Statue of Jijamata and Shivaji at Jijamata Udyaan
|Land area||48 acres (19 ha)|
Jijamata Udyaan (Marathi: जिजामाता उद्यान) formerly called Rani Bagh (meaning Queen's Gardens) after the original British name Victoria Gardens, and now also known as Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan, is a zoo and garden located at Byculla, in the heart of Mumbai, India. It was laid out in 1861 and is one of the oldest zoos in India.
Also, situated in the Gardens is the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly Victoria and Albert Museum), mainly of industrial and agricultural interest. On the grounds to the east of the museum is the giant statue of an elephant, taken from the Elephanta Caves on Gharapuri to Britain in 1864, and later returned to these gardens.
The gardens were originally the property of the wealthy Jewish businessman David Sassoon. The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which was designed by famous London architect was built with the patronage of many wealthy Indian businessmen and philanthropists like David Sassoon, Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy and Jaganath Shunkerseth. Its structure from inside is the same as the Magen David synagogue of Byculla. David Sassoon donated this whole property to the municipal corporation of Mumbai and it is today's zoo and garden. Sassoon also built the Victoria tower, with its clock, that is still in the gardens but is no longer functional.
The gardens are spread over 48 acres (19 ha) in Byculla, on the central side of Mumbai, surrounded by small housing colonies known as "chawls". At the main entrance to the gardens is a clock tower, reminiscent of Italian Renaissance, but the clock has stopped ticking a long time ago. The gardens boast of scores of trees, some of which are really old. The Statue of the King of King Edward VII was made as a gift by David Sassoon. It is made of black stone, and was kept in the Fort. Due to its popularity the area where it was kept was called Kala Ghoda. The statue was moved to Jijamata Udyaan after the independent government of India decided not to keep any of the British ruler statues in public. Amazing thing about the garden is that it has Ornamental Gateway and an arched architectural screens. It is enriched with a building in Greco-Roman style.
Jijamata Udyaan also houses the Mumbai Zoo. It houses many rare and endangered species of animals and birds and stuffed animals which are stuffed by many talented taxidermists. The state of the zoo degraded considerably and currently the zoo find its place in the list of worst zoos in the world by many independent institutions. This has occurred owing mainly due to the poor hygienic conditions and indifference by the zoo staff.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
The Garden also houses Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly known as the Victoria and Albert Museum) which contains a large collection of archaeological artifacts. One example is a large stone elephant which is now kept at entrance of the garden. It was found in 1864 on Gharapuri Island. The museum's collection of Indian art and culture has been praised as one of the most valuable collections of Indian architecture. It was named after the Prince Consort and Queen Empress of India. 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jijamata Udyan.|
- "Jijamata Udyan Zoo". clickindia.com. ClickIndia. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Search Establishment". cza.nic.in. CZA. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Save the Caves". the-south-asian.com. The South Asian. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- The world's worst zoos globalpost.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013
- 6 of the saddest zoos in the world: Mumbai Zoo mnn.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013
- "History of museum".