After the damages caused by the super cyclone in 1999 a major upgrade was done to the zoological gardens in 2000. Every year nearly 2 million visitors visit this zoo to have a gala time with their family and little ones.
History of Nandankanan Zoo
However, the State Finance Department raised objection to a zoo in Odisha because of the various costing and investment involved in this process. While this issue was being debated the animals arrived back at Bhubaneswar. The forest department faced the problem of housing and feeding the animals, so temporary structures were built at Khandagiri for the animals and the Jains were asked to feed them.
The discussion of the real zoo started after the then Chief minister of Odisha, Dr H.K Mahatab visited animals. An initial proposal was made for the zoo to be located near the Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves. But due to the problem of drinking water the site was changed to Bhubaneswar. The Kanjia Lake was developed, roads were built and finally the zoo was opened. It was officially inaugurated on December 29, 1960. A botanical garden was opened within the same area in 1963. In 1964 the first tiger arrived in the zoo from Alipore Zoo, Calcutta. More animals like a pair of African lions, a pair of Mugger crocodiles and a Puma came in. The facility was then renamed to Nandankanan Zoological Park in 1981. In 2009, the zoological park became the first zoo in India to become the member of WAZA.
Animals in Nandankanan Zoo
Nandakanan Zoological Park is famous for its white tigers. The first litter of white tigers was born in 1980, since then many of them have been distributed all over India and internationally for breeding. Today the zoo is the home to 34 white tigers. Other endangered species like Asiatic Lion, Sangal tailed Macau, Nilgiri Langur, Indian mangoline, mouse deer, countless birds and reptiles can be found in this zoo successfully breeding.
The zoo includes an aquarium which houses a large variety of fresh and salt water fish. The park also has a reptile house and an orchid house, which serves as home to many rare reptiles and wild and rare orchids. Till date the orchid house is said to have alone documented one hundred thirty species of orchids.
Breeding Programs in Nandankanan Zoo
Other animals like crocodilians and pangolins are bread here. Crocodiles and pangolins from different locations, both national and international are brought here for breeding. Animals are also transferred to registered and approved branches for preservation of the species. Today there are 10 pangolins in total present in the zoo.
'Adopt an Animal' Program in Nandankanan Zoo
Khordha, Nandan Kanan Road
Barang, Orissa 754005
Phone: 0674 254 7850
Tuesday to Sunday
Timings: 8am to 5pm