West Bengal holds Darjeeling as one of its main tourist attractions. There’s always a reason to visit: the toy trains, the hills and the momos are enough to call out to us but, that in no way means Darjeeling is satisfied with what it offers. India’s largest high-altitude zoo is in Darjeeling! Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park spans across over 67 acres. The Darjeeling zoo stands at 7,153 feet with the backdrop of one of the highest peaks in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga. The beautiful town is famous for its youthful energy courtesy educational institutions in the area and a mountain view like no other.
What is it
The Darjeeling zoo is a special one. It’s home to animals who need high altitudes and treat the area as their natural environment. Rare Himalayan animals found a respite from the active deforestation and climate change here. Former Director of the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, A.K. Jha was reported saying “the park was one of very few stretches of natural forest that had remained largely untouched.” This is one of the reasons behind its success. High altitude animals like Yak, Himalayan Bear, deer, Mountain Goat, Leopard and many bird species thrive here. Some endangered species are also protected by this ecosystem. The rare Red Panda and Snow Leopards survive in this 67-acre green patch. Tibetan Wolves and Siberian Tigers can also be spotted here.
The Darjeeling zoo is a haven for fauna. There are over 200 species of trees, shrubs, climbers, medicinal herbs, fungi and micro flora within the premises. A study reported more than a 100 years old slow-growing Oak, 60 species of orchids, medicinal herbs to treat high blood pressure and cuts and wounds are growing in the zoo. This is not the only amazing zoo in India. Gujarat Zoo Near Statue Of Unity To Become Home To Animals From 17 Countries!
On a trip to Bengal, Darjeeling is always on the list. Now, the Darjeeling zoo must be too. This is an extraordinary experience with a whiff of cold breeze. Turn your mountain trip to a wildlife adventure, even if just for a day. Plan your trip according to season. The zoo is open from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM in the winter and from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM in the summer. The timings only differ slightly but the animals all have their own body clocks. The Darjeeling zoo was dedicated to freedom fighter and politician Padmaja Naidu by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and till date remains a spectacular tribute to her memory. Put this on the 2020 travel bucket people!
Where: Darjeeling – Jorethang Road, Near Birch Hill Resort, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal