Away from the hustle-bustle of the city, lies the Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udhyan (Botanical Garden). It is popularly known as Patna Zoo. Since its establishment in 1969, it has been acting as a green lung of the city. It is one of the largest zoo in the country, having approximately 800 animals belonging to over a hundred species and numerous plants and trees varieties. The garden is spread in an area of 153 acres. The campus is full of greenery, having a big pond in the middle and numerous jungle trails that makes the campus an intriguing place for the people across the ages, and particularly children. It helps in maintaining an ecological balance in the surrounding areas.
The sprawling campus accompanied with many varieties of flora and fauna makes it difficult for the people to cover all parts of it in a single trip. Besides having over a hundred species of animals, the park has over 300 varieties of trees, shrubs and herbs, which makes the campus green. The zoo has impressive collection of animals, which includes one-horned rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, lions, tigers including a white one, giraffes, zebras, elephants, leopards, variety of monkeys, birds, deer and many more. The birds enclosure is also impressive. There are number of specific enclosures like snakes house and fish aquarium in the park. Owl museum, bat museum and turtle museum are under construction. Fish Museum (aquarium) has over thirty varieties of fish. It is situated on an artificially made island in the pond. There is separate ticket for the aquarium. It is the second largest revenue earner after the general entry fees for the garden. The Snake house has close to thirty snakes belonging to half a dozen varieties. There is no separate ticket for it.
Toy Train : The administration runs a five compartment toy train at regular interval during the day. The train takes a round of the park and stops at a few halts, interestingly named, during its journey. It has a designated station also. It covers all the major route of the park. The compartments are open from all side so that passengers can have look all around. The halts are characterized by the popular animal around it, where people can have a look at them. The train runs on a narrow gauze and the technical expertise have been provided by the Indian railway, which has also given an old Engine for display purpose outside the station. The train passes through jungle, tunnel and road cross-sections. This ride is a full enjoyment for children, who enjoys the ride and the surroundings.
Boating : Boating is the most popular choice among the visitors, particularly youngsters. The pond is centrally located inside the park and is a great attraction. Boats are available on hourly basis on a particular fees in a group of two or four. Some money has to be deposited as a security deposit which is returned after the trip. During the weekends, often there is rush and booking may not be easily available. The pond has enough water throughout year for a perfect ride. The one hour ride is quite refreshing. If time permits and there is not much rush, then boat riding is recommended.
Battery Operated Cars : The administration runs several battery operated cars inside the park. The elderly people opts for this, though anyone can avail the facility after paying a separate ticket price. The cars has a predefined route and stops at popular enclosures. They provides more flexibility than the toy train as it stops at many places. It is also a preferable way to explore the large part of the park without being physically tired.
Elephant Ride : Depending on the availability of the elephants, zoo administration operates elephant ride. The elephant ride in zoo is quite refreshing. It offers excitement, fear and enjoyment at the same time.There is a designated Elephant Point from where one can start the elephant ride. If the service is available, then one should not miss the ride.
There are several small parks in the zoo. Children's park is dedicated for children who can enjoy it through several rides and other things. Rose garden has the specialty of different kind of roses at the same place. Laxman Jhula (The hanging bridge) over the pond is another attraction. The numerous jungle trail offers the visitors to explore the park on their own way. The garden is bordered on one side by the Patna Golf Club. There are cafeterias near the pond which offers snacks, besides having several smaller outlets dotting the park. The park has direction maps at several places which lets one know about the places nearby. The enclosure of animals have been provided with an information board, which details the basic information about the animal. The trees are also marked with information.
How to reach : The Zoo is situated by the side of Bailey road, which connect Patna with Danapur. It is easily reachable by all sort of transportation. The park has its own parking space.
This park is very popular which can be ascertained by the fact that nearly 7,50,000 people visit it every year. Being easily accessible, the park is frequented by all. One should not miss chance to visit it. It is worth visiting. However, care should be taken in maintaining the decorum of the zoo by not disturbing the animals and polluting the campus.
Patna Junction : 5-6 km
Airport : 3-4 km
Mithapur Bus Stand ~ 8-9 km
- Patna Secretariat Building : 2 km
- Indira Gandhi Planetarium : 3-4 km
- Maurya Lok Marketing Complex : 3-4 km