3. Out-V-Go: Vandalur Zoo

I have been yearning to continue the Out-V-Go series that I started a while ago.Though I visited a couple of story telling sessions, magic shows, circus could not blog about them. Anyways, leaving behind the passing clouds, I am here with a new post about ” Vandalur Zoo”.

Zoo website: Vandalur Zoo

Address:

ARIGNAR ANNA ZOOLOGICAL PARK
Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600048
Ph.Off.044-22751089, Fax.044-22750741

How to reach?

Vandalur is very well-connected with trains and buses from most parts of the city. The closest railway station and bus stop are named after the Zoo.

Timings to visit: 9:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M

Working days: All days except Tuesday

Parking : Ample car parking is available. If the parking near the zoo is occupied, there is a new parking lot just closer by.

Parking charges: Rs.20/- for cars, Rs.10/- for bikes

Type of tickets / Charges:

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Let me explain:

a) Ticket – Entry ticket is considered as a full day pass. In case you wish to take a break in between, you are welcome to do that with a re-entry to the zoo at  any point of time during the day.

b) Zoo round vehicle – Depending on the number of members, there are two types of vehicles to ferry us around. Members upto 6 to 8 are accommodated in the battery cars and any team with more than 6 are allotted the TATA Ace.

c) Lion / Deer safari – In a properly shielded bus for about 30 minutes.

d) Camera charges – Cameras in the mobiles are also chargeable. ( Invariably, that means mobile phones are charged, wonder who carries phones without cameras these days??)

e) Cycle Fees-
 
Refundable amount per cycle – Rs.200
Deluxe – Rs.25
Adult bicycle – Rs.15
Child bicycle – Rs.12
Pram – Rs.15
Best time to visit the  Vandalur zoo: November to February ( Only because the weather is pleasant and so you can spend good time inside the zoo)
Our experience:
It was a pleasant Saturday morning and  it was the perfect day to plan our outing the zoo.

We live about 25 kms away from the zoo. We started at around 10:00 A.M from our home and reached by 11:30 A.M with a pit-stop for breakfast.  Apparently, the zoo is crowded in the weekends and this weekend was no different. After parking our car, we stood in a queue for about 10 minutes to purchase the tickets ( Entry, camera, vehicle, safari ) and moved ahead. Card payment is not accepted, please carry cash for the same.

At the entrance, bags are checked. Plastic bags, snacks, food items are not allowed inside the zoo. As we pass through the entrance, there is a beautiful waterfall that welcomes us.

There are direction boards, maps all around to guide us. Once we pass through the entrance, depending on how we want to go around the zoo ( Walk/ battery car / cycles), there are clear direction boards. We opted for the battery car and moved in that direction.

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Since, we opted for battery car, we moved ahead to the car queue. Before the battery car, we decided to take the Lion and Deer Safari so that we can preserve the energy to see the rest of the zoo. We managed to grab a comfortable window seat in the Safari bus, which might be about 20-seater and proceeded. All the Lions were lousily sleeping, it might be a very habitual thing for them every day that the buses come with group of people to see them. There were about 6 lions properly caged.

From there, the same vehicle proceeded to Deer safari. There were quite a good number of reindeers and spotted deers which were enjoying their lunch at the time we visited them. It took about 30 minutes for both the safaris. Once we were back from the safari, we had to wait for about 5-10 minutes for our the battery car.

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This vehicle ferries us around the zoo in an hour by pit-stopping at almost each animal. Since the weather was pleasant, we enjoyed the ride and saw all the animals in close proximity. I need to mention our driver, Senthil was very courteous and detailed us about each of them.

We saw monkeys, chimpanzee, birds, panthers, cheetah, tigers, snakes, giraffe, zebra, elephant ( the list I remember). Overall, it was a nice experience to spend a quality day.

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Points to note:

  1. Cards are not accepted. Please carry enough cash.
  2. Outside food is not allowed. So, I recommend you have a good breakfast and proceed to the zoo. Inside the  Zoo, there is Hotel Tamilnadu located near the entrance, where there are options for lunch though the standards do not seem great.
  3. There is Hotel Sangeetha in close proximity to the zoo (outside zoo).
  4. All the tickets (safari, battery car, camera) need to be purchased only at the entrance. I have seen many people ignorant of this information and walking back to the entrance after waiting for the safari.
  5. There are refreshments points inside the zoo with options of milk, coffee, tea etc.
  6. Things to carry: Sun glasses, water bottles.
  7. Foot wear: Wear comfortable footwear as you might have to walk long distances.
  8. We preferred the battery car as we were skeptical about our kid getting cranky after long walks inside the zoo.
  9. If you are going as a group, it might be good to opt for bicycles or walk to have the maximum fun.
  10. Try visiting the zoo in the cooler seasons to avoid the harsh sun.
  11. One tip to save time: The zoo officials allot a number on first come first serve basis for the battery car. So, it would be a good option to get yourselves a number allotted and proceed for the Safari. By the time the Safari is finished, you might be at the right time for your battery car.
  12. Carry enough water.
  13. Please do not litter. Currently, the zoo is maintained litter free and looks very tidy.
  14. Do not tease the animals.
  15. If you are visiting in summer, do make sure you see the elephant bath time, which is around 3:00 P.M to 4:00 P.M regularly.

Vandalur Zoo is one of the best places to visit if you have kids, if you are an animal lover, if you would like to explore your photography skills or if you would just like to chill on a regular day. Hope this post helps you to plan your trip.

Please check my posts about other Out-V-Go series here

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