Mumbai Zoo

3.8 / 5 70 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 2-3 hrs

Timings:

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee:

Adults: INR 100,
Kids (3-12 years): INR 25
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Mumbai Zoo, Mumbai Overview

Formerly known as Ranichi Bagh meaning Queen's Gardens, Jijamata Udyan is the only zoo in the city of Mumbai. Its former name is a depiction of the original British name Victoria Gardens.  Now it is also known as Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, named after the mother of Shivaji, the hero of Maratha Empire. The zoo is located in the heart of the city in Byculla. Built in 1861, it is the only zoo of Mumbai and one of the oldest in India. In the zoo, you can witness many wild animals in separate enclosures such as lion, monkeys, crocodiles, elephants and many more.

The aviary has a good collection of bright and noisy birds. The zoo is going through a revamping procedure which will add many exciting features to the premise as well as bring in many more species of animals. The renovation will also include a medicinal garden, a butterfly enclosure and a tactical garden for the visually impaired. Currently, the zoo has opened up the penguin enclosure for the public where 8 cheerful and friendly penguins entertain you with their cute antics.

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The zoo is a haven for around 180 mammals, 500 birds, and 40 reptiles. Spread over an area of 48 acres, the zoo has nearly 3000 species of trees, most of which are rare.

This zoo currently is a home to varieties of animals like lion, hyena, foxes, monitor lizards, black bucks, monkeys, bears, hippos, crocodiles and langoors. There is an open enclosure for a group of black spotted deer, and another one for two elephants called Anarkali and Laxmi. They have secure borders following the safety rules laid down by the authorities. The zoo also housed a variety of rare species of snakes, but after an incident few years back of a boa going missing, the reptile house was shut down. The zoo also has separate houses for lesser known species like Indian striped Hyena, Dhols or wild dogs and many more. The zoo aviary houses rare albino crows, flamingos and peacocks.

The botanical garden has a much more population and variety compared to the number of animals. Big trees of different species cover the entire area giving shade to the animals as well as for the visitors along the path. They are also home to large groups of bats which you can notice in the darker parts of the zoo. The trees offer the area a natural look and the peacefulness required to be able to witness the animals at their best.

The zoo is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day of the week.

The current entry fees for the Mumbai Zoo are INR 25 per child of age 3-12, INR 50 for anyone beyond the age of 12 and INR 100 for a family of four. In case of a fifth or sixth person, they will be charged as per usual rates.

Built in 1861 under the British Rule and named after the then Empress of the country, Queen Victoria, Jijamata Udyan is now colloquially referred to as Rani Bagh by the local people of Mumbai. The zoo was donated to the Government of Bombay by Mr. David Sasson, a Jewish businessman. He was the man responsible for developing other great heritage structures like the David Sasson Library, the Victoria tower clock inside the zoo and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The zoo is now under the care of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum was originally established in 1855 by Lord Elphinstone as the first ever museum of Bombay and called it the Central Museum of Natural History, Economy, Geology, Industry and Arts by the initiative of George Buist. Later it was renovated and reconstructed with the patronage of many wealthy Indian businessmen and social elites. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad was one of them, after whom the museum was renamed in 1975. The museum again went through restoration procedures in the 2003 and 2007 under Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

The museum displays a huge collection of artefacts and remnants of archaeological and historical importance like clay models, silver, bronze and copper ware, costumes and weapons of the past. Among its most note-worthy possessions, there is a 17th century manuscript of Hatim Tai and a recovered structure of a monolithic basalt elephant originating from the Elephanta Island outside.

The latest and very interesting addition to the zoo is the penguin enclosure that is the home for 3 male, 3 female and 2 baby penguins brought in from Seoul, South Korea, as of now. The 1700 square feet area is maintained at 16 degree Celsius or less to create the perfect environment and temperature for the cold climate creatures. The authorities hope to breed the males and females and bring in more additions to the current breed.

The Mumbai Zoo has been going through a renovation and rebuilding procedure for the last few years and very soon it will open up enclosures for many more types of animals and varied species like chimpanzee, cheetah, lowland gorilla, giraffes, zebras, tigers, leopards, pangolin, mouse deer, orang-utans, wild cats and so on, as permitted by the Central Zoo Authorities. The animals will be brought from different parts of the world - Asia, Europe, Australia and even the home of the wilderness, Africa. The revamping also includes theme parks, animal rides, taxidermy collection, parking space, souvenir shops and food stalls.

As part of the same revamping process, the zoo will come up with 3 new gardens - butterfly garden, an enclosure for hundreds of different species of vibrant butterflies; medicinal garden, a paradise for the science students interested in the wellness properties of different herbs such as tulsi, lemongrass, brahmi, etc and a tactical garden for the visually impaired housing flower shrubs with strong natural fragrance.

The zoo is located exactly opposite of the Byculla Railway Station and thus only a few minutes walk from the station for visitors using the central railway route. For the western railway route, the closest station is Mumbai Central from where a taxi which will take you to the zoo in 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to avoid travelling by train, there are bus routes from the different part of Mumbai; cabs and hired cars are also easily available for a one-day trip.

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