Arignar Anna Zoological Park Home > Tamil Nadu > Attractions > Zoo > Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

The Arignar Anna zoological park is a zoological garden located in a place called Vandalur. The park is also called as Vandalur zoo and is positioned in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The correct location of the zoo would be 31 kilometers from the city and 15 kilometers from Chennai airport. Chennai has the distinction for having the first zoo in India in 1855. There was a shift at that period of Chennai city to the Vandalur reserve forest where a modern zoological park was established in 1979 which was affiliated to central zoo authority India. The park covers up an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres) with a rescue and rehabilitation center of 92.45 hectares (228.4 acre). Being familiarly known as the largest zoological garden in India, the zoo holds nearly 2,553 species of flora and fauna in 1,265 acres. The updates of 2012 reveal that there are 1,500 wild species, and 46 endangered species. Since 2010 there are 63 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, 5 species of amphibians, 31 species of reptiles, 10 species of insects and 25 species of fishes. The park is a monument of the fauna of the state and also the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai national park. The Arignar Anna zoological park is a dry evergreen forest with a flapping terrain. The specially created open, wet and dry island types with natural enclosures, along with hidden walls and stimulated natural environment assists the animals, reptiles and birds and also make them feel they live in a natural environment.


Edward green Balfour was the director of the government central museum at Madras. It was in 1854 that he swayed Nawab of the Carnatic to contribute his complete collection of animals to the museum. In 1855, masses of people were attracted by this idea and were the heart of Madras zoo. The zoo was under Balfour controls in the museum premises with about 300 animals which took into account mammals, reptiles and birds. In 1861, this museum with zoo was transferred to Madras Corporation and transferred to people’s park at Park town near central railway station. As days passed on adding fame to the zoo, the municipal zoological garden filled about 116 acre park and left open for the public.

The zoological garden had good response from the public and could be enlarged. In 1975, it was resolved that the zoo has no chances to be inflated and should be run out of the city due to high traffic density, pollution, noise and more constrains. It was in 1976 concluded that the zoo should be moved and animals should be kept in a good simulated zoo. With this aim in mind, the Tamil Nadu forest department booked 1,265 acres in the fringes of the city in Vandalur reserve forest area to build up a zoo. This zoo is the largest zoological garden in India and Indian sub-continent and also holds the fame to be one of the largest in the world. With a beginning amount of Rs. 75 million the work of building up the zoo begun. When work was almost accomplished, the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. M. G. Ramachandran opened the zoo to the public on July 24, 1985. At the start, the zoo has been merely a bare jungle without a single tree, and it was later that the people in and around the zoo collected seeds from different trees and afforested the zoo to be evergreen today.A delivery and rehabilitation center was involved for the zoo, for confiscated as well as abandoned wild animals where 92.45 hectares of ground adjacent to the park was utilized in 2001. By this development the size of the park was enhanced to 602 hectares (1,490 hectares). The All-India zoo superintendent’s conference was held in 1955 as centenary celebrations.  The name of the zoo which is currently possessing was derived from Tamil politician called Annadurai commonly known as Arignar Anna.


About 6 kilometers from Tambaram and 15 kilometers from Chennai airport, Vandalur is aptly located in the south-western part of Chennai metropolitan Area. The complete park and the night safari zone falls under the Vandalur Reserve forest area which is sited to the south west Tambaram air force station. Hassan and Otteri lakes border the eastern and western sides of the zoo. The Chennai-Trichy highway which is known as national highway NH45 also known as grand southern trunk (GST) road holds the main entrance of the zoo which is in the eastern side. The north eastern part of the zoo holds the lion safari park, the southern side of the zoo under the Vandalur-Kelambakkam road holds night safari zone, and rescue and rehabilitation center. For people’s convenience to get to the zoo, the Vandalur railway station of Chennai suburban railway network is located in the north western side about 1 km from the main gate of the park.


There are copious information regarding the exhibits in the park, there are numerous varieties of all species exhibited in the park. There are nearly 81 enclosures and 170 species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Some of the species include wolf, jaguar, tiger, hog, panther, barking deer, sambar, black buck, black deer, Sangai, elephant, Illama, camel, Hyena, lion, giraffe, hog deer, and panther. When monkey species are researched there are plenty a few of them are lion-tailed macaque, baboon, Nilgiri Langur, leaf capped langur, and hanuman langur. Endangered animals for nearly 46 are present in the zoo where a few of them are from Western Ghats, Indian sub-continent, Eastern Ghats. Some of them are monitor lizard, chimpanzees, Nilgiri macaques, Muscovy ducks, European brown bear, Bengal tiger, lemur, giraffe, white tiger, star tortoises and vultures. Other exceptional and exotic species such as Australian flightless bird species such as emu and cassowary are also available in the zoo. There are nearly 138 plant species which take into account cashew and eucalyptus. The dense vegetation is another reason for owning nearly 56 species of butterfly.


The park has an extraordinary tree lined and paved paths which helps visitors walk in the campus for nearly 15 to 20 kilometer. Rented battery operated vehicles are also available which hovers around the zoo for nearly 80 kilometers. There are 9 vehicles of the same category and batter operated vans of four in number for the purpose of lion safari. Apart from this there are four diesel run road rails for hunting the zoo. The zoo is scheduling to enhance these vehicles. Each trip can be scheduled for an hour with nearly 15 to 20 people. 20 rented bicycles and 5 for children were introduced in 2008 with an eco-friendly idea. 20 February 2010 was also a day for inaugurating e bike facility. The entrance has refreshment outlets such as ice creamparlor, snacks center and soft drinks counter run by Tamil nadu tourism Development Corporation. The other amenities which would help the visitors are that there are 16 toilets and two dozen drinking fountains available within the zoo. The zoo works on all day except Tuesday as they carry on maintenance work on the same day. The zoo also owns a guest house located in Kelambakkam road.

The zoo is bordered with perimeter walls on all the four sides and the security of the zoo is carried by the subordinate staffs of rangers, foresters, forest guards and zoo security staff. They take responsibility for patrolling animals, stores, and other buildings. Night security is also carried out by the security officers. It was from 2010, the zoo has also employed private security along with forest rangers and night officers. In July 2013 ambulance facility has been brought to light which include all facilities such as pulse monitor, equipped oxygen cylinder, critical care monitor, small cages, surgical tools, emergency medicines, tranquilizing darts for the animals present inside.

Visitor Information

There are a few tips and information for the visitors which would be beneficial for both the animals in the zoo as well as the visitors.

  • It is suggested not to feed animals in the zoo.
  • Support the zoo people by keeping the park and zoo clean.
  • Smoking should be prohibited inside the park.
  • Alcohol drinking is strictly banned inside the premises.
  • Religious preaching and other acts are avoided inside the premises.
  • Do not tease or hurt animals inside the zoo.
  • Open from 9 to 5pm all days except Tuesday.
  • Battery vehicles are available for public.
  • Private vehicles are not allowed inside.

Tickets and Timings

Entrance Fees

  • Adults (above 12 years)                     Rs.30
  • Children (5 to 12 years)                     Rs.10
  • Below (5 years)                                  Entry fee
  • Still camera                                        Rs.25
  • Handy camera                                    Rs.150

Discount rates for government and aided school children

  • 5 to 12 years                                      Rs.2
  • Above 12 years                                  Rs.30

Other Charges

Zoo Rounds Vehicle

  • Adult (above 12 years)                        Rs.30
  • Children (3 to 12 years)                      Rs.10

Lion Safari Vehicle

  • Adult (above 12 years)                        Rs.30
  • Children (3 to 12 years)                      Rs.10
  • Wheel chair                                         Rs.25

Battery Operated Vehicle

  • Per vehicle                                          Rs.330

Vehicle Parking Charges

  • Bus/lorry                                              Rs.75
  • Car/Van/Jeep                                      Rs.20
  • Bike                                                     Rs.10
  • Cycle                                                    Rs.2

How to Reach

By Road

The zoo is 32 kilometers from Chennai city, a number of buses are available from Tambaram where a few of them are A18, B18, E18, G18, M18, M18G, M18N, 18L, M52, G70, 70V, 70A, 114, M118, 118P, G118, 170A, 170L, 170T, 170K, M500, 500B, 500C, 515, 517, 518, 555, 555N, 566, 566B which would land you at Vandalur Zoo Bus Stop

By Train

There are two nearest stations that will lead you to the zoo, one is the Vandalur railway station which h is 1 km and the other is Tambaram station which is 6 km away.

By Air

Chennai international airport which is 15km away is the nearest airport to the zoo.


Related Image

Also Browse Following Under This Section

Related Topics

Sri Venkateswara National

The Sri Venkateswara National Park is a biosphere reserve found in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The total area....

Nehru Zoological Park

The Nehru Zoological Park also called as Hyderabad Zoo engrosses an area of around 380 acres or 150 ha and is situated....


The state of Andhra Pradesh is located in...


Among the various religious monuments...