ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Top 3 Nature Parks and Green Places to Visit in Chennai

Updated on March 10, 2019
Babu Mohan profile image

I am a marketing professional holding a post-graduate degree in management. I have traveled extensively in Tamilnadu.

A Painted stork feedings its babies at Vednathangal
A Painted stork feedings its babies at Vednathangal | Source

Green Cover in a City

A city's beauty does not lie in its sky scrapers or its size. A city becomes more presentable only if it has plenty of greenery around. Chennai has its share of green spaces though I would always wish for more.

I have covered the following three green places that one can visit in and around Chennai.

  1. Semmozhi Poonga
  2. Vandalur Zoo
  3. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

There are more such green places in Chennai and I would be writing about some of those places in future.

The modern Chennai city was built by Britishers during their colonial rule as they needed a base in South India for trading purposes. They might have had a special liking for this region because of the beautiful beaches and the lush green cover it had. The green cover has been shrinking leaving only remnants of its erstwhile green glory.

Semmozhi Poonga, An Oasis in Chennai
Semmozhi Poonga, An Oasis in Chennai | Source

1. Semmozhi Poonga

The name "Semmozhi Poonga" means "Classical Language Park". This place used to be an iconic drive-in restaurant for a century before it got converted into a park in the year 2010. It is certainly a welcome change considering how outdated the earlier drive-in restaurant was. Heritage lovers might disagree with me on this.

Central Location

The park is located on Cathedral Road near the Gemini flyover. It shares one side of a compound wall with the busy Anna Salai (Mount Road). The park has a total area of 20 acres and once we are inside, we would forget that we are in the middle of a densely populated city.

Water Body inside Semmozhi Poonga
Water Body inside Semmozhi Poonga | Source

Hidden Gem

It is a well maintained park and one can spend a couple of hours or even half a day at the park. It is like a jungle full of trees and there are also many flowering plants. The pathways are well laid and the landscaping is done tastefully. There are plenty of seating arrangements for those who love to sit and spend hours soaking in nature.

There is a canteen area serving items like snacks, ice creams and coffee. Surprisingly, most Chennai residents would not have visited this park and it continues to remain a hidden jewel with less crowd despite its central location.

Electric car to go around Vandalur Zoo
Electric car to go around Vandalur Zoo | Source

2. Vandalur Zoo

Vandalur Zoo is officially called The Arignar Anna Zoological Park. This is the largest Zoological park in India with an area of around 1500 acres. Such a large green cover makes it such a pleasant place in a city otherwise used to relentless heat.

Most animals are housed in an environment closer to their natural setting. It is still confinement but we do not see many caged animals here. Even the big cats are allowed to roam free in large areas with moats separating them from observers.

How to go Around the Park

There are two options for going around the park. One can go by walk or take a ride in the electric car. Taking a walk is a nice experience as the long walk would be a good exercise. It take about three to four hours to cover the distance by walk.

If you don't like the idea of walking for hours, the electric car would take you around the zoological park in an hour. We would not be able to decide the pace as we have to move along with the vehicle. Walking should be a better option for reasonably fit individuals who are visiting the Zoo for the first time.

A Pair of Lions at Vandalur Zoo
A Pair of Lions at Vandalur Zoo | Source

Big Cats & Other Large Animals

Lion Safari is another important attraction that takes us closer to where the lions reside inside the park. It takes about half an hour to complete the Lion Safari. We also have many large animals such as Bengal tiger, White Tiger, Leopard, Bison, Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe and Hippopotamus.

There is a restaurant inside near the main entrance serving South Indian food and the food quality is acceptable. Snacks and ice creams are sold at many places inside. There is also an outlet selling organic products and it is worth paying a visit.

Painted stork at Vedanthangal
Painted stork at Vedanthangal | Source

3. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal is located at a distance of 66 km (41 miles) south of Chennai Airport. The trees in the middle of rain fed lake serve as ideal nesting sites for the migratory birds.

Numerous Exotic Birds at one Place

It is said that birds from all over the world visit here. They come from Australia, Canada, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and many other countries. These birds are the real globetrotters and they don't even need passports or visas to fly from one country to another.

While I am no expert or enthusiast at bird watching, the presence of thousands of birds at one place is an enjoyable sight. There are numerous species of birds to spot like the Grey Heron, Openbill Stork, Painted Stork, Little Egret and the Spoonbill. Carrying a pair of binoculars could be handy to catch a better glimpse of the avian visitors.


These birds are the real globetrotters and they don't even need passports or visas to fly from one country to another.

The Nesting Birds at Vedanthangal Lake
The Nesting Birds at Vedanthangal Lake | Source


Snacks, coffee, tea and tender coconuts are sold outside the sanctuary but for a good meal, one needs to travel a minimum of half an hour before finding a good restaurant. It is a good idea to pack and carry food with us as they usually allow us to have food inside.

Best Time to Visit Vedanthangal

The best months to visit are from November to February when the migratory birds visit. But if the lakes stay dry after a failed monsoon, the migratory birds give Vedanthangal a skip. Though such monsoon failures are rare, it happens once a while. It might be a good idea to visit after checking if the birds have arrived.

Distance from Madras International Airport

Distance (miles)
Distance (kms)
Vandalur Zoo
Semmozhi Poonga
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Please leave your valuable comments.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Babu Mohan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Babu 

      4 months ago from Chennai, India

      Yes. Thanks for your comments Eurofile.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      Cities need green spaces. This is an interesting article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)