Vandalur is a town in the Chennai metropolitan area of Tamil Nadu, India. It is a suburb of Chennai and is situated about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of the city center. Vandalur is known for its Arignar Anna Zoological Park, one of the largest zoos in Asia.
Vandalur was originally a small village with a population of just a few hundred people. In 1962, the Tamil Nadu government acquired a large tract of land in Vandalur to establish a zoo. The zoo was inaugurated in 1963 and has since grown to become one of the largest and most popular zoos in Asia.
Vandalur is situated on the banks of the Palar River, a tributary of the Bay of Bengal. The town is located in a flat, alluvial plain with an average elevation of 11 meters (36 feet) above sea level.
According to the 2011 Indian census, Vandalur had a population of 36,218 people. The majority of the population is Hindu, with a small minority of Muslims and Christians. The town is multilingual, with Tamil being the official language and the most widely spoken language. Telugu, Kannada, and Urdu are also spoken by significant minorities.
Vandalur’s economy is largely dependent on the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The zoo is a major tourist attraction and employs a large number of people. The town also has a number of small industries and businesses.
Vandalur has a number of schools and colleges. The town is home to the Government Arts College Vandalur, which is affiliated with the University of Madras.
Vandalur has a rich culture and heritage. The town is home to a number of temples, festivals, and traditions. The town is also known for its handicrafts, which include pottery, weaving, and wood carving.
Vandalur is a popular tourist destination, primarily due to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The zoo is home to over 1,200 animals and birds, representing over 160 species. The zoo is open every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Other Tourist Attractions
- The Vandalur Lake: The Vandalur Lake is a popular spot for boating and fishing.
- The Vandalur Crocodile Bank: The Vandalur Crocodile Bank is a crocodile sanctuary that is home to over 4,000 crocodiles. The sanctuary is a popular spot for tourists to learn about crocodiles and their conservation.
- The Vandalur Bird Sanctuary: The Vandalur Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary that is home to over 200 species of birds. The sanctuary is a popular spot for birdwatchers.
Vandalur is well-connected by road and rail. The town is situated on the National Highway NH45, which connects Chennai to Kanyakumari. Vandalur also has a railway station on the Chennai-Tuticorin line.
Vandalur has a number of hotels and lodges to accommodate visitors.