Here's what lies beyond the animal enclosures at Lucknow Zoo!
It's a sure thing that just thinking about the Lucknow Zoo can transport you back in time, to your childhood days, right? Those cool 'Bal-rail' rides (Mini Train ride), rides in the pedal boats, sighting the wild animals, and even those school picnics!
The Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden is undoubtedly a core memory of every Lucknowite's childhood, but did you know what sets it apart from all other zoos in various cities? Well, the Lucknow zoo was once a Mughal Garden, and hence offers more than just the wild fauna for you to look at! Here's what's different at the Lucknow Zoo:
The iconic structures of Mughal Era
A lot of folks in the city probably know that the zoo we have today, which has gone through several name changes, originally started out as a Mango Orchard called 'Banarasi Bagh'. It was built back in the 18th century by Nawab Nasiruddin Haider.
You can still spot remnants from that era, like the famous 'Nageene Wali Baradari' and other structures that showcase ancient architecture scattered throughout parts of the zoo.
The evergreen Ghazal 'In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke' from the movie, Umrao Jaan, was also shot in the Baradari.
There are also various unnamed sheds and structures that were originally developed in Banarasi Bag, and you can find them scattered all over the place within the zoo.
ASI's officially maintained State Museum
The State Museum and the area surrounding it within the zoo are like a living archive of numerous significant pieces of history.
You'll come across ruins of old temples, historic currency, photographs, sculptures and more. There's a whole bunch of items on display in this legendary place, and it's all officially maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Right next to the museum, you'll find the legendary aircraft, Raj Hans. The Indian Government acquired this plane from the USSR back in 1966. It was owned by the Indian Air Force and was even used to fly Prime Ministers of the country, including Indira Gandhi, on occasion.
Flora and Fauna
In addition to its impressive collection of thousands of animal species, the zoo also boasts a butterfly park where you can catch a glimpse of many rare butterfly species and other insects.
Furthermore, the zoo is home to numerous exotic plants and trees, many of which have diverse medicinal applications. Among these is the rare 'Kalp Vriksha,' which is also believed to be a wish-fulfilling plant (try your luck, maybe?)
What's even better is that most of these trees and plants in the zoo are labeled to provide visitors with information.
A hub of recreational activities
The zoo also features a massive children's park that's brimming with lush greenery and multiple rides for the little ones to have a blast on.
Moreover, within this children's park, there's a small adventure activities zone where visitors can indulge in sports like zipline rides and archery for added excitement.
Additionally, the zoo is home to the 'Sarus Auditorium', where visitors can catch 2D films that focus on wildlife and the history of the zoo, adding an educational and entertaining dimension to the zoo experience.
You'll also find a souvenir shop and a Nature Interpretation Centre near the entrance to cap off your animal safari adventure.
So, why not plan a picnic sometime soon to rekindle those cherished old memories? And be sure to keep an eye out for more of these legendary elements tucked away inside the zoo!