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Trip to the Chhatbir Zoo

The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, commonly known as Chhatbir zoo is located on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway and is just 20 kilometers away from Chandigarh. It took around 30 minutes for us to reach the zoo. While going, the bus drivers took a shorter route through villages and narrow roads. Even though small, this journey was a delight because we got to see the real Punjab. Lush fields of paddy, mustard, and vegetables and big farm houses were on both sides of the narrows roads. Once we reached, we were on our own to explore the zoo.


Chhatbir zoo is famous for its vast collection of Bengal tigers and other various species of flora and fauna. It is spread across an area of over 202 hectares and boasts of housing more than 52 species of animals including the royal Bengal tiger, the Himalayan black bear, and 62 species of birds.


The zoo plays an important role in attracting both local and migratory birds as well such as cormorants, pochards, grebes, coots, dabchicks, moorhens, and geese even from far off places.


We started of by watching very rare and exotic species of apes which were caged near the entrance of the zoo itself. Some distance away there were enclosures for the tigers. A variety of other mammals like the otter, hog deer, different species of deer and antelopes were major attraction. It was fun to watch the hippos lounging in the warm sun. Even the groups of elephant were “mast”, prancing in their muddy pool.

The most exciting of all was the lion safari. There is a huge territory surrounded by high fences where the African and Asian lions roam freely. Visitors are allowed inside the territory only in the vans operated by the zoo authorities. It was really spine chilling experience to see these lions roam freely around our vans. The van driver kept on telling us not to take out hands or other body parts lest the lion grabs its meal. I still remember his caution, “Do not think they are as innocent and lazy as they seem to be, they can attack you at any point of time.” At one point of time, one of the lions came and sat in right at the middle of the pathway. But our driver skillfully routed his van. For a change, we were caged and the king of jungle was roaming free.


To rest our tired soles, we took a small snack break at the restaurant within the zoo premises. On that day group of school children were also enjoying their ride to zoo. It was fun to watch little kids watch with awe the big animals. Some were aping the big chimpanzees with hooting and whistling. But kids mended their ways when the teacher educated them about these wonderful creatures and their importance in the ecosystem.


Centrally located in the zoo is the aviary section, home to the winged attractions. The white peacock topped the list of favorites. We got to see some rare species of cockatoos and swans. The last section of the zoo had big reptiles mainly alligators and crocodiles.


By the time we had covered the entire zoo it was 1:00 pm and we had started feeling tired as well as hungry. To our delight, delicious chole kulche were ready for us. After having lunch we played games which our HR personals had arranged for us. And almost all participated in one game or the other. Lemon and spoon race and tug-of-war revived our school-time memories. Couples volunteered for the paper dance. All the winners were awarded with gifts as souvenirs. With fond memories of the trip we started for our way back.


Yogesh Sharma

Posted in Travel.

One Response

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  1. Sandhya Suri says

    Thanks…u seem to be quite the traveller!

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