The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is located in the metropolitan
area of Chennai city. The zoological park is considered as one of
the most modern zoos of India and South East Asia by large. The zoo
is situated in the Vandalur area of the Kanchipuram district, which
is 35 kms from the Chennai city.
It was in the year 1855 that the first zoo in India was
established. The zoo was grounded in the Chennai central and later
on shifted to the southern metropolitan area called Vandalur
Reserved Forests (year 1979). The zoo was opened to public in the
year 1985. The zoo is spread well over 510 hectares of land and is
one of the biggest in South East Asia. Inside the zoo more than 170
species of animals roam freely on man made island enclosures. The
camouflaged walls and simulated natural environment is almost
imperceptible to the animal species inhabiting the park. The dry
deciduous forests of Vandalur make up the best breeding place for
the animals. With the latest development like inception of Jurrasic
Park, Nocturnal section, Reptile section and aquarium has provided a
new dimension to the place.
The key features of the park include the wild animal species (more
than 170 species), Lion Safari, Elephant Rides and Battery Operated
The animal species inhabiting the park include species like Tiger,
Lion, Panther, Jaguar, Elephants, Giraffes, Camels, Barking Deer,
Sambar, Blackbuck, Nilgai, Sangai, Hog Deer, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena,
Llama, Otter, Lion-tailed Macaque, Baboon, Hanuman Langur and
Leaf-capped Langur, etc. The zoo also maintains a library with great
collection of wildlife related books and information.
The train is the most convenient way of reaching the place. The
railway station of Vandalur is about a kilometre away from the zoo.
Chennai Airport is the nearest airport and is some 18 kms away.
The zoo is open on all days except Tuesdays. The daily visiting
hours are from 8.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.