Established in 1885, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (often referred to as Vandalur Zoo) is the oldest public zoo in India. It’s been transformed and relocated over the years, and today the zoo can be found in Vandalu, just over 30 kilometers from Chennai. It’s home to hundreds of species of wild animals, many of which are considered endangered, and serves as a wildlife sanctuary and center for rehabilitating rescued animals.
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a large and well-maintained space with plenty of plant and wildlife out in the open. Visitors can tour the expansive grounds on bicycles or by using one of the zoo’s electric vehicles to zip around. Most of the main attractions are located along the park’s inner pathways, where the large animals such as tigers, panthers, and elephants live. There are a whole host of other mammals, reptiles, birdlife, fish, and butterflies to visit throughout the rest of the park too.
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is open from 9am until 5pm and can be easily reached from Chennai city center by bus; visitors should alight at the Vandalur Zoo bus stop. Vandalur railway station also sits just one kilometer from the zoo.