Vandalur Zoo (Arignar Anna Zoological Park) in Chennai


Timings: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM; Weekly holiday: Tuesday.

Have you guys seen a white peacock before? This is the first time for me! In the blazing April heat of Chennai, I decided to go to the Vandalur Zoo (Arignar Anna Zoological Park) in Vandalur, Chennai. I was there around 8:30 AM (when the zoo opens) but I spent some time having breakfast at the Sangeetha restaurant opposite to it. Ah, what lovely food! πŸ™‚ The Vandalur zoo is on the GST road and is situated about 15 KM further off from the airport. I took the Chennai bypass on the Ponamalee road, and was able to reach this place faster.


This zoo/park is very big (It’s the biggest in India, it seems) and hence if people want to explore this place fully, they can take the electric vehicle (which stops at each enclosure)/a bicycle on rent. I was in a good mood to walk, so I just walked the entire stretch. It is possible, but I was too tired to go to the aquarium and a few other exhibits displayed at the end. It seems, lion safari and elephant safari are available, but I didn’t take them (mainly due to the crowd). On a holiday, you can expect this zoo to be heavily crowded.


There are many animals kept in this zoo, like the bear shown above but almost none of them are kept in small closed cages (except a few of them like jackal and leopard). This is a good and it seems, the zoo is trying to create a habitat closer to the natural habitat for animals and birds. The zoo is also involved in a lot of conservation activities by admitting and breeding rare species in a protected environment. There is one full fledged veterinary hospital inside the zoo premises.



Free ranging deer is ok, I have seen such free ranging deer already in Guindy National park. But free ranging snakes? OMG! It seems, one nine feet python in this zoo escaped from its enclosure last year. It should have been caught by now, but if not maybe we can catch it and hand it over to the authorities, if we spot it around this area πŸ˜€ At the end of this article, I will show you a lion and a tiger πŸ™‚



There are many birds kept inside a rather large enclosure (surrounded by nets) and some of them are really big. It seems, the neighboring Otteri lake is a favorite haunt of the migratory birds for nesting, but I am not sure if the general public is allowed into that area.Β  Even though the zoo is large, it has a thick cover of trees which provides a good amount of shade, almost throughout the park. Otherwise, we might have to visit the veterinary hospital ourselves, for sun-stroke! We are also one form of animals, right?


I was not impressed with the reptiles/crocodile section. There are so many crocodiles in small enclosures. The enclosures for snakes/night species are even smaller and they are displayed like objects inside a showcase with a glass enclosure in front ofΒ  openings in walls. The zoo authorities should come up with some innovative ideas to recreate their natural surroundings and give them larger space to roam around. I am in fact, waiting forΒ  the day when all zoo’s have large open spaces for animals/birds to freely roam around and we can go around in caged vehicles. I think the Bannerghatta national park near Bangalore is focused more on safari’s (but there is a zoo there, as well).


As promised, here is a lion and tiger!! It is there – can you see them? πŸ™‚ Actually, the display of these animals are prohibited and hence they are kept in protected reserve forest areas. So, we can only see them over a distance. I think it’s a good move because we can anyway see these animals in Discovery/NGC/Animal Planet channels and Youtube videos. What’s the point of catching them and putting them inside small cages?

But I’ll still show you the video of white tigers, which I was able to capture from a relatively closer range. Yes, there are white tigers! I am seeing them for the first time. See them, along with a few other animals/birds from the below embedded YouTube movie, made by me.

Destination Infinity


  • Jas

    Wow! that white peacock and the gator looked awesome… bad that lion and tiger are not really visible, must be escaping from the heat… πŸ™‚

    • Rajesh K

      The lion and tiger where kept at a considerable distance from the public. It seems there is some rule prohibiting the display of these animals in cages/small enclosures. I think it’s good. Most of the animals didn’t seem to mind the heat, except the animal called humans πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Strangely, even the Wikipedia doesn’t say much about the white peacock. There are so many photos of these birds floating on the Internet, but no details! Wonder why I never knew of them, before. I was able to get details about white tigers form Wiki, though.

      Destination Infinity

  • Johnny

    That seems awesome! Is this one of those safari-style zoos where the animals are more free ranging and you can drive around in a car or is it more of a traditional cage-style setup?

    • Rajesh K

      It’s more like a zoo and there are a couple of safari rides. But the enclosures are quite large for many of the bigger animals. I saw giraffe and elephants too, but they were at a distance. They had large enclosures to roam about freely.

      Destination Infinity

  • Vaish

    The white peacock always opens up its feathers like this at Vandalur! It’s amazing to see them show off their beautiful feathers isn’t it! I like vandalur zoo….that has been the school excursion for god-knows-how many years! I like the electric vehicle and renting the bike option – that’s a cool initiative! Loved the video compilation DI!

    • Rajesh K

      Yes, the white peacock seems to love all the attention it gets. Blue peacocks were also there but they were very quiet. I have gone to the vandalur zoo once, as a part of my school excursion. But this is the second time I am visiting the zoo.

      Destination Infinity

  • Sandhya Kumar

    The video is very good. I liked the background music too! We are thinking of visiting the zoo to see the white tiger cubs. Now it is too hot.

    I have got a picture of the white peacock from our last visit.

    Enjoyed the zoo tour! Thank you!

    • Rajesh K

      Oh, I didn’t notice white tiger cubs. Maybe they have kept it somewhere else. I saw seven grown up white tigers though. Since I was too young when I last visited this zoo, I don’t have much memories. Good that I went now.

      Destination Infinity

  • kavita

    This looks so much like zoo at my city , we too have a white peacock here. The only difference is that the water in your pictures is much more cleaner than that of Guwahati zoo .

    • Rajesh K

      The vandalur zoo seems to be quite well maintained, both outside and inside the enclosures. But the same cannot be exactly said about the Guindy national park though. So, there is a zoo in Guwahati? I might have to visit North East some day!

      Destination Infinity

  • ashreyamom

    wow.. it took me back in time.. we always went there for school excursions and when any relatives visit us.. white peacocks are there for past 15 years or so.. i heards that tigers are not surviving for long.. there used to many before..
    next time you can visit snake park in adyar and crocodile park on ecr..


    • Rajesh K

      I recently visited this zoo before 15 years! So, I was able to see the white peacock only now. I visited the snake park in guindy already, but yet to visit the crocodile park in ECR. Kids will definitely love this zoo, much more than us!

      Destination Infinity

  • sangeeta khanna

    The dancing white peacock looks amazing but inside the cage it make a paradigm of sorts πŸ™

    I had seen it in my childhood at the Calcutta zoo, I thought it was an albino first, but later got to know they are a different variety and are maintained in zoos by selective breeding.

    Nice blog.

    • Rajesh K

      I don’t have a reply for animals/birds/reptiles being inside cages. We endanger animals in the first place (due to reckless hunting) and then put them in zoo’s in order to give them a safe environment to survive! Heights of sadism.

      Destination Infinity

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