Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Zoological Garden, Thiruvananthapuram

The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is the oldest zoo in India continuing to exist in its original location in the heart of the temple city Thiruvananthapuram. Similarly the Museum and Botanical Gardens are also the oldest of their kind in the country. Swathi Thirunal Maharaja (1816-1846), illustrious King and Music composer who had ruled Travancore during 1830-1846 is said to be the visionary behind the establishment of the Thiruvananthapuram Museum and Zoo. He had a good collection of animals including elephants in his horse breeding centre. To the Trivandrum stables he incorporated a menagerie and kept tigers, panthers cheetahs, deer, bears and a lioness there. It was however left to his brother Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma and the then British Resident General Cullen which resulted in the establishment of Museum and Zoo in Thiruvananthapuram. A committee was formed in 1855 with the Maharaja of Travancore as Patron, General Cullen as President, The Elaya Raja as Vice President and Mr. Allen Brown as Secretary of the Committee and the Director of Museum. The Museum was thrown open to the Public in September 1857. But the Museum by itself could not attract the people much, and therefore a Zoo and a park were started in 1859.

This Zoological garden is unique in India for its breathtaking landscapes and luxuriant growth of vegetation. Royal look of lofty trees, towering bamboos, lush green landscapes give it a rare distinction of being one of the most beautiful zoos in South East Asia. Spread over 36 acres of land and located in the heart of the city it provides a respite for the people of Thiruvananthapuram as much it offers tourism and recreation for visitors reaching from outside Kerala and overseas.


  • Wildlife conservation with special emphasis to the species endemic &   endangered in the Western Ghats.
  • Education and Nature awareness
  • Wildlife Research
  • Eco Tourism

Animal collection and Display

Zoos were considered as picnic spots in the past. Now, they are managed as conservation and education centres where captive breeding of rare and endangered animals and birds is undertaken. More and more information on Wildlife Conservation and Management is generated through scientific research.

Accordingly, there is shift in policy of animal, collection in the Zoo from 'unlimited animals and limited facilities' to 'limited animals and adequate facilities'. This is aimed at putting up natural display of animals and birds similar to their occurrence in wild to enable them to live naturally and to pass on the right message to visitors.

This Zoo almost had every species of animals and birds that could be gathered and displayed in a Zoo till about 20-25 years ago. But only a negligible extent of area was used for housing and display of animals and birds in tiny cement floored, iron-barred, dingy cages while most areas were set apart for visitor use.

Government of Kerala has launched a project of Modernisation of Thiruvananthapuram Zoo with the financial and technical assistance of the Central Zoo Authority, Government of India since 1996. Construction of nature simulated open enclosures for animals is envisaged in the Masterplan. Open enclosures for all Monkeys, Lion, Tiger, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Bear, Panther, Deer, Wild Buffallo, etc., have already been constructed and animals released from their century old cages. A new hospital with modern equipment has also been put up.


Primates: Include animals that have opposable thumbs which help in climbing trees and grasping food just like human beings. They are intelligent animals and they live in highly organised social groups. Their eyes are set in front to enable them to have binocular vision. Monkeys without tails are termed Apes. The Zoo has four species of Macaques and Langurs. Lion Tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langurs, endemic to Western Ghats, are greatly endangered. They are all housed in the beginning of the display in the Zoo.

Herbivores: This group is comprised of animals which feed on plants - shrubs, herbs, grasses, roots, shoots, leaves, fruits, seeds etc. This big array of animals occupy different niche to avoid competition amongst themselves - while some feed on ground, some are arboreal and some aquatic. Thiruvananthapuram Zoo has a variety of herbivores and the predominant ones are Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus and prolific Sambar, Spotted, Barking, Hog deer and Bharasinga. It also includes Indian antelope’s viz. Nilgai and Black Buck.

Carnivores: Include animals which feed only on meat or flesh of other animals. Prominent among them are the King of Jungle the Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger (the National animal of India), Panther, Jaguar, Bears, Jackals, Otter, White Tiger etc.

In Thiruvananthapuram Zoological Garden there is a good collection of birds which are endemic and exotic. A variety of water birds like Storks, Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Spoon Bill, Ibis, and Cranes are housed here in spacious enclosure look as if in their natural habitat.

Different types of colorful pheasants and Ducks are seen here. Exotic birds like Macaws, Turacos, Cockatoos and Ostrich are good fascination for visitors. White and Grey Rhea are housed near to Ostrich.

Raptors like Owls, Kites, Eagles and Vultures are also seen here in the collection of birds

This group of animals includes those vertebrates having internal fertilisation and scaly bodies in place of hairs or feathers. They are cold blooded animals and hence much of their behaviour is directed towards regulating their body temperature. The group includes snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators etc. King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), the largest of the poisonous snakes, is a major attraction. Our new guest in the Reptile House is the Green Anaconda, one of the largest Snakes in the World which are seen in South American Countries. Anacondas catch the attraction of a good number of visitors.

Butterfly Garden
It has been recorded more than hundred species of Butterflies in our Butterfly garden. Varieties of host and nectar pants planted here attract a myriad of these flying jewels. The largest butterfly in India the Southern bird wing and other beautiful gossamer winged creatures attract the visitors immensely.

The zoo has a well maintained aquarium with over 15 species of fishes, These active colourful creatures will keep the visitors enchanted. Aquariums are important means of instilling the idea of nature conservation in children. They also aid in the ex-situ conservation and propagation of rare and endangered fishes of the region. It is located near the eastern entrance gate of the Museum compound. It was established in 2011 and is working as part of zoological garden with separate ticket.

For the Public to become a part of the conservation they are given an opportunity to adopt the animals for a specific period. Any one can adopt any animals that can be by individuals, corporations, schools or clubs. When you adopt an animal, your contribution is used to help support the concerned animal.

Adopt your favorable animal and become a part of wildlife conservation.

Location & Approach
The Museum and Zoo are situated in the Museum Compound right in the heart of the temple city of Thiruvananthapuram

  • 3 Kms from Thampanoor Bus Station
  • 3 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station
  • 9 Kms from Airport

 Approachable by frequent buses, Autorikshaws, Taxi cars etc.

Admission Fee

Person above 12 years Rs. 10.00 /-
Person below 12 years & above 5 years  Rs. 05.00/-
Family tickets (father, mother & two children) Rs. 25.00/-
Group (35 students & two teachers) Rs. 100/-
 Car Parking  Rs. 150/-

Use of video camera, still camera and mobile phone
Any act inconveniencing or disturbing the fellow visitors or Museum management

Visiting Time
Between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM
Wednesday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Ticket sales upto 4.30 PM
Monday holiday

For further Details:
+91 471 2316275 12318294

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