A couple of weekends ago, we made a quick trip to the Nehru Zoological Park, aka the Hyderabad Zoo. We had heard about it a lot from all our friends and so we decided to give it a try.
We were in for a surprise. The zoo is probably one of the best kept ones in India – and it’s not an exaggeration. My memory of Indian zoo is the one from Mumbai where animals are really poorly kept and look old and starving. That’s not the case here. The zoo is well maintained, animals are healthy and kept in their natural habitats (instead of tiny cages). In fact the zoo is so huge that people usually make it a day trip complete with a picnic lunch.
The atmosphere at the main entrance is very festive with balloon sellers, street hawkers, kids running around with big smiles on their faces eager to start the fun day and their parents chasing them so that they don’t lose them while trying to buy tickets, check their cameras and tote lunch bags.
We went a bit late in the morning around 11:00 am. By the time we reached the zoo and bought the tickets, it was about noon. We chose to take our car inside the zoo for the additional price of Rs. 750 – which on second thoughts was a mistake. We should have simply parked the car outside and walked outside. There is a train inside as well as Safari’s to see the animals up close. I think there is a bus that goes in a circuit so you can hop on and off where you please.
Theer are paid restrooms and refreshment centers as well. Photography is allowed. Normal point and shoots are included in the ticket with an additional charge for professional camera’s.
Some pics from our visit with our trusty Canon.
- White tiger – Larger and healthier than the ones in Mirage, Las Vegas.
- Leopards – Varun was asking the leopard to ‘walk’ and not ‘sleep’
- Tiger – Woke up its sleep and took a walk in the moat for a refreshing dip.
- Fox – Elusive creatures waiting for us to take a pic!
- Elephants – Varun loves them!
- Deer- They reminded me of our home in Seattle and many an occasion when we have spotted them driving home or even in our backyard.
- Birds – Lots and lots of birds. starting with Black necked Ibis
- And a red-headed bird – making this up as I don’t know the name 😉
- And some kissing birds – they were probably sharing a fish!
The zoo was crowded around all exhibits. And people ran from one place to other as the animals moved around.
But the zoo also has quiet paths where no one goes – not the restricted areas but just the ones that let you wander around the park and take in the nature.
Varun just liked being in the open and away from the crowds.
Varun was initially excited to see the animals, but after 40 mins or so, he was happier to run on the open lawn, play with the water hose and generally do everything but watch the animals. Mid day heat and nap time aborted our visit and we returned back by 3:00 pm.
We loved the zoo, and we hope to go next time earlier in the day and take the lion safari – hopefully when Varun’s cousins are visiting!