Saturday, February 24, 2024

Nandankanan At A Glance – N.F Times

In a captivating showcase of biodiversity, Nandankanan, a hidden gem in the heart of our nation, has emerged as a sanctuary of natural wonders. Nestled amid lush green landscapes and teeming with diverse flora and fauna, this sanctuary stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of life thriving within its bounds.

From vibrant orchids to majestic elephants, Nandankanan paints a vivid picture of ecological harmony. A haven for bird enthusiasts, the sanctuary echoes the melodies of rare and migratory species, adding a symphonic touch to the serene atmosphere.

In a groundbreaking initiative, conservationists and local authorities have collaborated to implement sustainable practices, ensuring the preservation of this ecological marvel for generations to come. Educational programmes and guided tours offer visitors an immersive experience, fostering a deeper understanding of the delicate ecosystems that make Nandankan truly exceptional.

Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan Zoological Park, a prominent zoo with a distinctive heritage, is situated in Bhubaneswar in the environs of the Chandaka forest, Odisha, India. The name Nandankanan itself says, “The Garden of Heaven,” with a mission to become an outstanding zoo by providing visitors with thrilling experiences, education, research, and conservation opportunities.

It began operations in 1960 with the name Nandankanan Biological Park, and in 1981, it was rechristened as Nandankanan Zoological Park. It became the first zoo in India to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009.

What to See in Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan provides tourists with a wide range of exhibits and experiences. The 210 cages at Nandankanan enhance the zoo. The presence of open moat enclosures in addition to cages is significant.

To accommodate all animals, there are 116 cages and 94 open-moated enclosures at Nandankanan. With 156 animal species, it is home to 41 species of mammals, 83 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, and 6 species of amphibians, among others. 

The collection of animals in Nandankanan is enormous which includes 1,175 mammals, 1,546 birds, 262 reptiles, and 21 amphibians, and there are 3,004 nonexistent animals. There are 53 foreign and 103 native species among these 156. Inside the sanctuary, there are free-ranging species of animal species, 120 bird species, 15 reptile species, and 85 butterfly species.

Why is Nandankanan famous?

Nandankanan is the only zoo in India to be credited with housing the Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximus), and Open-billed Stork (Anastomus oscitans). Furthermore, it holds the distinction of being one of only two zoos in India with Orang-Utans (the others are in Kanpur Zoological Park, Uttar Pradesh), Indian Pangolins (the others are in Jhargram Zoo, West Bengal), Spotted Munias (the others are in Sayajibaug Zoo, Gujurat), and Burmese Pythons (the others are in Calcutta Snake Park, West Bengal). It is one of India’s three zoos that is home to cinereous vultures and winged Macaws.

In 1980, Nandankanan established a special location for the productive captive breeding of Gharials, an endangered species. The world now recognises Nandankanan as one of the main host zoos for white tigers due to the birth of white tigers from regular coloured tigers. Other notable examples of Nandankanan’s successful breeding efforts are the following: Indian pangolin (1971), mouse deer (1972), Malayan giant squirrel (1974), sloth bear (1978), mugger (1982), Himalayan black bear (1982), lion-tailed macaque (1983), brow-antlered deer (1984), saltwater crocodile (1985), Indian porcupine (1986), White-neckedd stork (1986), caiman crocodile (1990), water monitor lizard (1996), swamp deer (1998), chimpanzee (1999), grey heron (2000), and Siamese crocodile (2010), ratel (2012), and numerous free-living creatures, among them open-billed storks.

Opening and Closing Timings and Entry Fees of Nandankanan

Entry gate NandadnkananThe Zoological Park is open from 07:30 to 17:30 from April to September and from 08:00 to 17:00 from October to March, with closures on Mondays. The entry fee for adults (more than 12 years of age) is Rs. 50; for children (3 to 12 years of age), Rs. 10, and for foreign nationals, Rs. 100. For photography, the Handy-cam is Rs. 100, the high-end video camera is Rs. 500, and the movie camera is Rs. 4000.

On Mondays and certain national holidays, Nandankanan remains closed to visitors.

Facilities at Nandankanan

Toy Train Station at Nandankanan

  1. Toy Train: The 1.58 km circular track begins at the toy train station and travels alongside a lake and a densely forested hilltop region where free-ranging herbivores can be found. In October 2021, Toy Train opened for visitors. The ticket price for adults (>12 years) is Rs 50/-  &  for children (3-12 years), it is Rs 30/-. Train every 30 minutes, starting from 9.30 a.m. until 4.30 p.m., with breaks from 1.00 pm to 2.00 p.m. First come, first served for up to 50 people per trip.

2. Battery-Operated-Vehicle: To facilitate elderly and physically challenged visitors in particular and tourists in general, battery-operated vehicles (BOVs) are available. The ticket price for Unreserved- Rs80/- per individual; Reserved- Rs 1000/- per group for 1 hour.

The starting point is near Fountain Square, and subsequent stations are in a sequential manner, which are as follows:

  • Station 1 : Herbivore lane
  • Station 3: Safari Entrance Gate
  • Station 4: Tiger Avenue 
  • Station 6: Nocturnal square
  • Station 7: Kanan Square (Hyena and Jackal)
  • Station 8: Sloth Bear (Enclosure no-16-C)

3. Safari: In its natural habitat, there are four safaris: tiger, lion, bear, and herbivore.

You are exposed to a singular scenario in which the animals are free to explore the open jungle while the guests are imprisoned in a car.

The ticket price for Non AC- Rs 65/-(per individual) and for AC- Rs 100/-(per individual).

Boating at Nandankanan4. Boating: The ticket price for the paddle boat (2-seater: 50, the paddle boat (4-seater: 10 and the Paddle Boat (6-seater: 150)

5. Ropeway: The 618-meter-long monocable pulsating ropeway connects the State Botanical Garden and Nandankanan Zoo across Kanjia Lake. Because of its size, it provides guests with a special aerial perspective of the flora and wildlife and an opportunity to take in the breathtaking overhead view of Kanjia Lake. There are twelve cabins on Ropeway, and each cabin can accommodate six people. The ticket price is Rs. 120 per person (above 3 years chargeable). Tickets are available for purchase at both the State Botanical Garden and Nandankanan from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

6. Multi-Level Car Parking: Three levels of parking are available at Nandankanan. The cost for bicycles is Rs 05 for six hours; for motorcycles and other two-wheelers, it is Rs 20 for six hours (with additional costs for helmets, if desired); for three-wheelers, it is Rs 30; for four-wheelers (LMV), it is Rs 50; and for buses, it is Rs 70.

With its tranquil lakes, dense forests, and a vibrant spectrum of wildlife, Nandankana is not merely a destination; it is a living tableau of nature’s resilience and beauty. As we delve into its depths, Nandankana beckons us to appreciate the intricate dance of life that unfolds within its leafy embrace.

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