Plan Your Visit to Alipore Zoological Gardens: Kolkata’s Best Zoo
Alipore Zoological Gardens, also known as Kolkata Zoo, is one of the oldest and most iconic zoological parks in India. Established in 1876, the zoo is located in the heart of Kolkata and is home to a wide variety of animals, birds, and reptiles from across the world. With its lush greenery, tranquil atmosphere, and diverse collection of wildlife, the zoo is a popular tourist attraction and a great place to learn about different animal species. In this article, we will explore the history, attractions, and highlights of Alipore Zoological Gardens.
All about Alipore Zoological Gardens
Popular names for the Alipore Zoological Gardens in Kolkata include Calcutta Zoo and Alipore Zoo. It is the busiest tourist destination in Kolkata, West Bengal, and the first officially declared zoo in all of India. The zoological garden, which spans 46.5 acres, was built and made accessible to the public in 1876. The Alipore Zoo is well known for housing several native species of animals, reptiles, and birds over the past 140 years. Now extinct Aldabra gigantic tortoise “Adwaita,” who lived for 250 years before passing away in the year 2006, is the most well-known of them.
Winter is the busiest travel season in West Bengal, and at that time, there are many tourists from across the world visit the location. Numerous migratory birds’ presence draws tourists and bird enthusiasts alike.
History of Alipore Zoological Gardens
Around 1800, Richard Wellesley, the then-Governor General of India, began keeping a small collection of animals at his summer residence in Barrackpore, Kolkata. This collection eventually evolved into what is now known as the Alipore Zoological Gardens. The Indian Natural History Project included the menagerie’s establishment.
Dr. John McCleland, the curator of the Bengal Asiatic Society Museum at the time, made his first unsuccessful attempt to start a zoological park in Calcutta in 1842, but it received no attention. About 20 years later, in 1867, Dr. Joseph Bart Fayer made an attempt to propose the concept of establishing a zoological park. He was the President of the Asiatic Society of Bengal at the time. This time, the concept received a lot of good feedback from the public but was abandoned since no appropriate site was available. Carl Louis Schwendier, who was the Government of India’s postmaster at the time, created a prospective zoological park plan in 1873, but it was shelved until a suitable location was chosen.
In 1875, the Government of India finally granted the property on each side of Alipore Road, which runs from Zerrut Bridge to Belvedere, in an effort to establish a zoological garden after three previous failed efforts. On September 24, 1875, the Lt. Governor General of Bengal gave his consent. Mr. Carl Louis Schwendler gave the zoo his initial collection of specimens, and by December 1875, a number of other benefactors had contributed a sizeable sum. The donations came from both British and Indian nobles, and those on the list included Raja Suryakanta Acharya of Mymensingh and Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, who gave some or all of their private zoos.
On December 9, 1875, Schwendler and renowned botanist George King formed the first management committee. The first meeting of the committee took place on December 10, 1875. The Alipore Zoological Garden was officially opened to the public on May 1st, 1876, following the completion of the necessary paperwork and entry cost negotiations.
Without mentioning Rai Bahadur Ram Brahma Sanyal, the first Superintendent of the park, who devotedly worked towards the improvement and upkeep of animals in the zoo, the mention of Alipore Zoological Park is incomplete. At a time when captive breeding programmes were relatively unknown, his contribution to the zoo’s programme became a significant success story. In the year 1892, he released a book titled “A Handbook of the Management of Wild Animals in Captivity in Lower Bengal”. When it was published, the book was the first of its sort.
How to Reach Alipore Zoo Kolkata
The Zoo is located close to park street in the southern region of Kolkata. Everyone has easy access to that. The Metro train is the most convenient mode of transportation from the city. Take any southbound train by simply walking to Alipore Rail Station’s Gate No. 3. which is typically at 10-minute intervals.
Howrah Station: Howrah station is a good starting point for visiting the Zoo. To travel to the Zoo, first, take a bus from Howrah to Khidirpore, and then a car. From either Howrah, you may reserve a taxi or cab. One cab may cost between 300 and 400. Another simple method to go to the zoo is via Sealdah Station; the distance between the station and the zoo is just 7-8 km. The best and most affordable method to go to the Zoo is via bus, which is readily accessible close to the station. You can reserve a cab in advance or hire a taxi; the fare would be about 100 rupees per person.
Animals to see in the Zoo
The Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals. In addition to numerous more, some of them are the Striped Hyena, Rhinoceros, Tiger, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Lion, Jaguar, Monkeys, Zabra, Kangaroo, Bear, and Elephants. One of the busiest areas of the Zoo is the tiger cave. It has a plethora of exotic mammals, birds, and reptiles. There are around 1266 creatures totaling 108 species, including a mixture of carnivorous, herbivorous, and primate species. The assortment of carnivorous animals also includes other well-known species including the Himalayan black bear, sloth bears, lions, leopards, and a jaguar.
The herbivorous animals in this area include zebra, Nilgai, Indian elephant, Indian one-horned rhinoceros, and hippopotamus in addition to brow-antlered deer or Eld’s deer, a native and endangered species that are particularly found in Manipur’s Keibul Lamjao National Park. Exotic primates including chimpanzees, olive baboons, hamadryas baboons, and common marmosets are among the group. While native primates including the bonnet monkey, rhesus monkey, Assamese monkey, and common langur are among them. Several rare pheasants, including the Chinese Silver Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, Reeves’ Pheasant, Green Pheasant, and Nepal Kalij Pheasant, may be found in the zoo gardens. In addition to this, the zoo also cares for a sizable flock of Bhutan Grey Peacock Pheasants.
Bare-Eyed Cockatoos, Citron Crested Cockatoos, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Moluccan Cockatoos, Goffin’s Cockatoos, and macaws such as the Red and Blue Macaw and Blue and Yellow Macaw are among the cockatoos in the collection. The Alipore Zoo’s reptiles make their home in a unique area known as “The Reptile House,” which was created and furnished, especially for each resident. The snake cages are modeled to give the impression that they are more authentic and lifelike.
Indian Python, Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Banded Krait, Rat Snake, Checkered Keelback Water Snake, and Common Wolf Snake are a few of the snake species that may be found here. The muggers, sometimes known as marsh crocodiles, are displayed in a naturalistic enclosure with a water feature and a sunbathing area, and gharials are displayed next to the mugger enclosure’s pool.
Best Time to visit Alipore Zoo Kolkata
The Alipore Zoo is open all year round. However, because of the beautiful weather, winter, between December and February, is the best season to visit the zoological gardens.
Alipore Zoo Ticket Price
For children above 5 years of age and adults:
Monday to Friday (except Thursdays) – INR 25
Saturdays, Sundays, and Government Holidays – INR 30
For children below 5 years of age: INR 10
Aquarium Charges: INR 5
Camera Charges: No Charges
Video shoots: INR 250 per hour
Alipore Zoo Timings
Zoo Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Aquarium Timings: 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Ticket Counter Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Note: Thursdays are a closed day at the zoo. The zoo is open on the Thursday in question and is closed the following day if it falls on a public holiday.
On each of the seven days between December 15 and January 31, the zoo is open.
Q: What animals can I expect to see at Alipore Zoo?
A: Alipore Zoo is home to a wide range of animals, including exotic mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Visitors can encounter magnificent creatures like tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, crocodiles, snakes, colorful birds, and many more. The zoo aims to create a natural habitat for the animals, ensuring their well-being and comfort.
Q: Are there any special attractions or exhibits at Alipore Zoo?
A: Yes, Alipore Zoo offers several special attractions and exhibits to enhance the visitor experience. Some notable highlights include the Reptile House, Aviary, Primate House, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Zoo, and the recently added African Savannah exhibit. These attractions provide unique insights into the fascinating world of animals and their habitats.
Q: Can I have a picnic or enjoy leisure activities at Alipore Zoo?
A: Alipore Zoo offers ample space and designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a picnic amidst nature’s beauty. The sprawling lawns provide an ideal spot for relaxation and leisure activities. However, it’s important to follow the zoo’s guidelines and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals and visitors.
Q: Are there any facilities and amenities available for visitors at Alipore Zoo?
A: Yes, Alipore Zoo provides various facilities and amenities to enhance the visitor experience. These include clean restroom facilities, drinking water stations, food stalls, souvenir shops, and ample parking space. The zoo is wheelchair accessible, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors.
Alipore Zoological Gardens is a must-visit destination for animal lovers, nature enthusiasts, and tourists visiting Kolkata. With its impressive collection of animals, birds, and reptiles, the zoo offers a unique opportunity to learn about different species and their habitats. Visitors can explore the zoo’s many attractions, including the Primate House, Elephant House, Reptile House, and Aviary. Whether you’re looking for a fun family outing or a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, Alipore Zoological Gardens is the perfect place to go. So why wait? Plan your visit today and experience the wonder of this iconic zoo for yourself.
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