Nandankanan Zoological Park – Ticket Price, Entry Timing, History, Flora and Fauna

One of the largest and most renowned zoos in India is Nandankanan Zoological Park. This zoo, which is situated in Bhubaneswar, was established amid a wet deciduous forest that is semi-evergreen, unlike others in the nation. The animals kept in this zoo are given a sense of their natural surroundings and are allowed to walk around fearlessly. In addition to being the only center for the conservation breeding of Indian pangolins worldwide, Nandankanan has the distinction of being the first zoo in the world to breed Melanistic and White tigers.

The Nandankanan Zoo, the only one in the nation to be a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquarium (WAZA), is also acknowledged by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for the preservation of Indian pangolins, tigers, and long-billed vultures. It is also the first zoo in the nation where endangered Ratels were conceived in captivity and has an open-top habitat for leopards. The zoo contains spacious ponds for hosting hippopotamuses and gharials, and it has served as a facility for the latter’s captive breeding since 1980.

In literal terms, the name “Nandankanan” translates to “Garden of the Heavens.” Because of the zoo’s significance and exclusivity, the Indian Railways named an express train after it, the Nandankanan Express, and the Indian Postal Department created a special cover with images of the zoo on it. Especially for those who are traveling with children, a trip to the Nandankanan Zoological Park and Botanical Garden is essential while in the city of Bhubaneswar.

Nandankanan zoological park front gate

History Of Nandankanan Zoological Park

It’s a fascinating story of how the Nandankanan Zoo came to be. In 1960, some forest authorities from Odisha chose to promote their state at the World Agricultural Fair in Delhi by bringing rare native flowers and wild animals. The plan, however, immediately ran into difficulties because it was determined that obtaining and transporting such exotic creatures would be exceedingly expensive.


As a result, it was agreed again to bring tiny animals to the fair instead, including Wild cats, Flying squirrels, Peacocks, Mouse deer, Pangolin, Leopard cats, etc. Since there was not much time left to capture these animals in the wild, people who owned such wild animals were approached about hiring or buying the animals.

A month later, a Peacock, two parrots, two spotted deer, two blackbucks, two leopard cats, two hornbills, two hill mynah, one mongoose, two barking deer, one flying squirrel, two spotted deer, and one racket-tailed drongo were dispatched to Delhi.

Finally, for the Odisha Pavilion of the World Agricultural Fair.

These animals came back to Bhubaneswar by May 1960, but the forest department was having trouble keeping up with their feeding and care. To provide these animals with refuge in the short term, temporary brushwood buildings with thatched roofs were erected close to the Khandagiri region. Many people from the city and even from the surrounding villages came to this makeshift setup. It satisfied Dr. H. K. Mahatab, the former chief minister of Odisha, who immediately took the initiative to establish a zoo in his state.

Originally, it was proposed to build the zoo near the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves in Ghatikia. However, it was quickly apparent that water scarcity would become a concern in the future. The concerned officials then traveled to the Jujhagarh forest block near Kanjia Lake near the Barang Railway Station, where they were immediately struck by the area’s tranquil beauty, which included the thick greenery on both sides of the lake and the gentle slopes. As a result, it was decided to create the Jujhagarh Forest Block Zoological Park, and the Krushnanagar Forest Block Botanical Garden, develop the Kanjia Lake, and add boating and fishing.

The Nandankanan Biological Park was established on December 29, 1960, and was formally opened by Shri S. K. Patil, the Indian government’s minister of food and agriculture at the time. The State Botanical Garden inside the zoo was made public three years later. On the advice of the Odisha Legislative Committee, the zoo was renamed Nandankanan Zoological Park in 1981–1982.

Wild animals, reptiles, and birds could live in the open, large-moat areas of the park, which was naturally created by the moist deciduous forest area, a vast expanse of green topography, and lakes Kanjia (163 acres) and   (61 acres) wetlands. This created a landscape that was very similar to their natural habitat. Due to its extensive biodiversity, Kanjia Lake was designated a Wetland of National Importance in 2006. The State Botanical Garden, which covers around 175 acres, is situated on the shores of these lakes.

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The 4.37 sq. km. Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary, which includes a zoological park, two lakes, and a botanical garden, was established in August 1979. The refuge is now home to a diverse variety of natural wildlife and flora. The Nilgiri langur, Mouse deer, Indian pangolin, Indian crocodiles, Ratel, Brow-antlered deer, and numerous more water and land birds are just a few of the endangered species that the zoo has successfully bred since it opened.

The distinction of being the only zoo in the world where a White Tiger was bred in captivity by parents of different skin tones belongs to Nandankanan. It is also renowned for starting Gharial captive breeding first. The zoo has successfully bred a number of white tigers throughout the years, and they have since been relocated to other zoos in India and overseas.

Nandankanan Zoo view

Flora and Fauna of Nandankanan Zoological Park

The zoo has 210 enclosures, including cages (116) and open moat enclosures (94). 3004 animals, including 262 reptiles, 1175 mammals, 21 amphibians, and 1546 birds, call the zoo home. These include 103 native and 53 foreign species of reptiles, as well as 120 species of birds, 85 species of butterflies, 15 species of mammals, and 120 species of birds. The Nandankanan Zoo has four sizable facilities: the Lion Safari (about 49 acres), White Tiger Safari (around 29 acres), Herbivore Safari, and Bear Safari.

Nandankanan Zoological Park Map

Parks and Garden Inside Nandankanan Zoological Park

24 separate satellite parks and gardens, as well as picnic shelters, an interpretation center, and other amenities, make up the State Botanical Garden. These are:

  1. Butterfly Park– The Butterfly Park, a prominent feature of the Botanical Garden, is a 36,950-square-foot space. The park’s stunning scenery has 6400 plants that cater to butterflies. Along with bridges, fountains, and a 170-square-foot water channel, it also boasts a cascading waterfall. Here, you may see over 81 different species of butterflies. An Interpretation Center housed within the Butterfly Park debuted in 2015 after the park itself opened in 2014. This institute spreads knowledge about the many facets of butterflies.
  2. Cacti House– The Cacti House is a large collection of over 1200 cacti distributed across 1080 square feet.
  3. Glass House– Several different types of succulent plants are kept in the 2013 square-foot Glass House.
  4. Philodendron House– The Philodendron House features more than 2000 philodendrons in five different kinds.
  5. Bonsai– The Bonsai garden is home to more than 300 bonsai plants of 55 different species.
  6. Dry Garden– The Dry Garden, which is in front of the Glass House and covers around 0.65 acres, was created using loose stone masonry. The layout gives the appearance of a dry area. It is fairly well-liked among park visitors.
  7. Green House– A state-of-the-art Green House with 60 species of indoor plants, including Cordyline, Aglaonema, Philodendron, Peperomia, Calathea, Monstera, and Dieffenbachia, is located on the property and spans 5200 square feet.
  8. Rosarium- A large collection of 1200 rose plants in 55 different kinds may be found at the Rosarium. Visitors particularly like this 1.5-acre garden in the winter when the flowering plants are in full bloom.
  9. Medicinal Garden– The Medicinal Garden, which occupies 2.26 acres of land, is home to 225 different types of herbs, trees, and plants.
  10. Orchid House– The largest of its kind in the state of Odisha, The Orchid House spans 5000 square feet. More than 1000 orchids, representing 57 different varieties and around 37 different species, are on show.
  11. Mughal Garden– The Mughal Garden, which spans over 2.5 acres, was created to recreate the appearance of the Mughal era with floral plants, both perennial and seasonal, on each side of the flowing waterways. This garden sees a lot of foot traffic all year long and is quite well-liked by young people.
  12. Japanese Garden– The Tsukiyama-niwa-style Japanese landscape, with a total size of 0.5 acres, is a cutting-edge landscape with flowing streams and little hills.
  13. Evolution Garden– A variety of plants are on show in the about 1.9-acre Evolution Garden, which also provides detailed information about the evolution of the plant kingdom. Here, you can find everything from small plant groups like Pteridophyta, Algae, Bryophytes, and Fungi to huge plant groups like Angiosperms and Gymnosperms. The purpose of building such a distinctive garden is to provide researchers and students with a chance to learn about various plant varieties.
  14. Landscape Garden– The Landscape Garden, which spans 1.6 acres, includes 1000 trees of various varieties, plants, and grass.
  15. Heritage Garden– The Heritage Garden, is located close to Evolution Garden and has aged Banyan trees and unprocessed rocks. A modest Tulsi garden with six different species of Tulsi plants, as well as models of a tribal hut, a life-size cow, and a monk, are all part of this 1.2-acre area.
  16. Palm Garden– 29 different types of palm trees are housed in the 15000 square foot palm garden. A 15000 square foot grass carpet that runs alongside a water feature inside the garden looks fantastic and attracts many people.
  17. Arboretum– The Arboretum contains more than 234 kinds of plants and trees from 49 families of the Eastern zone woods over an area of roughly 9.9 acres. For botany researchers and students, it is the perfect location to learn about diverse plants and trees.
  18. Bougainvillea Garden– More than 1000 Bougainvillea plants of eight varieties, each with a different hue, are housed in the Bougainvillea Garden, which has a surface area of 21400 square feet. Additionally, a number of creepers may be found in the garden’s back.
  19. Carnivorous Plant Garden– The 800-square-foot Carnivorous Plant Garden, which was inaugurated in 2016, features a variety of carnivorous plant species. The Nandankanan Zoo is the first institution of its sort to exhibit these species in a natural setting.
  20. Hibiscus Garden– The Hibiscus Garden, which spans an area of 11,000 square feet and has more than 130 plants of 27 different varieties, is situated between the Palm Garden and the Glass House.
  21. Buddha Park– In the middle of Buddha Park, which is next to the tranquil Kanjia Lake, is a striking statue of the Lord Buddha. The park, which is 12000 square feet in size, also has sit-outs, rain shelters, and decorative flower beds.
  22. Children’s Park– As the name implies, this park, which contains slides, swings, a merry-go-round, and other amenities, has been constructed in a natural environment. There is a gallery nearby where a variety of decorative plants are shown.
  23. Artificial Zoo– Various animal models are on display in the Artificial Zoo. The goal of this zoo is to spark children’s curiosity and understanding about various animal species and their environments.
  24. Hydrophytes Garden– This Garden has a collection of 23 different varieties of aquatic plants.
Crocodiles at Nandankanan Zoo

Entry Timing and Ticket Price in Nandankanan Zoological Park

The zoological park and botanical garden are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from April through September and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from October through March. On Mondays, both stay closed. At 5 o’clock, both retail and online ticket sales are finished.


Category of entry


Below 3 years


Children between 3-10 years 


Above 10 years


Foreign Nationals


Photography & Video ( Handy Cam)


Photography & Video ( High-end Video Camera)


Photography & Video ( Movie Camera)


Safari ( Lion and White-Tiger) (45 Mins)


Bear Safari (45 Mins)


Herbivore Safari (45 Mins)


Toy Train Ride (above 3 years)


Toy Train Ride( Adults)


Boating ( 30 Mins)


2- seater paddle boat


4-seater paddle boat


6- seater family boat 


Children under the age of 12 enter the Botanical Garden free of charge, while those over 12 must pay Rs. 20 to enter. The price of a night in the Visitors Cottage ranges from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000 including service fees. Depending on the size of the chosen picnic shelter, the cost to use one of the various picnic huts inside the park can range from Rs. 250 to Rs. 1500 plus service fees.

Lions at Nandankanan Zoo

Things To Explore and Enjoy in Nandankanan

The Nandankanan Zoological Park and Botanical Garden offers a wealth of activities and places to discover. Travelers who intend to visit this location should allot enough time to completely explore and enjoy every feature of this renowned zoological park. Visitors may definitely take a boat ride on the picturesque Kanjia Lake for a refreshing experience in addition to seeing the numerous animal cages and visiting the multi-variety Botanical Garden.

Visitors can also indulge in a range of culinary delights at on-site restaurants. They can also decide to go to the souvenir shop, where they can buy a variety of locally made crafts and gifts. Visitors to the zoo can read from a wonderful variety of 3000 books and journals on wildlife and other relevant topics in the on-site library.

Visitors who want to relax and are searching for lodging on the property must reserve one of the tourist cottages. However, they must obtain permission in advance from the office of the Deputy Director, Nandankanan Zoological Park, in order to remain at these cottages. It should be mentioned that these cottages are only accessible for lodging during the day.

A tiger at Nandankanan Zoo

Other Places to Explore Apart From Nandankanan

There are more intriguing locations in the city of Bhubaneswar besides the Nandankanan Zoo that are well worth visiting. 

The Regional Museum of Natural History

Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts, 

Pathani Samanta Planetarium, and 

Odisha Tribal Museum.

How to Arrive at This Most Amazing Place

Address- Nandankanan Zoological Park Bhubaneswar Address: Nandankanan Rd, Near Police Station, Barang, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 754005, India.

By Air – Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik Airport is the closest airport that is located 20 kilometers from Nandankanan Zoological Park.

By Road– Cuttack and Bhubaneswar are each 17 miles from the Zoological Park. To get here, you can quickly book a cab or a taxi from various travel apps.

By train– Bhubaneswar and Cuttack Railway Stations are the closest stations.

Things to Remember While Visiting Nandankanan

  • Outside food is not permitted on the property.
  • The complex does not permit the entry of luggage.
  • There is parking accessible at the park.
  • Toilets and drinking water kiosks are conveniently located inside.
  • Inside the property, sit-outs and rain shelters have been constructed.
  • In the park, there are changing rooms and a baby care facility.
  • There are facilities inside for First Aid and wheelchairs.

Nandankanan Zoological Park and Botanical Garden are going to be the most exciting way to turn your most tiresome week into an exciting day. The botanical gardens contribute to the attractiveness of the park with their outstanding collection of rare and exotic plants, providing a peaceful haven for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s bounty. Visitors to Nandankanan Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens are not only informed about the value of conservation and inspired by it but they are also instilled with a sense of obligation to safeguard and maintain our natural heritage. 

When one travels to Nandankanan, they are immersed in the delights of the wild, where they may see the diversity of life’s splendor and feel the thrill of being so near to the world’s wondrous creatures.


  • Prasanjeeta Panda

    Prasanjeeta Panda is a passionate writer who strives and thrives in the art of storytelling and showcasing skills very avidly. With a deep interest in writing content from stories to poems, reading diverse genres, and a knack for traveling and exploring places, she brings profound insights to life on the page. From art captivative storytelling to engaging blogs and evocative travelogs, Prasanjeeta weaves words that persuade and transports readers to a new world of imagination that leaves them spellbound.

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