Lion Safari in Chhatbir Zoo – The Best Attraction

Lion Safari in Chhatbir Zoo – The Best Attraction

Chhatbir Zoo is situated (2-3 km inside) at PatialaChandigarh highway approx. 8-10 km from Patiala-Ambala Highway, Zirakpur. The moment you reach the zoo display boards are neatly narrating Zoo Timings, Parking Costs, About the Zoo, Entry Fees, etc., etc.

Zoo Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

It was Wednesday a working day. The parking area was almost full of cars. I was amazed and happy as well with the visitor’s attendance. We paid Rs. 5/- for parking our motorbike and Rs. 5/- to deposit the helmet. Depositing a helmet is not necessary but a thought roaming free hands except having a camera is a good idea.

We stop before the entrance to read About Chhatbir Zoo as follows:

Inaugurated on 13th April 1977 by the then Governor of Punjab, His Excellency Sh. Mahendra Chaudhary, Chattbir zoo is one of the largest zoos in India. The zoo is spread over an area of 202 hectares (505 acres) and lies in the Protected Forest area of Chhatbir, once a hunting reserve of Maharaja of Patiala.

Zoo Holidays: All Mondays, 15th August, 26th January, and 2nd October

Entry Fees for Adults: Rs. 40/- per person. The camera charges extra.

(Wheelchair is available for Handicapped Visitors)

Zoo manners is another interesting display board requesting to speak softly, do not feed, and keep the area smoking-free. Appreciated. Further, I walk another display i.e., Guide map – must watch to know before continuing walking though there is a Ferry vehicle facility also available by paying Rs. 50/- per adult, we decided to walk because personally, I find walking the best way to know more to watch more… Directions are well-defined to follow so that there is no confusion in this vast area.

Common Goose, Rosy Pelican, Pig-Tailed Macaque, Lion Tailed Macaque, Hamadryas Baboon, and more we watch to find ourselves in front of a display board talking about Tiger as follows:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is one of the five sub-species distributed throughout Asia. Today shrinking tiger numbers and habitats are major conservation issues. 100 year ago approximately one lakh tigers were roaming in the world, but now only 4% of the same are left. Let us conserve the Tigers.

Next, I was watching Royal Bengal Tiger. What a feeling. He was trying to watch inside a window. Someone was there on the other side. Maybe a Tigress or a Tiger friend – not sure.

Further walking and a display requesting to adopt an animal monthly or yearly to show support for wildlife conservation. Great.

Next little far I saw White Tiger sitting on a makeshift मचान (scaffold). I thought it is a dummy one but no it is real. A white tiger is another favorite. We all love watching Tiger. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is another great location to watch Tigers.

Wild Boar, Hippopotamus, Elephant, Hyaena and finally we reach the location – Lion safari.

Rs. 50/- per person for a van ride into the area where lions roam freely instead of living in cages. Wow… I was waiting for this especially because I have yet to visit Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat.

Two tickets were purchased. We were about to board the van storm arrived with showers. We decided to wait – skipped the current van. Next van when the storm was over we decided to go. We were only two visitors at that time inside the van along with the driver of the van and zoo staff.

The van enters. The moment the van move forward over pitch road inside the safari area we were in front of a lioness walking straight towards our van. Interesting. Not a single thought of fear was there instead of lots of excitement. She came close and left the path. The van moved further but suddenly the zoo staff saw the lioness chasing our van. Now what?

Nothing. The van driver kept driving and within a few seconds, she left chasing the van. Little fear was there for sure, to be honest. The van took a complete circle inside the safari via a well-made pitch road and stop for a few seconds too to locate Lion – the male but failed. Maybe because of the recent rain, they must be hiding under bushes – said the van driver. There are two Lions and one Lioness – He said. Anyway, we returned safely and had a good time.

After the Lion safari we had veg. patties and a cup of coffee. We were hungry. There are two canteens inside the zoo if I am correct.

In short, if you are visiting Chhatbir zoo do not miss the Lion safari because rarely inside a zoo one will find such an attraction. I thoroughly enjoyed the safari. After the Lion safari, we watched more wild animals, birds such as Jackal, Leopard, Barking Deer, Sarus Crane, Golden Pheasant, White Indian Peafowl (another great attraction especially because the first time I saw white), Zebra, Indian Bison, Goral and many more.. Very interesting zoo for sure especially Lion safari. You should visit.

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