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Wild India: Exploring the Top 10 Private Zoos Established Over the Years

by In-house Editor

India is a land of incredible biodiversity, home to a rich tapestry of wildlife that includes rare and exotic species. While government-run zoos are well-known, private zoos have also emerged as significant contributors to wildlife conservation and education. In this article, we take you on a virtual tour of the top 10 private zoos in India, where you can witness an array of captivating creatures up close.

1. Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai, Tamil Nadu:

The Vandalur Zoo, occasionally referred to as Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), is a zoological garden situated in Vandalur.It is the first public zoo in India, having opened its doors in 1855. It is connected to India’s Central Zoo Authority.(8) The park is the biggest zoological park in India, spanning 602 hectares (1,490 acres) with the inclusion of a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation center. 

2. Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, Junagadh, Gujarat:

The 84-hectare (210-acre) Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, commonly called Sakkarbaug Zoo or Junagadh Zoo, is located in Junagadh, Gujarat, India. It was established in 1863. For the critically endangered species, the zoo supplies purebred Asiatic lions for the Indian and worldwide endangered species captive breeding program. Asiatic lions roaming freely in the wild have become extinct in much of the continent and are now restricted to the Gir Forest, which is close.

3. Alipore Zoological Gardens, Kolkata, West Bengal:

The Zoological Garden, Alipore (also known as the Alipore Zoo or Kolkata Zoo) is India’s oldest legally designated zoological park and a popular tourist destination in Kolkata, West Bengal. It has been operating as a zoo since 1876 and spans 18.811 hectares (46.48 acres). It is arguably most known as the home of the Aldabra giant tortoise Adwaita, who died in 2006 at the age of over 250 years..

4. Mysore Zoo, Mysuru, Karnataka:

Officially named as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore Zoo (also known as Mysuru Zoo) was established in 1892 from the private menagerie of Chamaraja Wadiyar X, the twenty-third Maharaja of Mysore. It is a combination of an animal park and zoological gardens that may be found in Mysore, Karnataka, in southern India. It is the oldest zoo in India and among the oldest in the world, spanning 157 acres.With more than 168 species, it’s one of the most well-liked zoos in India and a top tourist destination in the city.

5. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling, West Bengal:

The 67.56-acre (27.3 hectare) Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, better known as the Darjeeling Zoo, is located in the Indian state of West Bengal’s town of Darjeeling. The year 1958 saw the opening of the zoo.It boasts effective captive breeding operations for the red panda, snow leopard, and endangered Himalayan wolf. It specializes in rearing species adapted to alpine circumstances. Each year, over 300,000 people visit the zoo. The park bears the name Padmaja Naidu (1900–1975), Sarojini Naidu’s daughter.

6. Nehru Zoological Park, Bahadurpura, Hyderabad:

Nehru Zoological Park was officially opened to the public on October 6, 1963 named after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, which is managed by the Telangana government’s forest department.The 600-acre Mir Alam Tank is next to the 380-acre (150 ha) zoo. The zoo is home to around 100 different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Native creatures including the Indian rhino, Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, panther, gaur, Indian elephant, slender loris, and python are among them, along with deer, antelopes, and birds.

7. Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru, Karnataka:

Bengaluru is home to the zoological garden known as Bannerghatta Biological Park, also referred to as the Bannerghatta Zoo. When it first opened in 1974, Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) had a small zoo and picnic area. 2002 saw the division of the National Park and the Biological Park. With a total area of 731.88 hectares, the Bannerghatta Biological Park is home to a zoo, safari park, butterfly park, and rescue center.

8. The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu:

Situated in Tamil Nadu, to the south of Chennai, lies the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology (MCBT), a herpetological research station and reptile zoo. Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the center is recognized as both a zoo and a registered trust. It is governed by the Central Zoo Authority, which is part of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Government of India. It was founded in 1976 with the intention of protecting three threatened Indian crocodile species: the gharial, the saltwater crocodile, and the marsh or mugger crocodile, all of which were on the verge of extinction at the time the trust was founded.

9. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh:

The zoological park bears Indira Gandhi’s name, the former Indian prime minister. On May 19, 1977, it was proclaimed publically accessible. It occupies 625 acres (253 hectares) of land. There are over eight hundred animals at the zoo, representing nearly eighty different species.

10. Nandankanan Zoological Park, Bhubaneswar, Odisha:

In Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, there is a 437-hectare (1,080-acre) zoo and botanical park called Nandankanan Zoological Park. It was initially opened to the public in 1979 after being founded in 1960, and in 2009 it became the first zoo in India to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). In addition, a portion of the botanical garden has been designated as a sanctuary. Literally translated, Nandankanan means “The Garden of Heaven.”


Private zoos in India not only provide a platform for wildlife enthusiasts to witness these incredible creatures but also actively engage in conservation efforts, breeding programs, and public awareness campaigns. Each of these zoos offers a unique experience, and a visit to any of them is not only an opportunity to see wildlife up close but also to support vital conservation initiatives.

Discover Wildlife Tourism is thrilled to introduce the forthcoming Wildlife Tourism Conclave and Awards in January 2024. We extend our warm invitation for you to engage with us on our various platforms, participate in discussions, and keep abreast of the latest event developments. Be an essential part of our Conclave!

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