The Guindy National Park, more popularly known as the Children's Park is a rather surreal zoo located in the heart of Chennai. As soon as you step in here, you realize that the temperature had just dropped a few degrees (thanks to the trees) and the air is much more cleaner. You can be sure that the kids who grow up in Chennai, have visited this place at least once. It is estimated that more than 825,000 people visited Children's park in the year 2013. The loud chatters of free roaming monkeys are only surpassed by boisterous kids and parents who have to yell louder to control them. In India, most zoos are located outside city limits, but this one is an exception.
Watch the virtual tour of Children's Park above
Essential Information:Address: Guindy National Park, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600022, India
E-mail: Not Available
Phone: +91-44-24321471 ; +91-44-22301328
Timings: 9 A.M to 6 P.M ; Open Everyday except Tuesday, which is a holiday.
Entrance Fee: Adult - 15 Rupees; Child (5 -12 years) - 10 Rupees; Children below 5 years - Free.
Camera Fee: Still Camera - 25 Rupees; Video Camera - 150 Rupees.
Car Parking: Available; 15 Rupees
|Crows get free rides in Guindy National Park :)|
Animals: The Children's park is home to over 200 species of animals, not including birds. Reptiles like Crocodiles, Pythons, Cobras, Alligators and Star Tortoises are housed here. Deer and Antelope varieties like Sambar, Black Buck, Spotted Deer and Barking Deer can be seen. Other interesting species not be missed are Otter, Wild Dog, Porcupine, Rhesus Macaque, Jackal and Palm Civet Cat.
|Great Horned Owl - Fences were not camera friendly :(|
Birds: With over 150 species of birds, the Guindy National Park houses some of the most beautiful feathered friends. Large birds like Cassowary, Peafowl, Pelican, Silver Pheasant, Emu, Muscovy Duck and White Goose are kept here. Smaller birds present are Ring necked Parakeets, Love birds, Horn Owls, Barn Owls and Rose Ringed Parakeet.
Video of hungry deer eating synthetic mesh at Children's Park
Poor Maintenance & Negligence: Many tourists are quick to notice that the zoo is unkempt when compared to western standards. While this is mostly due to more than 2000 visitors who step in everyday, there is also a shortage of workers in the facility. The restrooms are not well furnished and are not clean. Some animals are not well fed and I found some deer eating nylon, to satisfy their hunger.
|The entrance to Children's Park - Chennai|
Just So You Know: Although Children's Park and Guindy National Park are used interchangeably, they are not the same. The Guindy National Park is a large area that includes the Children's Park, Snake Park (a separate zoo for snakes) and a small forest. If you find time, visit the Snake Park as well - it has an enormous variety of snakes and has special shows too.
|T. Rex aka Dinosaur Mama in Guindy National Park|
|Kids having a good time|
A lot of interesting animals like the Tiger, Black Bear and Lion have been moved to the Vandalur Zoo. If you are a tourist or an animal buff, try to visit that zoo instead of the Children's Park. I recommend that you visit this place if you are looking for some quick fun inside Chennai city.