All of us know Darjeeling for Mall Road, Glenarys or Keventer's. But how many of you have visited the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP)? Yes, that is the Darjeeling Zoo.
Formerly known as the Himalayan Zoological Park, it was established way back in 1958. What is fascinating about the zoo is that, apart from being a recreational centre for people, it is also motivating and initiating awareness campaigns among the locals and visitors on the importance of conserving the Himalayan eco-system.
Located at an altitude of 7,000 metres, make sure to carry your jackets and coats, even during summers, and during winters, the temperature falls to sub-zero! Enough to dedicate an entire bag for winter wear.
Did you know? This is the only specialised zoo in the country as well as internationally recognised for its conservation breeding programmes of Red Panda, Snow Leopards, and Tibetan Wolf. And, the snow leopards are a marvel to behold, fascinating us with charming demeanour.
Apart from that, you can see a host of mammals from the cat family such as the clouded leopard, black leopard, Indian tiger and common leopard. Move to the other sections where you spot the Tibetan wolf, which is bigger than an Indian wolf and have a thicker coat of fur. You'll also spot Himalayan palm civet, Himalayan Tahr, barking deer and Asiatic black bears, among others. You will be able to spot other rare species known as the Himalayan newt, which is one of the oldest amphibians founded in Darjeeling.
After all, seeing all of them, if you still are hanging around, visit the zoo souvenir shop to get a memento or photograph to take back home.