Alipore Zoological Garden, also known as Alipore Zoo or Kolkata Zoo, is a popular tourist destination in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is the oldest official zoo in India, established in 1876 by Sir Richard Temple, the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.
The zoo covers an area of 46.5 acres and houses more than 1000 animals of 108 species, including rare and endangered ones.
Did you know that it was home to the Aldabra giant tortoise Adwaita, who was over 250 years old and passed away in the year 2006? Some of the other notable attractions here are the Manipur brow-antlered deer, which is part of a captive breeding program, and the white tiger.
Alipore Zoo is a place where you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of nature and learn about the conservation of wildlife. It attracts a lot of visitors, especially during the winter.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Alipore Zoo,
- Ticket Price
- How to reach
- Things to do
- Nearby attractions
Let’s see each of these points in detail.
Alipore Zoo Timings
The timings of Alipore Zoo are,
|FRIDAY – WEDNESDAY||09:00 AM – 05:00 PM|
|THURSDAY||CLOSED (EXCEPT HOLIDAYS)|
The Alipore Zoo (Kolkata) remains closed to visitors every Thursday. If any holiday falls on Thursday, the garden remains open to visitors on that day and the weekly closure is observed on the next available working day.
(Source: Official Website)
Alipore Zoo Ticket Price
The ticket price for Alipore Zoo is,
|Visitors with age above 5 Years||Rs. 20|
|Visitors with age above 5 Years||Rs. 50|
Other ticket prices:
|Aquarium||Rs. 5 per person|
|Video Photography (Professional)||Rs. 250|
Alipore Zoo allows you to book tickets online through its official website.
How to reach Alipore Zoo
|Address||Alipur Zoological Garden, 2, Alipore Rd, Alipore, Kolkata – 700027|
|Nearest Metro||Rabindra Sadan|
|Nearest Bus Stop||Alipore Zoo|
You can easily reach Alipore Zoo from Howrah or any other part of Kolkata.
By Bus: You can take a bus from Esplanade or Chowranghee Road to Zoo Garden. The journey takes about 9 – 24 minutes depending on the traffic. Buses are also available from Howrah Station which will take you directly to Alipore Zoo.
In case you are not getting a direct bus to the zoo, you can get down at Hastings Bus Stop and take a 10-min walk from there.
By Metro: The nearest Metro station is Rabindra Sadan, which is about 2 km away. Several buses are available from Rabindra Sadan that will take you to the zoo.
By Car: If you are coming from Vidyasagar Setu, you can head towards Victoria Memorial and take a right turn onto Alipore Road near Royal Calcutta Turf Club. In case you are coming from South Kolkata, you can take the Judges Court Road and then take a right onto Alipore Road to reach Alipore Zoo.
Parking space is also available near the entrance of the Zoo. You can also park near National Library.
History of Alipore Zoo
The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata traces its origins to a private collection of animals owned by Richard Wellesley, the Governor General of India around 1800. He kept them in Barrackpore as part of the Indian Natural History Project.
Inspired by the growing popularity of zoos in other cities, the British authorities decided to transform the menagerie into a formal Zoological Garden and shifted it in its present location. The zoo was opened by Prince Edward VII, the Prince of Wales in 1876 and was made public in May of the same year.
The entire zoo grew based on souvenirs from Britishers and Indian nobility. Among such nobility were Raja Suryakanta Acharya of Mymensingh and Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, who donated generously to the zoo.
A managing committee, which included the renowned botanist George King and Schwendler, oversaw the zoo’s operations. The standards of the zoo were improved and good captive breeding was achieved.
The Alipore Zoo was a leader among zoos in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with high scientific standards for its time. The zoo has undergone many changes over the years, making the animals’ habitats more spacious and natural.
Attractions in Alipore Zoo
The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata has a diverse number of attractions to be seen and relished.
Starting from a Primate house, Reptile house, Panther house, and Elephant house, the zoo has several sections that you can explore. You can also admire the megafauna, which includes rare and majestic creatures like Asiatic lions, hippopotamus, Royal Bengal Tiger, Greater one-horned Rhinos, Antelopes, Chitals, Dholes, Jaguar, Zebra, Giraffes, and others. The zoo even had Giant Eland and Panthera hybrids in the past.
One of the highlights of the zoo is the glass-walled enclosure for tigers, which is the first of its kind in India. You can get a close look at these magnificent predators without any fear.
Different varieties of birds have also made this zoo their home. Some among them are endangered or exotic, like Lories, large parrots, and lorikeets. You can also spot other birds like pheasants, painted storks, ostriches, Sarus cranes hornbills, Citron-crested cockatoos, great white pelicans, little corella, and many others.
The zoo has a total of 108 species of animals and 1266 individuals living in it.
The zoo also has a special section for children, where they can have fun and learn about animals.
There are water bodies in the middle of the zoo that attract migratory birds. And if you want to see more aquatic life, you can visit the aquarium across the street that is affiliated with the zoo.
The Alipore Zoo offers you a chance to experience the wildlife without leaving the city.
Things to do in Alipore Zoo
Some of the things to do in Alipore Zoo are:
- Discover the rich and diverse wildlife.
- Learn about the ancient Aldabra tortoise “Adwaita” from the local guides.
- Witness the graceful brown-antlered deer.
- Make your children aware of the environment and wildlife.
- Visit the Alipore Aquarium exhibiting various species of fish.
- Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Heritage Cafe.
Other attractions near Alipore Zoo
|Attractions||Distance from Alipore Zoo|
|James Prinsep Ghat||4 km|
|Millenium Park||6 km|
|Victoria Memorial||3 km|
Alipore Zoological Garden is a remarkable place that showcases the rich and varied wildlife of India and the world.
You can visit it any time of the year with your friends and family. It is a source of entertainment and education for the visitors, especially children.
This zoo is a pride of Kolkata and a treasure of India.
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