Sprawled over an area of 67.5 acres at an altitude of over 7000 ft, the Padmaja Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling was inaugurated in 1958 to preserve some of the high altitudes threatened species of Himalaya.
Before it was renamed as Padmaja Himalayan Zoological Park the site was located at the top of the Birch hill but then with the decease of the then Governor of West Bengal it was decided to dedicate the Zoological Park to commemorate the deeds of late governor.
In same context former Prime Minister of India Late Indira Gandhi walked in Darjeeling and inducted the ceremony and since then the site is renowned as Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling.
The main feature of the Zoo is its preservation call under which many high altitude species are kept within the fold of strict measures and to see these rare species travelers’ hops in from all across the world.
The serenity and quaint ambience of this majestic place is renowned for being one of the highest altitude zoological parks of India.
When it comes to the main highlights of the park than it has some of the endangered species which are to be found only within the environment of Himalayan periphery Tibetan wolf, Red Panda, Snow leopard, Yaks are some of the mellifluous breeds of this astounding zoological park.
For birdwatchers the avian centre which is barred in between the T-point of the park speaks the call of impetus as those circular fence houses Rose Ring Parakeets, Hill Mynas, Ring Necked Pheasants, Blue Gold Macaw to keep everyone entertain.
Now moving towards your right you clear way that calls for a modest preservation of black bears and to see them roaming freely within the walks of fence would be a treat. Traveler must understand that these black bears are designed to tolerate the drifts of high altitude and they come down hopping towards terrain during the winter season and routes for hibernation process.
Animals to See Inside the Zoo
Now walking straight towards the streets of park then you would see a sharp bend that moves towards left direction and there you will find a presence of Himalayan yak and soaring around you will have an opportunity to see other wildlife animals like Sambar Deer, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr, Barking Deer, Goral and Musk Deer.
Walking an uphill could be a weary task but that’s where you will find the glory of Indian tigers, snow leopards, black leopards, Siberian tigers and clouded leopards and seeing them roaming extensively around the fence would be a privilege because most of the time we have seen them roaring in wildlife channels but to witness them in front of their eyes would be a dream run.
Next to a classified section of tigers and leopards you have the presence of Tibetan wolves, jackals and many more. Now moving down again you will find yourself within the boundary of avian course and that’s call for an end of your journey and precisely that calls for a journey of lifetime.
Things to Note
Traveler must remember that it is preservation centres or rather say sensitive area so responsible tourism is something we must look to cater and we must remember to maintain the decorum of the Zoological Park. Very limited animals are kept inside the zoo but the animals are rare of its kind and are kept here for breeding as most of the species are endangered or are on the verge of extinction.
How to Reach
By train- the nearest railway station to Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is New Jalpaiguri which is located at a distance of around 73km from here.
By air- the nearest airport is Bagdogra which is located at a distance of around 93 km from here.