The days of our stay were flying without us realizing it. After visiting the beautiful temples of this city, on the third day we decided to explore the zoological park of Bhubaneswar. Our nature-loving kids jumped with joy on hearing this. As we didn’t know much about this park, we took help of the travel desk of our hotel. We were told that the zoo was opened for visitors from 7:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening.
Though it was very cold in the morning, looking at the kids’ excitement we planned to leave around 8 am to make most of the time. We shielded ourselves with woollens to fight the cold weather while taking major precautions for kids as they are more vulnerable. We quickly had our breakfast and called the cab. The weather was on our side and sun was shining brightly outside.
Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 400-hectare zoo, a sanctuary and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar. It is the first zoo in the country that became a member of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Isn’t that great!
Amidst the natural beauty of forest, adjacent to Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan lies in the vicinity of Kanjia Lake. The literal meaning of Nandankanan is Garden of Heaven. We were glad to see that the entry is well managed. There was a baby elephant interface zone right inside Gate 2 and I was delighted to caress a baby elephant there.
To move around in the park, there were battery operated buggies available, and we opted for that as it was expected to be a long trek. There was also a facility of bus safari in the course of open areas but we didn’t take it. We started our ride to the zoo with some other travelers and a guide on the battery cars. This was the first time I was moving in a battery operated car…it was so exciting!
However, we all were waiting to see some wild big cats. Soon we came across the caged areas giving a perfect view of one tiger walking around. It was looking magnificent and everyone got scared when it roared. I quickly captured a few pictures of the tiger. .
The sanctuary is habitat to many rare and endangered species of wild animals though we didn’t came across all of them but we saw tigers, bear and Indian crocodile and many other animals. We spent the entire day witnessing the lush green vegetation and many animals within their habitat. It was great fun and I would love to visit this place again.
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