Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Adults: INR 25,
Kids (Below 5 years): INR 10

Timings : 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Closed on Thursday)

Alipore Zoo, Kolkata Overview

The Alipore Zoo, also known as the Calcutta Zoo or the Zoological Garden of Alipore, is the oldest zoological park to have been established in India and is a major tourist attraction in Kolkata, West Bengal. The Alipore Zoo attracts tourists from all across the nation who visit the zoo to explore the wildlife that happily thrives here and to enjoy themselves. Spread over an area of 46.5 acres, the zoo has been operating since 1876, when it was first opened to the general public. The zoo is perhaps the most known for being the home of the expired Aldabra giant tortoise 'Adwaita', a tortoise who had lived for over 250 years before he died in the year 2006. The place is a must visit for nature enthusiasts, or for families with children, to explore the abundant and plentiful wildlife of the country at its best. 

The Alipore zoo is home to a variety of exotic animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, White Tiger, Grant's Zebra, Antelope, Deer and more. At the same time, the zoo is also the home to various attractive birds like Macaws and Lorikeet, colourful and flamboyant birds like Swinhoe's Pheasant, Lady Amherst's Pheasant and Golden Pheasant, large birds like Ostrich, Emu, Hornbills and more. During the winter season, the Alipore Zoo also becomes the dwelling place of a few migratory birds like the Sarus Crane.

The Alipore Zoo becomes especially crowded during the winter seasons when tourists flock to this popular destination in Kolkata in huge numbers. Modernisation of the zoo, including the addition of new glass-walled enclosures and building of aviaries, has further led to an increase in the popularity of this zoo. 

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History of Alipore Zoo

The Alipore zoo was initially established as a private menagerie by the then Governor General of India, Richard Wellesley, around the year 1800 as a part of the Indian Natural History Project. As more and more zoos started to spring up in major cities all around the world around this time, the British community in Kolkata also decided on upgrading the menagerie to a formal zoological garden. Edward VII, the then Prince of Whales, inaugurated the zoo on 1 January 1876 which was finally opened in Alipore to the general public on 6 May in the same year.

The zoo grew based on gifts from the British and Indian nobility. Many contributors, like Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV and Raja Suryakanta Acharya of Mymensingh, donated parts of, or all of their private menageries, to the Alipore Zoo. Lately, the zoo had been receiving a lot of flak and condemnation from the zoo community as well as environmentalists and nature conservationists. This critique of the zoo had majorly to do with the cramped cages of the zoo, as well as for the Panthera hybrid breeding program that the zoo followed, which was a cross-breeding experiment between lions and tigers.

Since then, the zoo has been witnessing significant developments rapidly. The Panthera program was stopped, and animals now stay in more open and better enclosures. Modernisation attempts that have taken place in the zoo include setting up of new glass-walled enclosures and the replacement of the original entry gate with an electronic entry based one.

Wildlife at Alipore Zoo

The Alipore Zoo is well known for the vast variety of mammals, birds and reptiles that stay here. The zoo maintains carnivorous animals like the Bengal tiger, jungle cat, jaguar, fishing cat, Himalayan black bear, sloth bear, etc. A myriad of herbivorous animals like swamp deer, brow-antlered, sambar deer, hog deer, barking deer, spotted deer, white fallow deer, blackbuck, Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Indian elephant, zebra and hippopotamus can also be found here. It is also not uncommon to spot animals like the chimpanzee, hamadryas baboon, bonnet monkey, olive baboon, rhesus monkey, Assamese monkey and common langur.

The zoo is also home to several colourful and exotic pheasants like the Chinese silver pheasant, golden pheasant, reeve's pheasant, Lady Amherst's pheasant, green pheasant and Nepal Kalij pheasant. Other birds found here include the bare-eyed cockatoo, citron crested cockatoo, sulphur-crested cockatoo, spoonbill, Sarus Crane, painted stork, adjutant stork, white stork and black-necked stork.

The Alipore zoo also has an exclusive Reptile House that is solely meant for the reptiles and is home to the Indian python, Indian cobra, common krait, banded krait, rat snake, checkered keelback water snake and common wolf snake.

Attractions at Alipore Zoo

The Alipore Zoo houses numerous attractions such as Reptile House, a Primate House, an Elephant House and a Panther House. A separate children's zoo is also present here, along with the Calcutta Aquarium, which lies across the street from the zoo, but is affiliated to the zoo.

Alipore Zoo Timings

The timings and schedule of the Alipore Zoo are as follows:
1. Zoo timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
2. Aquarium timings: 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
3. Ticket counter timings: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
4. Weekly off: Thursdays

If a Thursday falls on a public holiday, the zoo stays open for that day and then is closed on the next working day.
During the period of 15 December to 31 January, the zoo is open for all seven days.

Alipore Zoo Ticket Price

The fee structure to visit the Alipore Zoo is as follows:
1. For visitors above five years of age:
i) Days other than Saturdays, Sundays and government holidays: INR 25
ii) On Saturdays, Sundays and government holidays: INR 30
2. For visitors below five years of age: INR 10
3. Aquarium Charges: INR 5
4. Camera charges: NIL
5. Videography: INR 250 per hour

How To Reach Alipore Zoo

The Alipore Zoo is located on the Alipore Road that leads from Zerrut Bridge to Bevedre.
The nearest metro station is Netaji Bhavan, while the closest bus stop is at Ekbalpur. From both these places, the zoo is easily accessible via well-maintained roads and transport facilities.

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Kolkata Reviews

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Soumita Ghosh 1 year ago
Keep your belongings safe if you are planning to visit this place during the peak season as it tends to get extremely crowded. Booking a cab is perhaps the best option because the transportation system around this area is poor. Buses are rare and crowded. Also, no vehicle is allowed to stop in front of the zoo. Spare at least 3-4 hours if you wish to see every animal present here. Make sure to follow the map provided within the premises if you do not wish to miss out on anything. Apart from the zoo cafeteria, there are several food shacks. The zoo has more birds than animals.

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Ask a question from the travellers who have experience.

Q. Whether there is any food stall inside zoo premises ?

Hasan Sayed 6 months ago
Yes, you can find various stalls inside the zoo and there is also an air-conditioned cafeteria where you can get snacks
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