In this age of costly multiplex movies, high-end mall play zones and adventure or water parks, a simpler option — costing even less than an aloo tikki burger —of wholesome entertainment is still roaring.
The National Zoological Park —popularly known as Delhi zoo — witnessed a record 22,700 footfall on Tuesday, a holiday for Gandhi Jayanti.
The Zoo management said the actual number is much more — over 25,000 — as all children below 12 years were allowed free entry as part of the Wildlife Week. A child gets an entry to the sprawling zoo for a mere Rs 10 while it is just twice for an adult, making it one of the most popular crowd-pullers in the city. The foreign visitors are charged Rs 100 per head.
The zoo’s entry area saw crowds spilling over, prompting additional ticket counters and entry gates. Regular announcements were made for crowd management. Though there were literally hundreds of people in every nook and cranny of the zoo, Jojy Sunil enjoyed the verdant greens while her husband clicked away with a telephoto lens.
“I feel relaxed because of the greenery here,” Jojy said explaining why she keeps coming back.
Manik Kathuria, a class five student, had come with his sister and parents, and was craning his neck to see a tiger frolic. This was just one of the thousands of families that had descended upon Delhi zoo.
Reasoned Riaz Khan, zoo’s curator (education): “Today even the factories and all private offices are closed. All those people come out in large numbers with full families in tow.”