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The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park

The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, popularly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo or Katraj Zoo, is situated in Katraj, Pune district, Maharashtra State, India. It is operated and maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation. The 130 acres (53 hectares) zoo is partitioned into three sections: an anim.al orphanage, a snake park, and a zoo. It even includes the 42 acres of land (17 hectares) of Katraj Lake. Thane is a metropolitan city. In the western region of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the highly industrialized cities in Maharashtra. The city is informally known as the “City of Lakes”.

Districts/Region

Katraj Pune Maharashtra

History

 In 1953 the Pune Municipal Corporation made Peshwe Park on around 7 acres of land (2.8 ha) where Madhavrao Peshwe had set up a private menagerie]in 1770. Situated in the heart of Pune city in the basement of Parvati Hill, this Zoo displays animals in traditional cages. In 1986, Mr Neelam Kumar Khaire (the first director of the park), with help from the Pune Municipal Corporation, made the Katraj Snake Park ashore to turn into the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. 
In 1997, to make a more modern zoo as per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority of India, the municipality chose a site in Katraj and began fostering another zoo. The zoo opened in 1999 as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Wildlife Research Center, and at first included just the reptile park, sambars, spotted deer, and monkeys. Even though it took until 2005, the entirety of the animals from Peshwe Park was, at last, moved to the new site, and Peshwe Park was shut. 
 The park also includes a rescue centre for injured and orphaned creatures. It has run an animal adoption scheme since October 2010.

Geography

 The park is along the Pune-Satara Highway on the banks of the Peshwa era Katraj lake.

Weather/Climate

The Climate is rainy in the monsoon and winters are cool and humid.

Things to do

The zoo has  collections of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Among mammals, the zoo has a white tiger and a male Bengal tiger. The other mammals at the zoo include leopard, sloth bears, sambhars, barking deer, blackbucks, monkeys, and elephants. Reptiles include Indian rock python, cobra, snakes, vipers, Indian crocodiles and Indian star tortoise, and birds such as peafowl also feature.
The snake park has a large collection of snakes, reptiles, birds and turtles. There are over 22 species of snakes. This includes a 13-foot long king cobra. Information about the snakes is also provided in Braille; which makes it a unique destination. The snake park has organized many snake festivals and snake awareness programs to clarify doubts and destroy fears about snakes. During Nag Panchami, the park arranges programs to discourage the ill-treatment of snakes. In April 2017, the zoo acquired a pair of Asiatic lions, after which the visits to the zoo has increased significantly.
 

Nearest tourist places

There are many places nearby Katraj,
1. Sinhagad fort
2. Dagdusheth Halwai Temple
3. Shaniwar wada
4. Saras Baug

Special food speciality and hotel

Different types and flavours of Puneri Misal, Mastani, and mostly the Maharashtrian thali is the famous cuisine of Punekars.

Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station

As the city is small, accommodation options are more. We get many reasonably priced hotels to stay near Katraj.

Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit

8.00 am to 6.00 pm is the visiting timing. Winters and summer are prefered seasons to visit.

Language spoken in area 

English, Hindi, Marathi .