A day trip to Mysore zoo

Once upon a time zoo used to be last on our list of places to visit anywhere. After all, what’s in a zoo, 90% of the same old animals in the same colors. But now, where ever we go, zoo always is on top of our list. In conclusion, having a toddler really changes things !! As she gets so super excited when it comes to animals, be it street dogs or the colorful animals on her bed sheet or her animal stuff toys. So, this time on her birthday, we decided to take her on a trip to a zoo.

Mysore Zoo
Giraffe at Mysore Zoo campus

But weather was not supportive so far, with harsh sunshine and heat waves starting right by 8:00am or 9:00 am in the morning. Finally, afater much awaiting, the pre monsoon showers started. With this, the temperature also dropped. And soon the days started to be cloudy with pleasant wind blowing. Now looks like an idle time for a nice couple of hours drive. The destination we choose is Mysore Zoo.

Some background of Mysore Zoo

Mysore zoo is one of the 10 most popular zoos in India. Is is oficially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens . And, it is located right in front of the Mysore palace in Mysore, India. So much so that the entrance is almost opposite to the Mysore Palace entrance. It sprawls over a huge area of 157-acres. This makes is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in south India.

Mysore zoo
Landscaping inside the zoo

This zoo was established by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1892. However, not just in India, but in the whole world it is renowned as one of the oldest zoos. Mysore zoo is home to largest number of elephants compared to any other zoo in India. Currently it houses around 10 elephants. Apart from elephants, some of the other exotic fauna includes striped Hyena, Jungle cat, Asiatic black bears, African Elephant. It is also the only zoo in South Asia to host a Gorilla. Apart from this, the zoo is home to bengal tiger, Indian wolves, giraffe, leopard, hippopotamus, rhyno, crane, swan, zebra and many other animals and reptiles.

Lake Karajni

The nearby lake, karanji lake is also a part of Mysore zoo now. This lake is situated amidst the vast greenery of the zoological garden with a backdrop of Chamundi hills. Boating facilities are provided on the lake. Also, the animals stationed at Mysore zoo are provided large, specious enclosures to give them the feeling of being at their natural habitat. The zoo is open all year round from 8:00am to 5:30pm, except for Tuesdays. But it is advised to visit early in the morning before 11am or late in the evening after 3:00pm since in between, the animals tend to be inactive due to mostly hot weather and hence may not be spotted.

Mysore Zoo
Landscaping and a shelter inside zoo

Our experience

We booked our entrance tickets online from the official zoo website to avoid the queue at the entrance. Since the weather was cloudy, we started little late from our home in Bangalore. Finally, we reached the zoo by 10:30 am. However, we were able to site most of the animals. While some were enjoying an afternoon nap. It takes considerable amount of time to cover the whole area and see all the animals, if you choose to walk by foot. So, there is an electrically operated vehicle also available inside the campus at an extra charge, which would take you around the zoo if you don’t prefer to walk.

Mysore zoo map
A map of the zoo

However, the area inside is lush green. And thus, you will not feel heat or tiredness at all as long as you walk within shades.  Most of the path has ample shade all through the day. Overall, the whole zoo is very well landscaped. There is facility of washrooms, child care rooms and drinking water at every few steps. There are benches all around to take rest intermittently.

Entrance

We entered from the main gate of the zoo. Right in front of the entrance is a pathway from where the zoo starts. Both the sides of this pathway are lined with birds of different types that include parrots, parakeets, peacocks, white peacocks, swan, crane. We walked down this path, our daughter thoroughly enjoying the scene. Some of the birds were being fed by the zoo assistances. My daughter excitedly watched the birds being fed. Next came the monkeys of different breeds. These animals are caged.

Mysore Zoo
Instruction board near the entrance to zoo
Wild animals

After watching the monkeys, next we headed further into the zoo. The next section was where leopard resides. There are 7-8 leopards. They are kept inside a big enclosure. Since the animals need to feel at home. So, plants and trees are placed inside the enclosure. Some of the leopards were sleeping while others were roaming around leisurely. At the other end was the Tiger’s enclosure. A tiger and a tigress live here. One of them was taking rest while the other was walking around leisurely. I can’t put my daughter’s excitement into words as she saw these animals. (The only drawback is that ask her now where a tiger lives and she says zoo :D). Then we crossed several other animals including lion, bengal tiger (white tiger), zebra, wolves etc.

Mysore Zoo 4
Leopards

 

Mysore Zoo Tiger
Tiger
Not so wild animals

We took short breaks in between to feed our daughter. During these breaks, we rested at the benches on the way. Then we arrived in another section of the zoo that consisted of not so wild animals. We saw a huge field dedicated to bisons. Then came another section where there were herds of deer. Crossing this, we arrived at herds of buffaloes. We also spotted a peacock freely roaming around in the campus. Then we met the gorilla. After this, we arrived at the enclosure where the elephants are kept. Then we came face to face with Giraffe. There were some 5-6 giraffe quietly eating the grass, least bothered about the surroundings and the people who were circling them. My daughter was super excited here as well.

Mysore Zoo Bufallo
Wild Buffalo

 

Mysore Zoo Peacock
A peacock freely roaming around

 

Mysore Zoo Deer
Deers

 

elephants Mysore Zoo
Elephants
The water birds & animals

Crossing the Giraffe, you reach at a small section where there are numerous ponds. In these ponds reside different species of crocodiles, gharial, tortoise, turtles, water birds , ducks etc. The section is a little artistically done. There are small footbridges constructed across the water bodies that provide a better view of the birds and animals.

Mysore Zoo swan
swan

 

The reptiles

As you move further on, you will enter a shade where there are numerous glass enclosures on either side. Each of these enclosure contains a variety of the reptile family. These include a huge ratsnake, kobra, some non-poisenous varieties, small and big.. numerous snakes. Some chameleon varieties can also be seen

Refreshment

Finally, almost 1km before the entrance, there is a nice eatery where there are numerous options to get rid of tiredness and have your meal. The ice creams seemed to be highly popular given the moderately hot weather. However, the good news is that the whole area is plastic free zone. Hence, the zoo authority have put a smart initiative to maintain the area plastic free – if you buy a plastic water bottle , you will be charged INR 10 extra. And when you hand it over near the zoo exit, your extra bucks will be returned to you. This way, majority of people take care of carrying their plastic bottles all the way to the zoo exit rather than throwing them here and there. Although, ample number of dustbins are also planted all through the zoo.

When you buy an icecream with a cover, you can return the cover at the counter then and there and they will take care of it’s disposal. I really liked these little initiatives towards keeping the area clean and eco friendly. And I hope all the tourists understand it’s importance and adhere to the rules. Apart from this, there are restrooms and drinking water facilities at every few hundred meters. These kind of refreshment facilities are really important given it’s mostly children who visit the zoo and hence will require such facilities.

The meal options here comprise of north Indian, south Indian, noodles, thalis, sweets and ready to eat snacks. The prices are reasonable and taste decent. We will recommend you have food here before exiting the zoo. This will give you a chance to relax your tired feet and also save time hunting for a restaurant outside. After you exit the zoo, you can proceed to the next site seeing spot or you can just get back home.

Animal adoption

Mysore zoo also runs an animal adoption program which has been a great success. It provides you the facility to adopt an animal right from your home. You can check the details on the official zoo website. Those who adopt, their name is displayed in the zoo near the adopted animal’s habitat.

Mysore Zoo 10
Information about animal adoption at zoo

 

Overall the day was very well spent. The little one enjoyed it to the fullest. It gave us the feeling of fulfillment and made the trip a success. To all the animal lovers and parents, if you visit South India or you happen to live somewhere near Mysore / Bangalore we would recommend you visit here once. It will be a day well spent.

Tips on visiting Mysore zoo

  1. The best time to visit is early morning till 11:30. Or then in the afternoon after 4pm. Since in the afternoon most animals fall asleep  deep inside their enclosures and hence may not be seen.
  2. If you have toddler with you, you may want to carry their essentials along.
  3. But for grown ups and kids, there is no need to carry anything. As, there are sufficient drinking water sources and restrooms inside the campus.
  4. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hat or umbrella to combat the hot weather in case you are planning to visit on a sunny day.
  5. Wear comfortable cotton cloths
  6. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will walk more than 5 kilometers inside the zoo campus itself
  7. Keep at least 4-5 hours aside for visit to the zoo. If you rush through, it will not be worth it.
  8. Many a times we do day trips from Bangalore to Mysore. I would suggest, don’t accommodate the zoo in your day itinerary with other sites of Mysore. It will be too much. Just visit the zoo on one day. At max, club one more site with it.
  9. It had got a little tiring for our toddler end of the day since we did one day trip , visiting the zoo and brindavan gardens. If you are planning to visit the zoo with your toddler, just go to the zoo and return back by 5 pm. Else, stay overnight in Mysore and cover the other sites the second day.
  10. The pre monsoon time and winter time seems to be best for visit. But the place gets crowded any day, particularly weekend. Weekdays might not be as crowded.
  11. Book your tickets in advance from the Mysore zoo website.

 

Mysore Zoo

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69 Responses

  1. […] daughter had gone to Mysore Zoo some 6 months back. And she had fully enjoyed there. So, I wanted to once again take her closer to […]

  2. […] Mysore Zoo & Brindavan Gardens […]

  3. Mysore Zoo is one of those places that has so much potential to become like the Singapore Zoo. I wish they would go a little more aggressive and have animal interaction zones. It makes the whole experience so much better.

  4. Mysore Zoo looks to be another interesting Zoo that I should penned om my bucket list as I’m reading good story about it. I’m not a huge fan of zoo, but I always find it entertaining for me by seeing animals that I rarely see in person. Thank you for sharing about this one.

  5. I’m not a huge fan of zoos but Mysore zoo looks really nice. The surroundings look pleasant & there seems to be a lot of animals, kept in decent condition. Hope you got lots of great photos with your toddler, it would be fun for her to look back on when she’s older!

    • She had tremendous fun. I have saved the snaps for her to look at now and then 🙂

  6. Wow, I can’t believe how old this zoo is! I love that there is a combination of both wild and not so wild animals. Personally I would love to see the elephants as it is my favorite animal. The animal adoption program is so great too – it’s important for us to care for these animals, especially the ones that are becoming extinct.

    • Totally agree. The good thing is the adoption program is quiet easy on pockets too. Like, you can just adopt one bird, no need to go overboard. So, it basically suits everyone

  7. When I was a kid I loved the zoo, so I agree, children have better appreciation of the zoo than adults. Maybe because when we were young we were still very curious and still learning about the world around us. Now, I’m not excited about zoos anymore, unless the zoo is offering something different, I am not going in it.

    • Yes, even we are not that interested in the zoo. But the sheer happiness and excitement that our daughter feels visiting a zoo compels us to visit one now and then 🙂

  8. I’m sure having a little one really does change your destinations. The zoo looks really big, you must have gotten a nice workout 😉

  9. I’m not the big fan of zoos. I actually never visit them, but I prefer sanctuaries where animals are allowed to roam free almost as they were in the wilderness. However, this seem a good-enough place for them too! 🙂

    • Agree with your view. Sanctuaries are always better than even the best zoos from the animal care and life perspective

  10. I love visiting zoos where animals are free to roam about. It can never be like forests where there are no boundaries but I hate when animals are gorced to stay inside tiny cages. This zoo looks really nice and the freenery all around is wonderful!

  11. Mysore Zoo is quite sprawling and it is good to note that they take care of the animals. Of course kids love zoos. But personally we do not like the idea of animals being caged. The beauty of animals in their natural surroundings in the wild is something we look out for.

  12. We like big zoos. In Miami, we had an annual membership and went to the zoo a few times of week just to walk around for the exercise. Mysore Zoo looks like a fun place to visit. Is the palace next door good to visit?

    • Yes of course, the palace is one of the major attractions in Mysore. Everyone on a day trip to Mysore makes sure to visit the palace. The zoo , I guess people like us visit 🙂

  13. wow! It looks like a huge zoo! your pictures are wonderful. i love seeing all of the animals.

  14. Thanks for this post. I’m never quite sure these days how I feel about zoos. I like to do lots of research before I go to make sure the animals are well treated etc. This looks like one of the better ones. So much great detail in this post for anyone wanting to visit. Looks like yo and your family had a really great day!

    • We had a wonderful time Claire. And yes, agree with you, we too do a lot of research before heading to a zoo. We are animal lovers , we don’t want to encourage places where animals are treated badly

  15. pretty photos, makes me want to visit!!!

  16. anceantovska

    Great photos! Beautiful ZOO! I wold like to go here with my children! 🙂

  17. sounds like a very fun filled day. It would be awesome for kids. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Jhumki, it was quiet a fun and excitement filled day, particularly for our daughter

  18. We have been to Mysore before but zoo never fell on our list. Our daughter would love it too there. Adoption concept sounds interesting and would definitely help take better care of zoo animals.

  19. I guess, at least for me, zoos are adorable for the first time. After that, I never visited for the second time around because of the smell if sanitation and maintenance isn’t not a top notch. But this sure brings back the memories of my childhood when seeing these animals for the first time. Feels wonderful, now that you have toddler to experience things too.

    • Rest assured, the sanitation is top notch in this zoo, but kind of agree with you about the one time visit. If I lived in that city, I might visit more often. But for now, there is so much more to explore

  20. Lovely pictures Neha! Especially the giraffes. The only memory of the Mysore Zoo I have from my childhood is the Giraffes and you made me remember my childhood with that pic. Its been a very long time since I have seen it and I do not remember anything else from my visit there. So, how big is this zoo compared to the one in Bannerghatta?

    • Even my daughter liked the Giraffes the most. This zoo is much bigger than the Bannerghatta zoo (of course, not taking into account the Bannerghatta national park area).

  21. I’m in my thirties and I still love good zoo! This one looks well laid out with plenty of space for the animals which is my main requirement when visiting. As long as the animals are well looked after and treated well – this one looks perfect

    • The animals here seem to be well treated and looked after. There is an adoption program as well.

  22. As much as I loved a trip to the zoo as a child, I’m always wary visiting zoos abroad.

    You read and hear of so many which treat their animals poorly, I worry it will only lead to me being depressed, and my patronage vindicates their position.

    I’m not sure where the zoos in India fit into this (I imagine there are some good and some bad), but I hope for the most, for the animals sake, it is generally in the good!

    • I can totally understand, and we do resonate your feelings to a great extent. Mysore zoo is very well kept and takes good care of the animals is what I have heard and known so far. And I hope every bit of it be true. The adoption program also helps keep the maintenance at par.

  23. Oh, aren’t giraffes just the noblest of all creatures? Sounds like a fun day out.

  24. I enjoy going to the zoo and seeing ‘more unique’ animals! Thank you for sharing those tips!

  25. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer

    This looks like a nice zoo. I hate it when animals are in a small enclosure but the size looks ok. I’m glad that your daughter had a nice day. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

    • You are welcome Kathy. She had a wonderful day. But yes, agree with you on the enclosure size. It was medium here. Afterall, animals are kept in captivation only in a zoo however big it be

  26. I also tend to avoid zoos these days also especially since my boys are all grown up. I can see the fascination for your daughter though. Giraffes are such magnificent animals!

  27. Courtney Jones

    Zoos can be so much fun! Great list of tips at the end for visiting the Mysore Zoo!

  28. I’m glad to see the photos of the deer with their antlers uncut and thriving! Seems to be a lovely place for animals!

  29. I love the zoo! I haven’t been in years. I am glad that your daughter enjoyed her time there and happy belated birthday to her! (:

    xoxo
    Isaly Holland
    http://www.memoriesbyisaly.com

  30. I love going to the zoo, just took my grandson a few months ago. This looks like a really nice zoo trip.

  31. yourorganizedlifewithdaria

    Your pictures are wonderful. Great tips for anyone lucky enough to visit this zoo.

  32. infocultureweddingca

    Oh my goodness, I love the Zoo. Love the photo of the Giraffe! Stunning!

  33. wow such a thorough account which is much appreciated! I was quite surprised by how lush and green the shots are – expected something drier in india!

    • This was the first time I went to such a lush green zoo in India. Overall India definitely has lots of lush green forests and mountains and resorts, but this was my first zoo experience

  34. WoW amazing ZOO! I haven’t been there even though I have visited the city. You gave very good tips

    • Thanks Anita. Even I had been to the city many times before but this time around had a wonderful experience at the zoo too and that made me wonder why I didn’t come here before

  35. I’d love to go here, I love checking out different zoos when I travel! Great post! 🙂

  36. i love zoological parks and this one is really amazing!! Your photos are awesome as always… Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  37. […] time around we had planned another day trip to mysore, but this time, our main purpose was to visit mysore zoo where our kid would have a nice time. We kept it light and returned back after visiting mysore zoo […]

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