Nainital Zoo is a high altitude zoo located on the Sher Ka Danda hill at a height of 2,100 m or 6,900 ft above sea level in Nainital city, Uttarakhand. It is the only zoo in the state and one of the few high altitude zoos in India. It was established in 1984 and opened to visitors in 1995. It is named after Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, a freedom fighter and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Visit during Nainital Local Sightseeing.
Nainital Zoo is home to many endangered and rare species of animals and birds, some of which are native to the Himalayan region. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of this zoo, such as its location, timing, entry fees, how to reach, things to do, must see, significance, FAQs, and conclusion.
Location of Nainital Zoo
Nainital Zoo is situated on the top of Sher Ka Danda hill, about 2 km from Tallital bus stand and 3 km from Nainital lake. The zoo covers an area of 4.592 hectares or 11 acres and has a forest type of evergreen oak and cypress. The zoo has a scenic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. The zoo has an average annual temperature of 13°C and an average annual rainfall of 1636 mm.
Timing / Entry Fees Nainital Zoo
The zoo is open for visitors from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm every day except Thursday. The zoo remains closed on Thursdays, Holi, Diwali, 15 August and 26 January. The entry fees for visitors are as follows:
- Adult (13 – 60 years) Rs 100/-
- Children (5 – 12 years) Rs 50/-
- Adult (Foreigner) Rs 200/-
- Children (Foreigner) Rs 100/-
- Free entry for senior citizens, specially abled and children below 5 years.
The entry fees can be paid online through the official website of Nainital Zoo www.nainitalzoo.org.in or at the ticket counter at the zoo entrance.
How to Reach Nainital Zoo
The zoo is well-connected by road from various parts of Uttarakhand and nearby states. The nearest city to the zoo is Nainital, which is a popular hill station and tourist destination. The nearest airport to the zoo is Pantnagar airport, which is about 65 km away from Nainital. The nearest railway station to the zoo is Kathgodam railway station, which is about 40 km away from Nainital. There are regular buses and taxis available from Pantnagar airport and Kathgodam railway station to Nainital. From Nainital, one can take a taxi or a shuttle service (managed by Nagarpalika Parishad, Nainital) from India Hotel Tallital to reach the zoo.
Things to Do / Must See Nainital Zoo
The main attraction of Nainital Zoo is the wildlife viewing, where visitors can see various animals and birds in their natural habitat. The zoo has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, with around 28 animal species and over 100 bird species. Some of the animals that can be seen in the zoo are:
- Himalayan black bear
- Himalayan martin
- Himalayan civet
- Steppe eagle
- Hill partridge
- Tibetan wolf
- Japanese macaque
- Barking deer
- Lady Amherst pheasant
- Silver pheasant
- Khalij pheasant
- Silver golden pheasant
- Cheer pheasant
- Bornean fireback pheasant
- Linneated kalij pheasant
- Edwards pheasant
- White peafowl
- Red jungle fowl
- Royal Bengal tiger
- Rose ringed parakeet
- Blossom headed parakeet
Apart from wildlife viewing, there are other activities that visitors can enjoy in and around the zoo, such as:
- Nature walk: There are many nature trails in and around the zoo that offer scenic views of the forest and the hills. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk along these trails and observe the flora and fauna of the region.
- Photography: The zoo is a paradise for photography enthusiasts, as it offers many opportunities to capture the beauty and diversity of nature. Visitors can take pictures of the animals and birds in their natural habitat, as well as the scenic landscapes of the zoo.
- Education: The zoo organizes various outreach programmes and events for children, students, local people and visitors to create awareness and sensitization towards wildlife conservation. Some of the occasions on which these programmes are conducted are World Environment Day, Ozone Layer Conservation Day, Wild Life Week, etc. The zoo also has an interpretation centre and a library where visitors can learn more about the wildlife and ecology of the region.
Significance of Nainital Zoo
Nainital Zoo is not only a tourist attraction but also a conservation area that plays a vital role in preserving the wildlife and the ecosystem of the region. The zoo is one of the few high altitude zoos in India that provides a suitable habitat for many endangered and rare species of animals and birds, some of which are native to the Himalayan region. The zoo also supports many free ranging animals and birds that live in the surrounding forest. The zoo also serves as a source of livelihood for many local people who are involved in tourism and zoo-related activities. The zoo also contributes to the research and education on wildlife and ecology.
Q: What is the best time to visit Nainital Zoo?
A: The best time to visit Nainital Zoo is from March to June and from September to November, when the weather is pleasant and the chances of spotting wildlife are high.
Q: What are the facilities available in Nainital Zoo?
A: Some of the facilities available in Nainital Zoo are:
Safe drinking water
Direction boards and information signages
Cloak room for keeping baggage
Cafeteria run by the zoo society
First aid kit
Wheelchair for specially abled visitors
Nainital Zoo is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of nature at a high altitude. It is a place where you can experience adventure, thrill, and relaxation at the same time. It is a place where you can create unforgettable memories with your family and friends. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Nainital Zoo today!