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Visit To Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar

The Golden Triangle tour of Odisha is worth a visit. In January, 2018 we went on a golden triangle tour to Odisha on Makara Sankranti day. We took the early morning flight from Hyderabad to Bhubaneswar and reached the destination by 9.30 a.m. We straightaway proceeded to the hotel near Master Canteen where we booked an accommodation. It's a budget hotel but the food served was very tasty specially Gobi Manchurian, Gobi Parantha, Dal Makhani, plain dal and mixed veg curry are worth mentioning.

On Day 1 morning we visited the famous and ancient Lingaraj temple and offered prayers to Lingaraj. On Day 2 of our tour we went to explore the ancient historical caves of Khandagiri and Udaigiri. From here we took a cab to Nandankanan Zoo.
Nandankanan Zoological Park is one of the top tourist attractions of Odisha which needs no description. The Zoo is located at a distance of 15 Km from the capital city Bhubaneswar and 17 Km from Cuttack.

The zoo is distinct from other zoos in India and is unique in its own way. The animals in the zoo are housed in enclosures set in completely natural environs.

Uniqueness of Nandankanan Zoo

  • 1st zoo in the world to breed white tiger and Melanistic tiger i.e black tiger, not black panther but black and light yellow striped tiger.
  • 2nd largest heronry (i.e a group of trees used as a breeding colony for herons) for open-billed storks.
  • The only conservation breeding centre in the world for Indian Pangolins (i.e scaly ant-eaters).
  • The only zoo in India to have open-top leopard enclosure.
  • The only Zoological Park in India to become an institutional member of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquarium).

Visiting hours

From April to September - The zoo and botanical garden inside the zoo remains open for public from 7.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m.

From October to March - The zoo / botanical garden opens at 8 a.m and closes at 5 p.m

Botanical garden is closed on Mondays.

Entry ticket price

Rs.50/- per person.

Free entry for children up to 12 years of age.

Rs.100/- per person for foreign nationals.

Entry tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter and also booked online through the official website.

Safari Ticket price

Rs.30/- per person for Lion and White Tiger Safari

Rs. 15/- per person for Bear safari

Rs.15/- per person for herbivore safari.

BOV (Battery Operated Vehicles) ticket price for one hour

Rs.50/- per individual person

Rs.500/- for reserved (small) BOV - 8 persons in a group

Rs.750/- for reserved (large) BOV - 14 persons in a group

The zoo is spread across a very large area and it is not possible to walk all around particularly with small children and senior citizens. On entering inside there is a fountain and few life-size statues of tigers where tourists click pics.

The entrance of the Reptile Park is designed as a life-size Tyrannosaurus. There are different species of reptiles inside the park that include crocodiles, snakes, lizards etc.
During the vacation time the zoo is heavily crowded with tourists from different places. In the Reptile Park and tiger enclosures the crowd will be too high and the visitors, particularly the illiterate ones / those who are unaware of the civic sense, push others, spit everywhere, shout / talk very loudly. That would be a bit annoying to others.
The big cats i.e the tiger and lion enclosures are the most attracted ones. Visitors crowd at these enclosures and spend long time at this place. Some excited young visitors scream and shout loudly on seeing the big cats.
In one of the enclosures white tiger Bijaya and her two cubs - one male white with black and white strips
and the other normal female (i.e. with yellow and black stripes) can be seen. These cubs were born in Aug 2016 and are exhibited to visitors from May, 2017.
Next to the white tiger enclosure, there is the black tiger enclosure. Black tiger is a unique one and is special of Nandankanan. Black tiger is not a black panther but it is the Melanistic tiger i.e black tiger.
In the above picture both black tiger and white tiger can be seen.moving in the enclosure. Visitors excitement knows no bounds when they seen these two rarest of rare species of tigers walking together in the enclosure.
Next to the tigers' enclosures there is the enclosure of majestic King of Jungles i.e. lion's enclosure where visitors can watch lion as well as lioness.

From here visitors move to other enclosures and finally the aviary zone is yet another attractive zone where visitors enjoy watching the colorful birds of different species
and some of the rarest of rare species like black swan.
The Mandanrin ducks
These are found in East Asia and are considered as the most beautiful ducks in the world. Mandanrin ducks can be seen at the bottom middle in the above image.

After spending some time with the wild animals and birds, visitors relax for a while in the beautiful botanical garden for a fresh feeling in the colorful environs.
During our trip to Golden Triangle of Odisha in January 2018, we visited Nandankanan Zoo on January 15th and got the opportunity of meeting our forefathers, I mean, langurs sitting on the fence while we were walking along the walk way. And I clicked the photo seen below.
Nanandankanan in Bhubaneswar is one of the must-see attractions where visitors get the chance of watching some of the rare species

There is a small gift shop at the entrance / exit where visitors can purchase ordinary gift items. There is nothing special in this gift shop.

About Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar is a a very ancient city which dates back to 1st century BCE (Before Current Era) with historical importance. Presently it is the capital city of Odisha and is one of the three attractions of the Golden Triangle of Odisha. The name of the city is derived from Tribhuvaneshwar which mean 'The Lord of the Three Worlds'. The city is rich in temples with beautiful Odishan temple architecture. Hence, the city is known as the 'Temple City of India'. Some of the important / famous temples include Lingaraj Temple (Shiva temple), Mukteswar temple, Kedar Gauri temple, Raja Rani temple and many more.

Bhubaneswar is the capital city of Odisha and is well connected with all the major places in India.It is an ancient town with historical importance and is one of the three attractions of Odisha's Golden Triangle tour. The other two places of the golden triangle are Puri and Konark.


As Bhubaneswar is the capital city, there are good number of budget as well as luxury hotels in and around Master Canteen area which is very close to the railway station.


Food in Bhubaneswar is very tasty, particularly local foods like Pahalo Rosogolla, Cham Cham, Chenna Poda and many more but not South Indian foods. Most of the restaurants offer delicious food particularly Indian bread i.e. roti and sabji i.e varieties of vegetarian curries. Odisha sweets are very tasty and are the must-eat foods. South Indian food items like idli, dosa, vada etc are not up to the mark.


Odisha handloom saris / dresses / dress materials and Odisha handicrafts are worth purchasing. The super fine work of the artisans in making beautiful hand made items is highly appreciable. The micro-fine silver filigree work of Odisha especially in Cuttack should not be missed.


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