NANDANKANAN ZOO

Location : In Chandaka Forest, 25-km from Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Houses : A Botanical Garden
Major Variety Of Animals Found Here : White Tiger, Black Panthers & Gharial Crocodiles
Famous As : Picnic Spot


The Garden of Gods
A short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan Zoo lies in the splendid environs of the Chandaka forest, along the rippling waters of the Kanjia Lake. It also contains a Botanical Garden and part of it has been declared a sanctuary.

Famed for its white tiger population, Nandankanan, or the 'Garden of Gods', has become a hot family favourite, with visitors getting an excellent opportunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in their natural glory - in an environment conducive to their growth. Over 67 kinds of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds co-exist in the deeply forested boundaries.

The zoo enjoys an excellent reputation internationally, for successfully breeding black panthers, gharial crocodiles and white tigers in captivity.

Gharial Breeding
For the first time ever, a captive breeding centre was created for gharial crocodiles. This important task was also facilitated by the gift of an adult male from the Frankfurt Zoo.

White Tiger Breeding
One of the rarest creatures in the world, the regal white tiger, received a new lease of life with the important research and concerted efforts initiated to try and breed them in the natural environs of Nandankanan.

In 1980, on a day full of excitement and jubilation, the first litter of white tigers were born to Deepak and Ganga, two normal, tawny tigers. Subsequent litters of white tigers have been distributed to Zoos both at home and abroad. Currently, Nandankanan is home to over 34 white tigers.

Endangered species such as the Asiatic Lion, three Indian crocodilians, sangai lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, India pangolin, mouse deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding successfully at Nandankanan.

Some of the other attractions of Nandankanan are the 34 aquaria, which are home to a large variety of fresh water fishes. The Reptile Park's cave like entrance is guarded by a life-size tyrannosaurus. Inside, numerous species of crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes share the park with natural ease.

The ropeway connecting the Zoo with Botanical Garden over the lake, the boating facilities and the toy-train for children have added new feathers. The facilities at Nandakanan include day accommodations, elephant rides and boating.

Safaris
The White Tiger Safari, established in 1991, offers visitors the heady excitement of viewing the rare white tigers from specially designed protected buses.

The lion safari offers an adventurous zing to the trip to Nandankanan.

Picnics and the Lakes
Nandankanan's beautifully versatile environs offer the tourists a great opportunity to be adventurous or laid back. If one doesn't feel like tearing around sighting animals and watching the birds, then settle down to a leisurely picnic and mid-afternoon nap under the trees. Visitors feeling little more energetic can meander along one of their nature trails.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air:
The nearest airport is situated at Bhubaneswar.
Rail:
Bhubaneswar is the nearest railhead.
Road:
Bhubaneswar is 25-kms from the zoo, on the way to Cuttack.

Best Time To Visit:
October-March