/ Vandalur Zoo

Vandalur Zoo

By Alan J Bright
March 22, 2023

If you are a wildlife lover, then the Vandalur Zoo in Chennai, India, is a must-visit destination. Also known as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, it is the largest zoo in India, spreading over an area of 1,265 acres. Established in 1855, the zoo has a rich history and an impressive collection of animals. This article is a comprehensive guide to the Vandalur Zoo, covering its history, attractions, facilities, and other essential information.

History of Vandalur Zoo

The Vandalur Zoo has a long and fascinating history. It was established in 1855 as a private zoo by Edward Green Balfour, a British physician and zoologist. Later, it was handed over to the Madras Government and became the Government Museum and Zoo. In 1979, it was shifted to its current location in Vandalur and renamed the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in honor of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N. Annadurai.

Attractions at Vandalur Zoo

The Vandalur Zoo has a vast collection of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Some of the major attractions of the zoo are:

Lion Safari

The lion safari is one of the most popular attractions at the Vandalur Zoo. Visitors can take a safari ride through the lion enclosure and watch the majestic beasts up close.

Elephant Ride

Visitors can also take an elephant ride and explore the zoo from a unique perspective. It is an excellent way to get close to these gentle giants and learn more about them.

Butterfly House

The Butterfly House is a beautiful exhibit that showcases a variety of butterfly species from around the world. Visitors can watch the butterflies fly freely and learn about their life cycle and habitat.


The aquarium at Vandalur Zoo is home to a variety of fish species from freshwater and saltwater habitats. It is an excellent place to learn about the marine ecosystem and the importance of conservation.

Reptile House

The Reptile House is another fascinating exhibit at the zoo, showcasing a variety of reptile species, including snakes, lizards, and turtles.

Facilities at Vandalur Zoo

The Vandalur Zoo is well-equipped with facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for visitors. Some of the essential facilities are:

Food Court

The zoo has a food court that serves a variety of snacks and meals. Visitors can enjoy a quick bite or a full meal while taking a break from exploring the zoo.


The zoo has clean and well-maintained restrooms that are easily accessible to visitors.

Wheelchair Access

The zoo has wheelchair access and is suitable for visitors with mobility issues.

Souvenir Shop

The souvenir shop at Vandalur Zoo offers a variety of gifts and souvenirs, including t-shirts, mugs, and keychains, for visitors to take home as a memory of their visit.

Essential Information


The Vandalur Zoo is located at Grand Southern Trunk Rd, Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600048, India.


The zoo is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, except Tuesdays.

Entry Fee

The entry fee for the zoo is INR 50 for adults and INR 20 for children.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Vandalur Zoo is during the winter months from December to February, when the weather is pleasant.


The Vandalur Zoo is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation. With its impressive collection of animals, fascinating exhibits, and modern facilities, it offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a solo traveler, a family with kids, or a group of friends, the Vandalur Zoo has something for everyone.

So, plan your visit to the Vandalur Zoo and explore the wonders of the animal kingdom. Get up close with lions, tigers, elephants, and other majestic beasts, and learn about their natural habitat and behavior. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the butterfly house and the aquarium, and appreciate the diversity of the marine and insect worlds.

And when you are done with your visit, don't forget to stop by the souvenir shop and pick up some gifts and mementos to remind you of your experience. The Vandalur Zoo is a destination that will stay with you long after you have left, and it is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Chennai, India.


1. Is the Vandalur Zoo suitable for kids?

Yes, the Vandalur Zoo is an excellent destination for kids of all ages. With its vast collection of animals and exciting exhibits, it offers a fun and educational experience for children.

2. Are there any restrictions on photography in the zoo?

Visitors are allowed to take photographs in most areas of the zoo, but there may be some restrictions in certain exhibits. It is always best to check with the staff before taking photographs.

Is the zoo accessible for visitors with disabilities?

Yes, the Vandalur Zoo is wheelchair accessible and has facilities for visitors with disabilities.

Are there any guided tours available at the zoo?

Yes, visitors can take guided tours of the zoo, which are conducted by experienced zookeepers and naturalists. The tours offer a unique perspective on the animals and their behavior.

Can visitors bring their own food to the zoo?

No, visitors are not allowed to bring their own food to the zoo. However, there is a food court that serves a variety of snacks and meals.

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