The Darjeeling zoo or the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the largest high altitude zoo in India. Darjeeling is one of our favourite destinations and the zoo always adds to the charm of visiting Darjeeling. We are never really tired to visit this gem lying in the lap of the Himalayas. It houses the rarest and endangered Himalayan animal species. The zoo was opened in 1958 at an elevation of about 7000 ft. A 3 km walk from The Chowrasta Mall will take you to the Jawahar Parvat – the place where the zoo stands.
Sprawled across an area of 27 hectares, the zoo has diverse flora and fauna. As you enter the zoo you will first encounter a Himalayan bear moving around playfully in its area. The photography enthusiasts are all ready with the camera to click the black playful mammal. Also, selfies with bear are quite a common trend these days!
The path is now bifurcated. To the left there is an uphill path and a flight of stairs. Take the uphill path and come down by the stairs. As you move uphill, you will encounter the Goral, Blue sheep, yak, various species of deer like musk deer, sambhar deer and barking deer.
The golden jackal, Tibetan wolf and Himalayan Tahr (a species of wild goat) are also seen. If you take the straight road, you will come across the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute – a heaven for the mountaineers.
As you climb up towards the upper part of the zoo, you will see the Indian tigers across the wired fence. The most famous among the animals are surely the Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, snow leopard and Black Panther.
As you come down the stairs, you are again in front of the main gate. Now go towards the right and you will see the cutest member of the zoo – the Red Panda.
The zoo is dedicated to the conservation and captive breeding o the Red Panda as it is in danger of becoming extinct caused by large scale hunting, trapping and trading and disturbance. The antics of the red panda is surely win your heart and you might as well adopt one!
The Darjeeling zoo has a unique adoption program. The zoo offers its animals to be dopted by the general public for their conservation and care taking. You can get the details here.
Here you will find an aquarium housing a tortoise and the endangered Himalayan Newt. As you move further, there is a section for the pheasants. The zoo has some very beautiful and colourful birds- Kalij pheasant, Golden pheasant, Silver pheasant, grey peacock pheasant. But the colourful Monal surely steals the show.
Some useful information:
The zoo is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 Pm during the summer and till 4:00 Pm during the winter.
The zoo remains closed on Thursdays
For Indians and SAARC : Rs.20/-
For foreign nationals : Rs.50/-
Camera Charge : Rs.10/-
Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Darjeeling zoo through our photographs. Just get in touch with us for any other information.
Take a virtual tour of the zoo here.