When my son was home for summer earlier this year, one of our outings was to the Zoo—the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore. We love visiting the zoo and thoroughly enjoy walking around and seeing the animals and this visit was no exception. What can I say? It is pure Zoo Zen.
Established in 1970, the Bannerghatta zoo was a picnic corner near the city and later, declared a national park in 1974. It now occupies an area of 104.3 km²
Now come, let’s take a trip around the zoo. I’ve listed some tips at the end of the post.
Oh, by the way, do carry spare batteries and memory cards for your camera. There are no shops in the vicinity selling those. My memory card malfunctioned as soon as I took my camera out to take pictures and I ended up formatting it as a last resort…and it worked. Good thing I backed up the photos the previous night. Phew!
First up was the hippopotamus enclosure, followed by the birds. We took the right turn at the entrance and roughly followed the road in that direction. Then, we saw crocodiles and monkeys, a vast variety of birds, giant squirrels, monitors, king cobras, pythons, tigers, pigeons (can’t escape them!), zebras, elephants, deer, bears, hyenas and much, much more.
Here are some pictures:
There was a baby hippo too, cuddling its mama!
“They also serve, who stand and wait”
These birds can stand for hours without changing position!
In stillness, there’s joy.
“I know you’re looking at me! I am used to it!”
Life is good. And we are unique black swans.
What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to lay down and stare?
Yes, I am an endangered species. Don’t give me junk to eat!
I know you want to take pictures. So I pressed myself against the net!
Thanks, I like my view from here!
It is not mandatory to be multi-colored to be magnificent! White works wonderfully!
Golden giant squirrel.
Slow and steady may win the race, but we’re in no hurry to go anywhere. These guys stayed that way for the full fifteen minutes we stood there looking at them! So soothing.
And these tiny star turtles were super-charming.
Slowly slithering to the end of the log-bridge, this fabulous python was looooooong! There were several in the enclosure.
This gorgeous blue crowned pigeon (I know!!) was fascinating. So brilliantly colored!
Hello there! This one kept strolling all over the enclosure, pretty much like walking the ramp!
This chameleon! We took a while to notice it and you know why!
Ah! One of the big-fives. Royal. Unperturbed. He’s a tiger.
This was cuteness itself. To see the elephants having a good time. One was totally rogue while the other, the younger one, was playful. And quite the showman!
Serene, gentle, basking in the sun. Ready to run at the slightest noise, though!
Yup! Snack time!
Siesta–best time of day! Lucky we spotted them!
Slither, slither water snake!
What shall we do today? These “galloping” zebras were deep in conversation
After the zoo, we headed to the butterfly park. The road from the gate to the entrance with this giant butterfly cutout was supremely serene and beautiful.
Inside the museum. There were video shows going on for whoever wished to see.
All in all, a great day out. We walked to the bus stand via the shops leading to the zoo’s entrance and settled in a Volvo for the almost two-hour ride back to Majestic, from where we took another bus home.
The zoo is quite well-maintained, and if there’s one thing that could have been better, it is signboards. They still have the ancient ones that are misleading. But then, we didn’t let that stop us from exploring and we really had a great time. Luckily for us, we saw almost all the animals, some on our second round. It was a warm day and I guess the animals needed their siesta too. All the enclosures were well populated.
I wish we had included the safari, but the weather forecast was heavy rains and thunder and we decided not to. Our loss. There’s a lion and tiger safari, a bear safari, and a herbivore safari. The animals are in their natural habitat. I still remember the last time we visited—and being stunned at the size of the tiger there. The white tiger is just gorgeous. This time around we only saw the tiger in the regular enclosure. We missed the King…the Lion and the giraffe. Next time, definitely!
- The Zoo is closed on Tuesdays
- You can book tickets online –it is a smooth process. Better include Safari if you plan to go, as the queues at the Zoo are crazy and you may end up spending all day waiting your turn.
- There is an eco-friendly battery-operated vehicle you can hire to tour the zoo. Costs Rs.300 per head. Convenient for those that cannot walk/the elderly.
- Don’t miss the Butterfly Park. It is a five-minute walk from the zoo and has a great knowledge center, museum and curio shop attached to it.
- There’s a museum and auditorium where they screen pictures and we were keen to see it, but it was closed.
- We saw the rock and prehistoric garden mentioned on the website but the guards were not able to guide us.
- Boating is available at a fee.
- Can take pictures, so remember to carry camera. There’s a fee.
- Carry drinking water.
- Plenty of eateries inside the zoo, with drinking water facilities and rest rooms
- Lots of places to sit and relax. We saw many families there enjoying a day out while children played outdoor games.
- There is Hill View Restaurant near the entrance, inside the zoo and we heard it was good.
- Try and reach the zoo by 9.30 am so you can finish the safari first and have enough time to see the rest of the zoo. It is open till 5 pm.
- Here is the website—quite comprehensive. And if you call the zoo, they answer quite courteously.
- There’s ample parking outside.
- You can also stay at the jungle lodges and enjoy a weekend break. Info about this is on the website.
- There are many buses that go directly to the zoo from Majestic (Kempegowda bus station). Takes an hour and a half from Majestic to the Zoo.
Do you enjoy visiting the zoo?
Have you visited the Bannerghatta zoo?