Darjeeling Zoo popularly known by the sobriquet of Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a very unique zoo which has found immense success in breeding of alpine conditions animals such as the Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf and Red Panda. It is an also an important tourist site in the hills as it attracts huge number of tourists every season.
Nestled at an altitude of 2133.5 meters amidst serene surroundings with the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga in the backdrop, Darjeeling Zoo was opened in the year 1958. In the year 1975, the then Indian Prime Minister, late Indira Gandhi dedicated the zoo to commemorate the loving memory of Padmaja Naidu, the former Governor of West Bengal and also the daughter of national leader Sarojini Naidu. The main motive of the zoo was to preserve the beautiful Himalayan species of the hills. It is considered the first zoo in South Asia to breed the rare Himalayan species of Snow Leopard and Siberian Tiger. It is also well known for breeding programmes of Tibetan Wolf, Red Panda and Himalayan Salamander. Apart from these, tourists can see many other fascinating alpine species here such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Tibetan wolf, goral(mountain goat), panther, llama and deer, to name a few. There is also an aviary cage inside the zoo where one can see many rare species of colourful birds like the Rose Ring Parakeets, Hill Mynas, Blue Gold Macau, Ring Necked Pheasants, etc.
Darjeeling Zoo can be accessed by taking a local taxi from the bus stand. One can also reach there by walking as it is just 3 kms away from the main
town near Singamari.
The premises outside the zoo are lined with many temporary souvenir shops and food stalls. After enjoying a lovely time inside the zoo, tourists can get outside and shop for many souvenir items like locally made handicrafts, woollen clothes, decorative items, wooden articles, etc. Also enjoy a hot cup of Darjeeling tea and taste the famous local food called ‘Momo’ at the food stalls.
Anyone visiting Darjeeling must plan a trip to the Zoo. It is a very unique holiday experience that is worthy of staying in your memorabilia for the rest of your life.
- Special feature: Well known for its conservation breeding programmes of Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger, Red Panda, etc.
- Connectivity: Can be accessed by local taxis or by walking.
- Dressing Restrictions: Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in.
- Nuisance: Very calm and free of disturbances.
- Best time to visit: April to June and September to December.
- Visit timings: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
(Closed on Thursdays and on all National Holidays)
- Entry fees: Rs. 30 for Indian nationals and Rs. 100 for foreign tourists.
Camera: Rs. 10(All prices are subject to change)
- Enjoyed by: Families and backpackers.
- Facilities: There is a very good scope of shopping for local handicrafts and items outside the zoo.
- Things not allowed: Nothing as such.
- Suggestion: Do not disturb the animals while visiting around the zoo.