A short trip was on my mind to test my photography skills and learn my new DSLR, Nikon D5600. Pondering about the locations especially natural ones, Chhatbir clicked my mind. I was thrilled with my first experience shooting the animals. Although it is nearby the Chandigarh, but over the years, I had never got a chance to visit and I was feeling like a child to rush inside and relish my sweet childhood memories.
Chhatbir zoo is a zoological park situated in village Chatt. Named after the governor of Punjab who envisioned it, Mohendra Chaudhry Zoological Park continues to support conservation of endangered and rare species of wildlife through captive breeding, as well as, encouraging research and awareness on wildlife. It is situated very near to Chandigarh and is an ideal place to spend your day with beautiful animals and birds. It is around 20 km from Sector 17, Chandigarh and around 30 minutes drive. The zoo is spread in 505 acres and has around 103 species and 1241 animals. The park has been credited with successful captive-breeding of the gharial, a critically endangered variety of crocodile distinguished by its long and narrow snout.
The Zoo remains open 6 days a week except for Mondays.
- Zoo hours – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Zoo remains closed on – 26th January, 15th August, 2nd October.
Children 3-12 Years (Height Under 3 ft.)
- Children 3-12 Years (Height Under 3 ft.): Rs 20
- Above 12 Years (Height 3 ft. & above) 12: Rs 60
- Lion Safari & Deer Safari: Rs 75 per head (Children below 3 years Free)
- Still Camera: Rs 150
- Video Camera: Rs 250
Lion Safari gives a thrilling experience to the visitors where the king of the jungle roams freely. The lion safari is spread over an area of 8 hectares of natural forest having lion houses on one edge. A large number of peacocks also roam freely inside the lion safari which is an added attraction to the visitors.
The zoo has a magnificent drive-in deer safari where Sambars, Spotted Deer and Black Bucks roam together in a habitat which could be the envy of their wild brethren. The deer safari is spread over an area of 12 hectares with a lot of natural vegetation. It is a photographer’s delight.
The zoo houses various nocturnal animals in one nocturnal house where the nocturnal ambience has been created to exhibit the proper behaviour of nocturnal species. Presently it houses 6 species in its collection.
The zoo has a separate Reptile House to showcase the reptile species. At present, it has 6 species in its display. Like Python, Cobra, Rat Snake, Yellow Monitor Lizard, Common Monitor Lizard & Checkered Keelback.
Zoo Map: Source – http://chhatbirzoo.gov.in/virtual-zoo/
The main key attraction of the zoo are the big cats, The Royal Bengal Tigers. All the animals have been kept in open so as to offer a natural habitat. Royal Bengal Tiger is the first animal you will spot while you make way into the zoo. No vehicle is allowed inside the zoo however you can hire a battery operated ferry vehicle at the entrance itself for
- Rs. 60/- Per Head for Adults
- For Children below 3 years it is free
The zoo authorities are very particular about littering. No plastic packets such as chips etc are allowed in the zoo. Also if want to have a packaged drinking water bottle along you have to pay an extra security of Rs. 30/- which is refundable after you bring the bottle along after visiting the zoo. I really liked this concept and it really works. You won’t find any plastic waste littering here and there in the zoo. There are no hawkers just two or three food joints.
- Do not litter the zoo grounds with food or food packets.
- Do not disturb the animals in any way or offer food to animals.
- Private vehicles are not allowed inside the park, however one can use a bicycle by paying a small fee of Rs. 20/-
Below are some shots taken by me using my Nikon D5600 with Nikon 55-300 mm lens.
It takes your full day to visit entire zoo at once. So better start early in the morning. After spending my entire day at the zoo I was wondering that how these intellectually superior creatures are confined in a particular area. But I thought to myself that it is a safe place for these beautiful animals to protect them from humans.
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