A Family Picnic at Hyderabad Zoo Park
When I came back from Tadoba National Park in Maharashtra, the kids were first very happy to see the pictures and Video of Tigers. But soon they realized what they have missed, hence the demand to take them to Hyderabad Zoo and show the tigers started. Now we have been to the Hyderabad Zoo earlier so I was not very keen to go. So I looked towards Missus for some support, but she had totally conspired with the kids, and I had a feeling she was the one who planted the seeds of rebellion.
So one fine morning we all packed our lunch boxes, filled the bottles with chilled water and all kind stuff to munch in the zoo, as the Hyderabad Zoo is very spread out and you need to walk a lot from one enclosure to another.
When we reached the Zoo it was already very crowded, being summer vacations, almost everybody in Hyderabad was there. The line at the ticket counter reminded me of the days when there was no online booking for train tickets, or the days when Big B’s movie use to release and people would Q in whole night to get tickets for first day first show of a hit movie.
“Hello Hyderabad Zoo How about starting online booking of tickets?”
You are allowed to take your car inside Hyderabad Zoo, but considering the cost I am not sure how many people would want to do that.
We started our darshan of animals from the giant Indian elephants, who are neighbors of the naughty apes. But the kids were interested in Tigers like everybody else now days. So we straight went to the tiger enclosure. I must say we were very lucky as after posing for us the Tiger decided that he wants to go for sleep and vanished inside an enclosure. There is also a tiger safari but due to serpentine Q, we missed the bus safari that takes you through the open area where you can see Tigers and Lions.
What we missed in Tiger Safari was more than made by the Sloth Bear, who posed for a long time for us. I was so happy with the encounter with Sloth bear, as I have missed clicking Sloth Bear by just fraction of second both in Ranthambhore National Park and Pench National Park. But the show stealer was this baby hippo who dived for us in water and came out to munch on some grass and kids just loved him. I personally liked the Indian Fox family who were playing in the enclosure, and just loved the black bucks, which I have last seen in Tal chapar.
While the one horned Rhino was too shy to even move and stood like a stone most of the time. The Gaurs reminded me of the Majestic Gaur I had seen in Madumalai and I actually at this stage was feeling sorry for them to be not in jungle. Kids also loved the flamingos that were just standing still as if in meditation, the flamboyant Peacock, put up a grand show with full dance that will put the participants of dance reality show to shame. The visit to Hyderabad Zoo was rounded off with a joy ride in the toy train, making the family picnic complete and I had 3 happy faces beaming with Joy in the car during our return journey. But let me confess as all the animals were in enclosures we felt pretty safe, but for some reason on seeing the crocodiles I felt a chill in my spine even though they were too lazy to even look at us from there enclosure.
I think Hyderabad Zoo is one of the better Zoos in India with most of the animals we saw looking pretty healthy and well kept. Though they need to manage the crowds better and take care of toilets etc. that stink.
The animals in Zoo do not give you the same thrill as seeing them in the wild and given a choice I would like to release all of them back to the jungle, but I think Zoos have their own space in conserving and breeding some of the rare animals and I will leave the decision to the experts. Over all we were happy to visit the Hyderabad Zoo which is officially called Nehru Zoological Park and just Zoo Park by folks in Hyderabad. We totally missed the White Tigers for which the Hyderabad Zoo is most famous for. But I requested my friend and pro photographer Ganesan to share some pics of white tigers and will be posting them in the next post.
How To Reach Hyderabad Zoo: Please follow this Google Map below to reach Hyderabad Zoo located near Bhadurpura West in Kishan Bagh, and is easily approachable from both Old City of Hyderabad, as well as from Hitech City.
There are 2 souvenir shops in the zoo, that sell various animal toys, etc. Cold drinks, water and snacks are available and there is a functional restaurant in the Zoo, unlike Mrugavani, where you get almost nothing. You can bring your food to enjoy a picnic, but please do not feed the animals and birds in the zoo.
What All Animals are there in Hyderabad Zoo: Well besides the animals mentioned in this post above, you also have Jaguars from South America, Zebras, Giraffes, Emu, Ostrich, different kind of monkeys, apes, reptiles like various Snakes, monitor lizards, exotic birds, leopards, Hyenas, Wolf and many other birds and animals that you can see in the zoo at very close and safe distance.
Hyderabad Zoo Timings: April to June: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
July to March: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Tuesday to Sunday. The Hyderabad Zoo remains closed on Monday and government holidays. So if you are in doubt if the zoo is open or not please call them on this number-Ph: 040-24477355 ( Though I have never dialed them so can’t guarantee if anybody will pick the phone
Ticket Price for Hyderabad Zoo: Adult Rs 20, Child 10. Still camera fee: Rs 20, Video camera fee: Rs 500. You can also take your car in for Rs 750 (to be increased to Rs 1000 soon as per news paper reports), with 5 people in it. Though I would suggest you park your car and take the golf carts to move around that charge Rs 40 per person and give you a full round of the zoo. For those you want to see the zoo at their own pace you can walk or rent a bicycle in the zoo. The Toy train ride is for fun and cost Rs 15 for adults and 5 for kids. The safari ride in the tiger enclosure is Rs 25 for adults and 10 for kids.