History of Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The conception of the Arignar Anna Zoo happened in 1854 when Edward Green Balfour, the then director of the Government Central Museum at Madras, persuaded the Nawab of the Carnatic to donate his entire animal collection to the museum. The zoo was set up in the year 1855 and was the first public zoo established in India near the central railway station of Chennai. The municipal zoological garden occupied one end of the 116-acre park and welcomed the public free. However, the constant increase in the number of visitors prompted a change in the zoo's location and in 1976 it was moved to Vandalur. Rigorous work was started in the year 1979 and finally on 24 July 1985, the zoo was opened up to the public. The park has drawn its name from the Tamil politician, Mr Arinagar Anna. According to research, the park witnesses nearly 8,00,000 visitors in a year. The main objective of the park is to create awareness about the conservation of wildlife and try to put an end to the extinction of the endangered species.

Animals at Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a safe house for a number of different animals, plants and insect species. Some of these include barking deer, blackbuck, sambar, sangai, nilgai, wolf, tiger, jaguar, hog deer, jackal, hyena, lion, giraffe, camel, otter, llama, elephant, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, baboon, Hanuman langur and leaf-capped langur. Endangered and rare species such as Nilgiri macaques, monitor lizard, chimpanzees, European brown bear, Muscovy duck, giraffe, Bengal tiger, white tiger, lemur, macaque, vulture, and star tortoises are also included among the 46 such species here. In addition to the endemic animal species, exotic creatures such as emu and cassowary are also found here. In addition to these, many colourful butterflies thrive in the plantations here.

Areas of Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is divided into a different number of sections where you can inspect and learn more about the animals here in an easier way. They are as follows:-

1. Sanctuary aviaries: There are two aviaries in the Arignar Anna Zoo which are built along the lines of bird sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu. The first one is the Point Calimere Aviary which represents a sanctuary on a bay on the Coromandel Coast while the other is Vedanthangal Sanctuary Aviary represents a sanctuary located in the district of Kanchipuram. Migratory birds such as flamingos, seagulls, teals, storks and herons can be spotted at Point Calimere all year round while Vedanthangal hosts white ibis, painted stork, night heron and grey heron.
2. Walk-through aviary: The Walk-Through Avery is also built to facilitate the free flight of about 245 species of birds found in the Arignar Anna Zoo. Birds like Alexandrine parakeet, rose-ringed parakeet, blue rock pigeon, common myna, Indian koel, common babbler, White-browed Bulbul, francolin, red-vented bulbul, red-whiskered bulbul, wagtail, pipit, orange-headed thrush, Red-wattled Lapwing, little brown dove and spotted dove can be found frolicking here.
3. Butterfly House: One of the most endearingly colourful sections of the zoo, the Butterfly house attracts butterflies such as the common Mormon, crimson rose, mottled emigrant, blue tiger, evening brown and lime butterfly. It has been built to simulate the butterflies' natural habitat and is ornamented with bushes, lianas, streams, waterfall and rock-gardens. 
4. Reptile House: Also known as the Serpentarium, this enclosure has 4 species of poisonous and 10 species of non-poisonous snakes. It contains a total of 104 snakes, including 41 Indian pythons, 21 Burmese pythons and four cobras.
5. Amphibian House: Interestingly, Arignar Anna Zoo is the only zoo to have a special enclosure dedicated to amphibians. Animals such as Indian tree frog, common Indian toad, Indian bullfrog, Indian cricket frog and Indian pond frog are exhibited at the Amphibian Centre. 
6. Crocodile Enclosure: Crocodiles such as the gharial, marsh crocodile, saltwater crocodile and the American spectacled caiman are exhibited at the Crocodile Enclosure in Arignar Anna Zoo. The park has an impressive collection of six major varieties, namely, Indo-Pacific or the saltwater crocodile, swamp crocodile, Nile crocodile of Africa, Orinoco crocodile, Morelet's crocodile and American crocodile.
7. Primate House: Primate House is an all exclusive section dedicated to animals such as lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, capped langur and chimpanzee. 
8. World of nocturnal animals: Six species of nocturnal animals are found here. One peculiarity of the animals here is that their biological cycles have been modified in such a manner that they are active during the daytime and sleep during the nighttime.

The zoo also has an aquarium, a small mammals house and other sections including the prey-predator concept enclosures and prehistoric animals and insectarium complex. 

Safari at Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park also offers lion safari, gaur safari, elephant safari and deer safari, where you can take a closer look at these animals. You will be taken through the natural habitat of the particular animal who's safari you choose, and you can learn a lot about the ways of the jungle. The most popular here is the lion safari, which gives you a chance to spot this majestic animal in all its might. The details of the same are as follows:-

Lion Safari Charges
Adults: INR 50
Children: INR 30
Camera Fee: INR 35
Camera Phone Fee: INR  25
Camcorder Fee (Video Camera Fee): INR  150

Tips For Visiting Arignar Anna Zoological Park

1. It is advisable to not feed the animals in there or hurt them in any manner possible. This might lead to serious repercussions.
2. Smoking or bringing alcohol inside the park is not allowed.

How To Reach Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Since the zoological park is situated 32 km away from Chennai city, you can take a bus/cab up to the park.
Vandalur is the nearest railway station which is situated 1 km away from the zoological park. You can easily take a cab further and reach the park.

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