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Kolkatans throng Alipore Zoo in droves

Kolkata: The city on Monday celebrated Christmas with pomp and grandeur with thousands of revelers pouring in from various parts of Kolkata and its suburbs from the morning.
If Park Street was the place for the party crowd, Alipore Zoo was the destination of choice for thousands of others.
Apart from Park Street and Alipore Zoo, Allen Park, Bow Barracks, St Paul's Cathedral, other churches in and around the city and the other centres of attraction in Kolkata registered record footfall on Monday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday attended the midnight prayer and participated in Christmas carol at St Paul's Cathedral in the city. Many people started thronging outside the church from Sunday midnight.
The places that recorded highest footfall were Alipore Zoological Garden, Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, Nicco Park and Science City.
The main gate of St Paul's Cathedral was closed by the police at around 4 pm, restricting the entry of visitors. Many people who were still thronging outside the church were disappointed as they were not allowed to go inside.
Children clad in Santa dresses were found visiting the Alipore Zoo on Monday morning. The zoo has always been one of the major centres of attraction, especially for the children who were seen thronging along with their parents in front the tigers' cages.
A 6-year-old boy, Sayan Basu, who is a student of class II of an English medium school in the city, visited the zoo along with his family members. He insisted his parents for visiting the tigers at the zoo. Sayan's father Santanu, a bank employee, took him to the open arena where the people can have the best glimpses of the chimpanzees.
Many people were seen standing outside the cages of their favourite animals to have their glimpse. Sayan reached the zoo by 11:30 am and was eagerly waiting to see tigers. But tigers had been late in coming outside, probably because of the cold.
As the day progressed, the tigers were seen stepping out of their cages and basking in the sun, giving enormous pleasure to the children.
According to sources, around one lakh people visited Alipore Zoo on Monday while the figure on Sunday stood at around 95,000.
The zoo authorities decided to open an additional 19 ticket counters to meet the extra rush of the visitors. Police officers also handled the crowd.
As many as 92 police personnel in plain clothes were deployed outside the zoo. The zoo authorities hope that this will continue in the last week of December. There was a long queue outside Victoria Memorial and Birla Planetarium.
Park Street, which has always been a place to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and New Year, was decked up with lights, balloons, Christmas trees and other decorations.
People from various parts of the city and its suburbs came to churches to pray to God for the well being and prosperity of all.

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