Located in Vellore City of Tamil Nadu State, this Amirthi Zoological Park covers an area of over 25 hectares surrounded by beautiful waterfalls. The wildlife sanctuary comprises half of the area while the other half of the forest is cleared to provide for tourism spots. During holidays, tourists visit this park and take a trek of about a kilometre to enjoy the seasonal waterfalls. Many animals are spotted within this park including deer, fox, hedgehog, pythons, red headed parrots, peacock, wild cats, eagles, ducks, rabbits, pigeons, tortoises, rhesus monkeys and love birds.
One of the best nature reserves cum zoos in India, Amirthi offers many activities all in one zoo. The zoo was thrown open for public view in the year 1967 and recently the Tamil Nadu State Government is putting in efforts to give a facelift to this zoo. Being closer to the city of Vellore, this Zoo Park receives the highest number of tourists from South India during the holiday season. This otherwise forest was cleared halfway for tourism destinations while the other half was cleared to house the wildlife sanctuary.
In the year 2013, the State Government allocated a sum of Rs 3.50 crore for the development of the amenities at Vellore Zoo Park. The amount was utilised for providing amenities such as pathways leading to seasonal waterfalls, food joints, resting places, drinking water facilities, watchtowers and information desks. The State Forest Department is also planning a cost outlay of Rs 19 crore to upgrade the small zoo into a bigger one. The plan has been approved by the Central Zoo Authorities.
Once the up-gradation takes place, the Elephant camps will serve as a probable site for the temple elephants of Tamil Nadu and for hosting the rejuvenation and camp offices.
Timings & Tariff
The Zoo authorities charge Rs 2/- per head as an entry fee. Persons preferring cycles, vans and motorcycles have to pay entry fees of Rs 3, 5 and 2 respectively. The zoo is open on all days from 9 AM till 6 pm however, it is advised that people go in groups instead of 2-3 persons. Since the location is far away from the city, it is not safe for individuals to go without a group.
This zoo park is located near the Tellai in Javadi Hills of the Vellore district. The name is derived from the Amirthi River that flows adjacent to the forest zoo. This place is best to go with the family on a holiday outing, especially for a picnic. The natural flow of air soothes the people from the usual busy life. Though a cliché sounding picnic is suggested as an additional activity in the zoo apart from trekking and bird watching, a picnic with family and friends is the best way to bask in the laps of nature.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to enjoy the seasonal waterfalls is from October to March when the weather is calm and monsoon rainfall enhances the beauty of waterfalls.
This Park is one of the best tourist spots in Vellore city. There are numerous wildlife animals that find solace within this forest turned park being maintained by the State Forest Department. The spotted deer, pythons, crocodiles, tortoise, rare species of monkeys, migratory birds and wild trees are found in abundance in this zoo park.
How to Reach
Since the zoo park is located about 25 km away from Vellore city, the transportation is less. However, one can hire a bus or cab from Vellore city. Tirupathi airport located about 100 km away is the nearest airport. Also, there are numerous private and government-run buses from Town Bus terminus and Central Bus terminus that can be opted to reach Vellore city. Onnupuram and Katpadi railway stations are the nearest railheads located at about 14 km and 10 km away respectively.