Thursday, September 21, 2023

Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan Zoological Park UPSC (Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC)

Nandankanan Zoological Park is a significant and unique zoological park and botanical garden located in Odisha, India. Nandankanan has set high standards for the housing, healthcare, and husbandry of captive wild animals. It focuses on the well-being and conservation of the animals in its care.

Nandankanan comprises several components, including a Zoological Park, a State Botanical Garden, and a National wetland known as Kanjia Lake. This diversity of attractions makes it a comprehensive destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

The park has been successful in breeding various endangered species, including gharials, Indian pangolins, and white tigers. It is known for hosting the largest collection of white tigers in the world.

The zoo offers various programs, such as the Adopt-an-Animal initiative, to involve the public in animal conservation and raise funds for the care and well-being of its inhabitants.

Nandankanan Zoological Park's commitment to conservation, its diverse collection of wildlife, and its efforts to educate and engage the public in wildlife conservation make it a standout destination for nature lovers and a critical contributor to the preservation of endangered species.

Table of Contents

  • Nandankanan Zoological Park Location
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park History
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park Area
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park Flora
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park UPSC Questions

Nandankanan Zoological Park Location

Nandankanan Zoological Park is located near Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state of Odisha. The park is situated approximately 20 kilometers from the capital city of Bhubaneswar in the Khordha district of Odisha, India.

It is situated in the environs of the Chandaka forest, which is approximately 15 kilometers (about 9.3 miles) away from Bhubaneswar. The zoo and botanical garden are spread across an expansive area within this forested region and also include the Kanjia Lake, a national wetland.

Visitors to the region can easily access Nandankanan Zoological Park from Bhubaneswar, making it a popular destination for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Nandankanan Zoological Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Nandankanan Zoological Park is the Biju Patnaik International Airport, which is located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The distance from the airport to Nandankanan Zoological Park is approximately 15-20 kilometers, and it takes around 30-40 minutes by road to reach the park from the airport.

Nandankanan Zoological Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Nandankanan Zoological Park is the Bhubaneswar Railway Station. It is one of the major railway stations in Odisha and is well-connected to various cities and regions across India. The distance from Bhubaneswar Railway Station to Nandankanan Zoological Park is approximately 15-20 kilometers, and it can be reached by taxi or other modes of local transportation within 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Nandankanan Zoological Park History

Nandankanan Zoological Park has a rich history dating back to its establishment in the 1960s. Here is a brief overview of the history of Nandankanan Zoological Park:

Conception and Inauguration: The idea for the zoo was initially conceived in the early 1960s when forest officials decided to include rare plants and animals in the Odisha pavilion at the World Agricultural Fair in Delhi to increase attendance. Animals were captured for this purpose, including deer, black buck, leopard cat, and various bird species. These animals were exhibited at the Odisha pavilion in Delhi.

Temporary Housing: After the Delhi fair, the animals were transported back to Bhubaneswar in May 1960. Temporary structures were built at Khandagiri to house and care for the animals. The Jain community in the area assisted in feeding them.

Interest and Support: Discussions about establishing a proper zoo began to gain momentum after Dr. H. K. Mahatab, the then Chief Minister of Odisha, visited the animals at Khandagiri.

Site Selection: After considering various locations, including Ghatikia, it was decided that Jujhagarh forest block on Kanjia Lake near Barang Railway station was the most suitable location for the zoo. This site was chosen for its scenic beauty and proximity to the lake.

Official Inauguration: Nandankanan Zoological Park was officially inaugurated on December 29, 1960, by Sri S. K. Patil, then Indian Minister of Food and Agriculture. It included plans for a Zoological Park, a State Botanical Garden, and the development of Kanjia Lake for boating and angling.

Botanical Garden: In 1963, a botanical garden was established within the park.

Wildlife Sanctuary: It was proclaimed as a sanctuary by the government in 1979.

Gharials Breeding: It was the world's first captive crocodile breeding center where gharials were successfully bred in captivity in 1980, contributing to the conservation of this critically endangered species.

Indian Pangolin Breeding Center: The only conservation breeding center in the world for the endangered Indian pangolin, is located in Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary.

Renaming: In 1981, the facility was renamed "Nandankanan Zoological Park" to better reflect its mission and purpose.

Captive Breeding Success: Over the years, Nandankanan Zoological Park gained a reputation for its successful captive breeding programs. It became known for breeding various endangered species, including white tigers, gharials, and Indian pangolins.

Membership in WAZA: In 2009, Nandankanan Zoological Park became the first zoo in India to become a member of the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA), recognizing its commitment to global conservation efforts.

Visitor Engagement: The zoo introduced the "Adopt-an-Animal" program in 2008 to involve the public in animal conservation and raise funds for the park's inhabitants.

International Recognition: Nandankanan has garnered international acclaim for its conservation efforts and breeding programs, making it a significant player in global wildlife conservation.

Nandankanan Zoological Park Area

Nandankanan Zoological Park covers an extensive area, making it one of the largest zoological parks in India. The park's total area is approximately 437 hectares, which is equivalent to 1,080 acres. This vast expanse includes a variety of habitats for the animals and botanical gardens for the conservation of plant species.

The park's significant size allows it to house a diverse collection of wildlife, provide ample space for conservation breeding programs, and offer visitors an opportunity to explore a natural and spacious environment for both animals and plants. 

Nandankanan's expansive grounds contribute to its role as a prominent center for wildlife conservation, education, and research in India.

Nandankanan Zoological Park Flora

Nandankanan Zoological Park not only houses a diverse collection of animals but also features a rich variety of flora within its botanical garden. The park's botanical garden plays a significant role in conserving and showcasing various plant species, including rare and endangered ones. Here are some key aspects of the flora at Nandankanan Zoological Park:

(1) Botanical Garden:

Nandankanan Zoological Park includes a dedicated botanical garden known as the State Botanical Garden. This garden is designed to preserve, cultivate, and display a wide range of plant species, with a focus on indigenous and rare plants from the Odisha region.

(2) Plant Diversity:

The botanical garden at Nandankanan is home to a diverse collection of plants, including trees, shrubs, herbs, and ornamental plants. It serves as an educational resource for visitors to learn about the plant kingdom.

  • Amla
  • Arjun
  • Asan
  • Atundi
  • Bamboo
  • Bandhan
  • Bana Khajuri
  • Bahada
  • Bheru
  • Bija
  • Chara
  • Dharua
  • Gaj
  • Gange Siuli
  • Gindhi
  • Haldu
  • Harida
  • Jamun
  • Kendu
  • Khair
  • Karla
  • Kumbhi
  • Kurei
  • Kusum
  • Latapalas
  • Moi
  • Mundi
  • Patchurimia
  • Sal
  • Satabari
  • Siali
  • Sidha
  • Sissoo
  • Simul
  • Siris
  • Sunari
  • Teak

Nandankanan Zoological Park Fauna (Nandankanan Zoological Park Animals)

Nandankanan Zoological Park is home to a diverse range of fauna, including various species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Here is a list of some of the fauna that can be found in the park:


  • White Tigers
  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Spotted Deer
  • Barking Deer
  • Blackbuck
  • Mouse Deer
  • Ratel
  • Indian Wolf
  • Indian Fox
  • Golden Jackal
  • Indian Civet
  • Indian Giant Squirrel
  • Hanuman Langur
  • Hoolock Gibbon
  • Indian Pangolin
  • Indian Flying Fox (Fruit Bat)


  • Racket-tailed Drongo
  • Great Eared Nightjar
  • Indian Hornbill
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Asian Koel
  • Great Indian Hornbill
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Black-Crowned Night Heron
  • Indian Vulture
  • White-Rumped Vulture
  • Common Hill Myna


  • Indian Python
  • Cobra
  • Common Krait Snake
  • Russell's Viper Snake
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Gharial
  • Mugger Crocodile

Nandankanan Zoological Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Nandankanan Zoological Park?/The Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) is located in which state?

A. Nandankanan Zoological Park is located near Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state of Odisha. The park is easily accessible from Bhubaneswar and is approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away from the city center.

Q. Why Nandankanan Zoological Park is famous?

A. Nandankanan Zoological Park is famous for several reasons:

(i) White Tigers: Nandankanan is renowned for its success in breeding and conserving white tigers. It was the first zoo in the world to successfully breed white tigers, which are a rare form of Bengal tigers with a unique recessive gene that gives them a white color.

(ii) Conservation Efforts: The zoo is actively involved in the conservation of endangered species and has a successful breeding program for various animals, including gharials, pangolins, and black panthers.

(iii) Diverse Fauna: Nandankanan houses a wide variety of fauna, including a range of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, making it a significant center for biodiversity conservation.

(iv) Natural Setting: Unlike many zoos, Nandankanan is situated in a natural forest environment, providing a more authentic and spacious habitat for its animals.

(v) Botanical Garden: The zoo includes a State Botanical Garden, which is a center for plant conservation and nature education in Odisha.

(vi) Recognition: It became the first zoo in India to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009, showcasing its commitment to international standards of animal care and conservation.
Nandankanan Zoological Park

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