Eco Tourism is one of the biggest trends in travel and tourism today. With more and more species becoming endangered with each passing day, this is an attempt to ensure that they are conserved. It is also one of the most popular ways to increase sensitivity about wildlife conservation among large populations.
The Jungle Safari in Naya Raipur is one of the biggest steps towards Eco Tourism. This manmade safari in the capital city of Chattisgarh is the largest one in Asia.
Launch And Development
Nandanvan Jungle Safari was launched in the year 2001 when Chattisgarh was relatively a young state in India. It was the brain child of several IAS officers. This micro forest was built in the heart of the city after demolishing several buildings, including close to 70 government buildings scheduled to be demolished in the future. For a long time, it was unnoticed but the state government introduced several projects to make it popular not just in India but across the globe.
This effort led to the construction of the largest man-made forest in Asia, The Nandanvan Jungle Safari in Naya Raipur.
The entrance of the Safari is straight from a Hollywood movie. You have towering steel gates that have a wooden board that reads, ‘Jungle Safari’. When you enter the gates, you are welcomed by a beautiful garden and a detailed map of the safari. Golf carts are assigned to tourists to take them to various starting points of the Safari.
The entire forest has been divided into 8 zones, with the 7th one allocated for the Safari. The other zones are the Management Zone, the Administrative Zone, The Monument Zone, the Parking Zone, The Waiting Zone, the Water Zone and the Zoo Zone.
You have different safaris that you can choose from including the Lion Safari, The Tiger Safari, the Bear Safari and the Herbivore Safari. Towards the end of each ride, you get to see the crocodile conservation point.
Along with the wildlife itself, you get to experience rich tribal culture. This also includes combats between the tribal people and the wild animals to showcase the relationship between man and beast. These displays show the deep connection that the various tribes have with these animals.
You cannot purchase tickets for the Safari online. One has to purchase them at the door. There are two options for your safari- A/C rides and the non- A/C rides. The A/C rides do not offer the same experience as you have sealed windows that are tinted. You have a regular city bus that you can ride on when you choose the non-AC Safari. You also have the option of a bus that is secured with a steel cage.
The total area of the Nandanvan Zoo is 202.87 HectareThe plan of constructing the largest Man-made Forest has been approved by the Central Zoo Authority of India and is one of the most promising ventures towards wildlife conservation in IndiaThe Nandanvan Zoo and Safari is located adjacent to the Khandwa Dam which is perennial, offering water for all the animals at the zooThe zoo is estimated to have 3000 varieties of flowers when it is complete.
How To Get There?
The Nandanvan Zoo is located conveniently from the major transport zones of Naya Raipur. It is just 35 Kilometers away from the Raipur Railway Station and 30 Kilometers from the Raipur Bus Stand. Nearest airport is “Swami Vivekananda Airport” in Raipur.
As of now, the project is still underway. Although you will only get to see a few lions, tigers, bears and deer as of now, the future is nothing short of magnificent.