Just a regular day hanging with my friend- the Royal Bengal tiger!
When the children of the family had the week off from school, we decided to explore the National Zoological Park, Delhi. The last time I visited was as a toddler, so I was as excited as them!
Manicured entrance to the zoo
The family buggy/ trolley
On a hot Wednesday morning in March, a group of 5 adults (including two nannies) and 5 children varying in age from 2 to 7 years, set off on their zoo adventure. We planned our trip well, and arrived at 9:40 a.m., 10 minutes after opening time. There was no rush at this hour and we sped through the ticket process as well as the security check.
The first of the majestic big cats- the white tiger
The Royal Bengal tiger
We were fortunate to get a full family buggie/ trolley to ourselves. The buggie proved a blessing as the little ones insisted on being carried the entire time. They were also essential in the hot weather. They followed a certain route showing the main attractions of the zoo, timed to the one hour slot they were booked for. A family booking had the added advantage of not having to wait for other visitors. Buggies run out quickly so reach early if you’d like one.
The gharial or Indian alligator
The Indian elephant
We began the tour with the majestic white tiger, moved to the ferocious crocodiles before stopping to admire my son’s favourite- the monkeys and langurs. Next up were the stunning leopard and jaguar. The gharial or Indian alligator followed, along with the Royal Bengal tiger and the Indian elephants. The lion was hiding from the sun, so we barely glimpsed his mane and ears. The African elephants with their gigantic ears also preferred the shade. The hippopotamus family was very comfortable in their mucky water and made a cute picture. A large herd of deer was a picturesque sight, as were the peacocks dancing with their magnificent tails spread wide in a mating ritual. Our journey ended with the imposing rhinoceroses and bison.
The hippopotamus family
We skipped the deer, bird and monkey enclosures. The zoo is currently missing zebras and giraffes with the latter expected soon. An animal I’d wanted to see was the bear but there was no mention of one and I remembered to ask when it was too late.
There are rest and refreshment stops along the way to replenish body fluids but no healthy options are available except water. After much scrambling the kids were given Nimbooz which seemed the healthiest drink there! Animal sculptures act as markers of their live counterparts.
Spot the elephant!
It was an enjoyable trip for the young ones, who were excited about the wild animals, but it was heartbreaking to see these fantastic creatures in cages or enclosures. Unfortunately, the zoo is the only way for many people to see any exotic animal, hence their raison d’etre. The entire area is clean and accessible, and I’d recommend a trip to everyone, preferably in the cooler months!
Address: Mathura Road, Sundar Nagar
Timings: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Entry fee: Indian adults: INR 40
Children 5-12 years: INR 20
Children below 5: Free
Separate charges for foreigners, educational group tours and people with a camera
ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR CHILDREN:
Sippy cup (if smaller children)
All photos shot on Apple iPhone 7
Experience Rating: 4.5/5