UPDATE as on November 2021: It’s absolutely cruel to cage animals & show them off like objects. Animals belong in the wild. And if we want to spend some time in their company or in their habitat, we must go to Tiger Reserves, National Parks or Bird Sanctuaries. This is why I haven’t been to a zoo for a few years now, and I will probably not go out of my own accord in future either. That said, I am in no position to comment that zoos must be banned or discontinued. So, if you do like a zoo, no hard feelings!
Adjusting the TV antenna to improve the reception, showing off the new Sony Walkman, blowing big bubbles after chewing the gum, safekeeping our white canvas school shoes, playing carom with family for hours, meeting your friends in the colony park in the evening, waiting by the phone receiver for hours and dialling any number (yeah, just about any eight digit landline phone number) as soon as a parent left the drawing room – these are the many memories that made our childhood colorful while we (the proud kids of 80s and 90s) were eagerly waiting to grow up.
One of the many colorful memories that I have from my childhood is – waking up every weekday morning & hoping that it was a Sunday that day so that I could sit in front of the TV and watch ‘The Jungle Book: the adventures of Mowgli’ & revel in the joys of the JUNGLE (forest).
Pretty soon, I found my friends in: the well meaning but naughty Mowgli, the wise and protective Bagheera, the clever and friendly Baloo, the sharp but short-tempered Kaa & the loving & caring wolf pack led by Akela. They were my comrades and I never missed my weekly rendezvous with them every Sunday at 12 o’clock, sharp.
When they took the show off air, I was very disappointed until one day my father took the three of us: me, my younger sister & the youngest Mowgli of our family (my brother) to the National Zoological Park of Delhi on a Sunday morning. Watching these fantastic beasts (as J. K. Rowling would like to call them) live was an experience of a lifetime for us & we couldn’t thank our father enough for bringing us to the zoo of Delhi.
Interestingly, when I visited Delhi Zoo a couple of years back, I realized that visits to the Zoo are as enjoyable for adults as they are for kids. In fact, you could plan a picnic on a Sunday morning & celebrate the company of these fantastic beasts at Mathura road, Delhi.
Chirpy, fluttering beings of Chidiya Ghar:
Delhi zoo is popularly called ‘Chidiya Ghar’ because of the sheer variety of birds that it houses. You can hear the screechy, chirpy sounds of Hornbills, Parakeets, Kites and Eagles from a distance. Occasionally, a Myna would like the face of a visitor and say something in her most melodious voice.
Across the hues of black, blue and grey, the white of ducks shone brightly. Most of them probably knew this which is why they didn’t look at us even once. Sigh!
This pretty one was the most introvert of all. She refused to come to the front and kept avoiding all the attention that came its way. Camera shy, may be!
These two were struck by the love bug and would not leave each other’s company for a second. They didn’t look at us either, but for different reasons. They were too much in love!
And here it is – the bird of the nation, the royal Peacock in its full glory. Very few things can match to the beauty of a peacock with its feathers spread!
The hairy & furry beings:
You get to meet all wild animals here ranging from sloth bears to Jackals to Langoors to Foxes to Porcupins. Infact, the whole cast of ‘The Gods must be crazy’ is present in the National Zoo of Delhi: guerrillas, hyenas, jackals, deer, zebras and giraffes.
Doesn’t this hippo remind you of the Erumpent from the Fantastic beasts? Yeah, I know that it’s not quite like the Erumpent but there are a few similarities here and there. No?
It was absolutely difficult to click a picture of this jumpy being. He continued to hop from one branch to another while all of us shifted our cameras from angle to angle.
The ‘Hiss’ of the slithering beings!
I have always envied the crocodiles and the alligators of the world for it seems that they got all the time of the world. They don’t worry about the timelines, fret over the criticism and lay as they may, all day round. No one can bother them and they eat, prey and sleep as they like. Wonderful, ain’t it?
Don’t miss the fact that there are a couple in the picture. They were quite intimidating in real as well.
And here comes the Sher Khan or as some would prefer, Mr. Richard Parker!
How to reach there: You could take a metro (yellow line) to Pragati Maidan & take an auto from there to the zoo.
Days open: Zoo is open on all days except Fridays and public holidays
Timings: In Summers (1st Apr. – 15th Oct.), it is 9:00 am to 4:30 pm & in winters (16th Oct. to 31st Mar.), it is 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Tickets: Very nominal; For adults, INR 40 (Indian nationals) & INR 200 (foreign nationals). For kids, INR 20 (Indian nationals) & INR 100 (foreign nationals).
- Still camera: INR 50 per day
- Amateur: INR 200 per day
- Documentary: INR 2,000 per day
- Feature film: INR 20,000 per day
Nearby attractions: You could also visit Humayun’s tomb which is 1 km. away from Zoo.