Home #AtoZChallenge Zoo Zen – 10 of the best national parks I’ve visited

Zoo Zen – 10 of the best national parks I’ve visited

by Vidya Sury April 30, 2013 20 comments
Zoo Zen

Day 26 of the #AtoZChallenge is Zoo Zen and it wraps up the A to Z Challenge – and gosh, how I am going to miss it! I never even imagined I’d stick right through to the end as I’ve been traveling since April 13 with limited internet access. And I have a confession to make – I couldn’t schedule all the posts until Z – as I was too busy wrapping up work a couple of weeks before I left.

So I had to write some of the posts after April 13 – and I am deeply grateful to my friend for keeping me motivated, and inspired to do it.  I am also thankful for the technology that makes it possible to schedule.

Thanks to Vanita for ensuring zero website downtime – for what good is everything if my blog weren’t accessible?  Yikes!

Thanks to everyone!

So – Z for obviously Zoo! I am a big fan of the zoo and have had the pleasure of visiting many – I love them. Nature is so soothing, so refreshing.  Here are ten of the most memorable zoos I’ve had the pleasure of visiting:

….  Zoo Zen

Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden or Guwahati Zoo in Guwahati

This was a lovely experience and my most memorable moment here was watching the bears eat rice and carrots. Their tongues would dart out and lick the carrots clean of rice, rapidly. And then, they would leisurely eat the carrots. I really enjoyed this!

One of the giraffes was christened Saraswathy, which is my middle name and I was so tickled to see that! All my photos from here are hard copies as I didn’t have a digicam back then.

Zoo Zen bear

Thanks merinews.com

Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai (Vandaloor Zoo)

A delirious family trip to the zoo, this was such fun. The van we hired was packed with us and food. It was my favorite uncle’s birthday and a sort of celebration. We kept ourselves in good spirits even though most of the animals were enjoying their afternoon siesta!  We had a great time though.

Zoo Zen

Guindy National Park in Chennai

What a delightful experience this was! Just my son and I. It was the right time of year to visit, especially the bird enclosures. Absolutely beautiful. I remember we then went to a restaurant one of my closest friends and I visited every Saturday back when we were in college.

It was a long lazy afternoon walking around Guindy via all the regular places my friend and I haunted. The exciting part is – she wrote to me saying she did the same thing with her son! Absolute Zoo Zen.

Zoo Zen

Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad

After being a resident of Hyderabad and seeing the Zoo innumerable times, I can never get enough of this place. Back in the 70s and 80s, we would take every guest on a city tour when they visited. A couple of years ago, I decided to enjoy the day trip organized by AP Tourism and had a great time seeing all the sights through my son’s eyes.

We barely noticed the scorching heat as we went from place to place, enjoying a great time. We were especially fascinated to see a massive tortoise, 100s of years old. Zoo Zen, yes.

#AtoZChallenge Hyd Zoo

Source Wikimedia

Borivali National Park in Mumbai

This place was rather bare when we visited and the heat was just crazy! We didn’t see much there, although I visited many times in my childhood and had a good time. This is the best exhibit I loved here – Shivaji with his Mother Jija Mata

Zoo Zen Mumbai


Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore

My friend and I took our kids, with the intention of a day trip here…only to discover that two three-year-olds can be amazingly exhausting. We were keen on seeing the safari and cleverly decided that she would stand in the serpentine line for the tickets while I showed the kids around.  No sooner did we take off, one wanted to be carried. I obliged.

Then the second one decided he wanted to be carried too – and there I was, hanging on to two energetic three-year-olds and panting and puffing through the place.  An hour later, we returned to the safari ticket line where my friend was closer to the counter. The moment we got into the Safari van, both kids decided to nap. Grrr. So just the two of us ended up seeing the tigers.  Our kids are both 15 now but we still remember this particular outing and can’t stop laughing over it.


Kaziranga National Park in Kazironga, Assam

This one was exciting – we stayed over at the park and enjoyed our government’s excellent hospitality. We had a mind-blowing ride in a jeep on a crazy road and got to see the unusual rhinos, followed by an elephant ride which I loved.

Zoo Zen Assam

Thanks expertbulletin.com

The Mysore Zoo in Mysore

Perhaps one of the best-maintained zoos I’ve seen, it is amazing how most of the animals are adopted, mostly by celebrities – which probably accounts for the wonderful maintenance. I’ve been here a few times, but enjoyed the last visit, last year, when we took a ride through the zoo in their zero-pollution van. An easy trip that was, especially since it was scorching hot. 100% Zoo Zen.

Zoo Zen

Zoo Zen

Among my favorites from the Ranganthittu Sanctuary in Mysore

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling

A grand experience! This beautiful park is focused on indigenous and endangered species in their natural surroundings. The highlight was the red panda that we saw for the first time.  The weather was gorgeous – gently sunny yet cold and all the animals were close enough for us to almost touch them. This was a lovely visit!

red panda

Gangtok Zoo in Gangtok

This was an unexpected treat as we had to ditch our original itinerary, due to heavy rains and sight-see in Gangtok. No complaints, though, as it was an equally magical day.  Massive, as the animals were in their natural habitat, there was a lot of walking and we would’ve gotten lost had it not been for our driver cum guide. Vidur had his first “leech” experience here. Ewwww! Painless bleeding can be freaky!

Zoo Zen

Hmmm…so that just about wraps up the April #AtoZChallenge 2013!

Today I recommend

Arlee Bird

Special thanks to Arlee, the founder of the challenge, for this great opportunity to learn

Special thanks for the beautiful banners and badges, Jeremy!

Thanks again to you all, my dear friends!

Have a sunshiny week!
 happiness sun flower

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Roshni April 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

Wow! You’ve been to a lot of zoos in India, Vidya!
It was so wonderful reading all your posts for the challenge. Definitely will keep visiting!
Roshni recently posted…The last post of the April Challenge!

Afshan April 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

OMG – u have visited so many zoos. I have been to Nehru zoo , Chennai national park( Guindy) and zoo in bhubhaneswar and bombay I guess (I dont remember much) but have similar clicks. Zoo trips are always fun !
Anyway HEARTIEST congrats on finishing the challeng inspite of trips and busy schedules. Looking forward to your trip posts 🙂
Take care and keep in touch
Afshan recently posted…“Z” for “Ze end” and “Zillions of Thanks!”

PhenoMenon April 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

U seem to be playing musical zoos.. Now thats a lot of zoos, wow

PhenoMenon recently posted…Zen #atozchallenge

Corinne Rodrigues April 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

What a fab collection of zoo memories!
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Zulu Principle

Shilpa Garg April 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

So many Zoos you have been to, Vidya! Awesome collection of memories! 🙂
Shilpa Garg recently posted…Z is from …. Zeal to Zzzz….

Kajal Kapur April 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Wow! that’s a lot of zoos…all my life i have been to just 3 and somehow I have never enjoyed my trips…guess I am a bit boring that way!
Kajal Kapur recently posted…Zen and my journey to find it.

Shannon April 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Beautiful way to wrap up this challenge Vidya…thanks so much for participating and sharing your experiences with us! Blessings and hope to see you around the blogosphere!

Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run
Shannon recently posted…Update On My Recovery After Surgery

Nandana April 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

What a wonderful zoo-post Vidya. Awed!

Congratulations on completing! Way to go!
Nandana recently posted…Zodiac Signs and the science behind it

Kaarina Dillabough April 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Now I do believe I’m going to go back to A and get caught up. What with all our meeting up in person, I missed most of your series. Kudos to you for sticking with it: you’re prolific!…and wonderful:) Cheers! Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted…The Waste Bin of Mindfulness

Joy V Smith May 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

Excellent finish! And it’s fun saying the two words together. Really. I enjoy words.

Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy May 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

Congratulations, Vidya! You did it! I am impressed. There’s no way I could have written a post a day for 30 days. You’re my hero! 🙂
Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy recently posted…How to Cure Boredom Forever (four simple solutions)

Sandra Pawula May 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

Congratulations on making it through to Z! That’s a huge accomplishment, and so enjoyable for us too. I rarely go to zoos so it was fascinating to have a tour here. What an amazing tiger and rhino!
Sandra Pawula recently posted…The Heart of April: Best Links and a Mini-Monthly Review

Suzy May 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Wow that’s a lot of zoos you’ve visited. thanks for taking us on a virtual tour. Nice knowing you Vidya. I’ve enjoyed all your posts. Keep in touch.
Suzy recently posted…UBC 30 – AtoZ – Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

Pamela May 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

Honey, I so love that you profiled all these great zoos. But I guess you wouldn’t be surprised coming from an animal lover like me 🙂
Pamela recently posted…Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Terri Sonoda May 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Wonderful post! Love the pictures too. That tiger is stunning! Thanks for sharing!
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Elle May 4, 2013 at 1:53 am

You are so impressive Vidya. I’d like some of your stick to it ness please. And you ended with a bang or a roar given that it was those fab pics of zoos you’re been too.

Congratulations on your amazing days of blogging.

Love Elle
Elle recently posted…Help…I Can’t Stop My Negative Thoughts.

Cathy Taughinbaugh May 4, 2013 at 2:01 am

Love this one Vidya. Zoo Zen – very cute. Love the pics and good for you for doing your A to Z posting! Take care, Cathy
Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted…How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Are You Willing to Go?

Galen Pearl May 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

The white tiger is such a magnificent animal. I saw one in a zoo years ago and I still remember. Hope your travels are going well.
Galen Pearl recently posted…Trillium Thrills

My Inner Chick May 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

thank you for taking us to your exquisite zoo. I usually don’t go because I despise cages, but these animals appear more Free.

Love you MUCH more than zoos.

PS. have you watched or read THE LIFE OF PI yet?

My Inner Chick recently posted…Big Hats, Buck House, & Beautiful Harry

Vidya Sury May 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Yes, Kim! I saw the Life of Pi on the London-Delhi flight and absolutely loved it! 😀 Hugs!

And yes, these animals are not in cages…they’re in their natural environment and we have to patiently wait for them to make an appearance.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Zoo Zen


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