After Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves our guide told that the next and the last spot of our trip would be NandanKanan National Park, which is about 20 kms from Bhubaneswar. It is a biological park established in 1960 sprawling across the Chandaka forest. The Nandankanan national park houses the very first captive gharial-breeding center of the country. The zoo at Nandakanan is world-renowned for its white tigers. In 1980, for the very first time, three white tiger cubs were born from normal colored parents. With facilities for boating, white tiger and lion safaris, a nocturnal animal house, reptile park, aerial ropeway and cable car, it is the place for a person with a penchant for the great outdoors. A camera ticket was required and I took that from the counter. We saw a Himalayan bear sleeping and I took the shot:
Next, was a sloth bear:
Leopard Madhu, the straying leopard was captured form a toilet at Madhupatna in Cuttack city on 6.3.92 by the staff of the biological park. Unless we preserve their habitats such incidences will be more frequent in future. I got these details from the labels painted in a board near the cage:
Next to see was the most amazing, a white tiger. That was the first time I ever saw a white tiger. White tigers are mutants of the normal colored tiger and are highly endangered. It’s a beautiful animal and really a treat to watch:
We also saw some tigers, stripped hyena, spotted deers and crocodiles in the park. The rare species was this rhinoceros. In recent decades rhinos have been relentlessly hunted to the point of near extinction. Since 1970 the world rhino population has declined by 90 percent, with five species remaining in the world today, all of which are endangered. This was the first time I saw a rhino even in captivity:
It was 6 pm and was getting dark. I was taking the pictures quickly as after some time nothing will be visible. Check out this Hippopotamus:
Then, we went to see the reptile park. A life sized Tyrannosaurus Rex stands as a sentinel on the gates of the Reptile Park that is home to crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes. The Reptile Park at Nandankanan is apt to introduce your kids to the world of reptiles, thereby infusing interest and eliminating fear from your kids mind. Reptile Park has many varieties of snakes including Krait, Cobra, Russels Viper and Saw Scaled Viper. Banded Krait-Kraits are the most poisonous snake in India. They rarely eat eggs and never drink milk. They feed on rats, mice, frogs, birds and lizards.
On a small enclosure I found this baby crocodile:
For more photos of Nandankanan National Park, click here.
By the time we came out of the reptile park it was completely dark so we thought of returning to Puri. We had some snacks and got in to the bus. It was a couple of hours drive to Puri and we were very tired after the trip. My brother suggested that we should check out some restaurants near the Puri Beach for Dinner but my father told that he will take dinner at hotel only and he will sleep and advised us to go over there. So my bro and me went to the Puri beach. We thought of having a walk to the beach and then go for dinner. The beach was nice and cold and after traveling in hot sun for the whole day the walk was very refreshing. We went to a nearby restaurant for the dinner. If you had been reading my earlier posts you will know why I love these beach side restaurants, Yeah, the seafood! I checked the menu quickly and ordered some fried prawns, rice, and ruhi fish curry (they call it ruhi but in bangalore it is called as rohu). We enjoyed the delicacies till we were full. After dinner we had a nice walk to our hotel and discussed about the whole day. The next day my brother was having plans to go to Balighai as he is into Kriyayoga (a meditation technique) and I was having plans to go to Sri Jagannatha temple again and then to visit the Puri beach.