It is located 15 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar, Nandankanan literally means "celestial garden '' and was founded on the 29th day of December, 1960. As odd as it may sound at first, the idea of a zoo was born as a last-minute idea. In the World Agriculture Fair held in New Delhi in 1960, the Odisha pavilion featured animals from Odisha on its stand. After much deliberation and discussions, the present site within the Junagarh Forest block was selected.
In contrast to other zoos in the world, Nandankanan is situated within the forest, and is set in a natural setting. The animals are kept in large enclosures that mimic their habitat and allow them to rest and lead a happy life.

It is most well-known because of its white tigers, and is the zoo that hosts the species. Other firsts include: It's the first zoo to breed endangered Gharials in the wild.
The school children are invited to take part in competitions such as sit and draw , and other games such as naming cubs of tigers during the week of wildlife, wetland day and elephant day.

Nandankanan is one of the most renowned Zoological park in the globe, is a great example of unique features to its credit.Nandan Kanan National Park located just 20 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar the capital city in Odisha, India. Its name Nandan Kanan means Garden of Pleasure that is evident as one walks into the park. On the banks of Lake Kanjia and amidst natural forest, is. The Zoo has gained International Reputation for breeding of white royal Bengal tiger in captivity . It also offers two different safaris that cater to Lions and Tigers. There is a Botanical Garden located on the northern part of the zoological garden that overlooks Kanjia Lake. Kanjia Lake which is a paradise for those who love boating. Elephant Ride Toy Train, Elephant Ride and ropeway amusements are offered within the Park.