In October during the Dussehra holidays, I visited Nahargarh Zoological and Biological Park in Jaipur. The prime attraction of this visit was the recently shifted Jaipur zoo, from Ramniwas Garden near the Albert Hall museum to the Nahargarh Biological Park, Kukas, on Delhi Highway. This park has been in the making for the last few years and it opened in 2016.
I visited a part of this park having few enclosures with lions and tigers some 5 years ago. Old zoo being small forced the authorities to shift few cats to this place. I’m not sure if this section is still open to the public. I’m sharing a few pictures from that trip.
Visiting Nahargarh Biological Park zoo requires planning as it is 20 KM from the city center; a 45 minutes drive. I have wanted to visit the park because I have trekked in the vicinity many times. It’s a beautiful terrain that occupies 80 hectares.
The announcement board on the highway is subdued and one is likely to miss it. A narrow road from the highway leads to its entrance concealed by the Aravali hills. The road ends at a roundabout where you can purchase Nahargarh Biological and Zoological Park entry tickets.
It is here you can either park your vehicle or decide to take it further on paying extra charges. You can only drive a kilometer and half further from this point. My friend who had visited here before advised me to park the car in the parking lot. I hired an e-rickshaw available at a flat rate of Rs 60 one way.
The road which leads from the roundabout to the zoo entrance is cemented. Many people choose to walk this distance. Still-camera is charged steeply and the entrance ticket is checked twice before you enter the zoo.
I was delighted with the well-planned layout and landscaping of the zoo area. One gets a feeling of an expansive and open space.
The first open air cage was that of a white tiger. I’m assuming a reason for placing the white tiger away from other cats. Looks like the aim is to delight and wow visitors since white tiger is not common in a zoo.
One gets to see a variety of animals from sloth bear, crocodile, emu, civet, porcupine to various species of deer. Infomation about each species is also placed on a board adjacent to the enclosure.
You will find benches placed along the walkway in case you want to sit & relax. There’s a resting hut along with public toilet, however the upkeep of the toilet is poor. It looked like it wasn’t cleaned for days and there were signs of vandalism.
In a zoo, the prime attraction is either exotic animals like Giraffe, Elephant and so on. However, in Nahargarh Biological Park it is big cats. The anticipation for the cat family starts building up when one notices painted paw marks on the walkway.
Enclosures of cat family are placed side by side. There is a lion, a Bengal tiger, and a panther.
The last section of this zoo is that of a fox family.
Overall, the zoo at Nahargarh Biological Park is bigger and better than the old Jaipur zoo. Bird section is yet to be shifted to here which is a dampener since it doesn’t complete the zoo experience. From the perspective of animals the topography is natural with no human settlement around.
Improvements can be made in a couple of areas. I do feel that there is a need for better facilities especially the food and water. Currently, there is no canteen or food court for the visitors. In summers the lack of drinking water will be a menace; make sure you are carrying enough water with you on your visit.
Nahargarh Zoological Park entry ticket is priced at Rs 20 for students, Rs 50 for Indian adults and Rs 200 for foreigners. Charges for a car is Rs 200 and camera Rs 600. Booking can be done online https://sso.rajasthan.gov.in/signin
The timing of Nahargarh Zoological Park is 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM.