Crocodile Bank

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When we visit Chennai, Crocodile Bank in Chennai is always a must-visit.

The park has feeding sessions every Sunday at noon and between 4pm and 5pm in the evening, and this is the best time to visit the park. The crocodiles are at their most active even if you are wilting in the heat.

On Sunday, we were leaving Chennai and so we skipped the croc feeding, however Snubnose loved the visit just the same. I don’t know how it is, Snubnose has visited this place so many, many times, however it still remains one of her favorite spots to visit when in Chennai.

This was Piglet’s first visit and I have to say he walked around everywhere cheerfully, but never really registered much of what was happening. It was just so sultry that all Piglet wanted to do was have a cool drink from his bottle.

All wide-eyed over the crocs

All wide-eyed over the crocs

So hot. Piglet was literally melting in the heat

So hot. Piglet was literally melting in the heat

Seeing Piglet’s reactions to the heat, I know I need to keep that in mind while planning future travel trips. While he didn’t complain, I could see that he was totally wiped out.

One of the biggest attractions at the Crocodile Bank is the 17 feet long salt-water crocodile called Jaws III. It’s very rare to see it out of the water though. We waited for a long time to just catch a glimpse of it. Finally, it deigned to thrust its snout out of the swampy water before diving inside again while I fumbled with the camera πŸ™ .

So, yeah, I got unlucky with the photography. Most of the crocs chose (very sensibly I admit) to chill in the water than basking in the hot sun.

Half-immersed in the water

Half-immersed in the water

Thankfully, a few did come choose to come out of the water for a couple of photo-ops.

A croc close-up or as close as we can get

A croc close-up or as close as we can get

This place doesn’t restrict itself to housing crocodiles. There are alligators, gharials, tortoises, and snakes, and if you plan properly, you can see the herpetologists showing how they extract venom from the snakes to make anti-venom. And if you are really brave, you can step into the snake pit and even hold some of the snakes.

We preferred to watch from afar πŸ™‚

I think this was a Russell Viper

I think this was a Russell Viper

There is one particular display of a gharial that I liked very much. I couldn’t get a good shot as the water was very muddy when I went, but it was great to see it swimming underwater.

A view of a gharial in a tank

A view of a gharial in a tank

I took this photo of the gharial from the Crocodile Bank website, and I only wish the tank was as clean as it looks here. Alas, it was covered with greenish slime, and in the photo I took, you can barely make out the gharial.

However, this particular tank was housed in a hut-like structure and even had some chairs. So, we all took the opportunity to rest a bit in the shade and watch the gharial swimming so gracefully in the water.

Soon it was closing time, and we rushed out before they could physically throw us out of the place, and refreshed ourselves with ice-cold Coke (not good, I know), but we were so badly dehydrated, that even water was not enough to quench our thirst.

And then went home to sack out in front of the TV πŸ™‚ .

I am cribbing a lot about the heat in this post, but in spite of the weather, we did have a really great time and enjoyed our break a lot.

When we go next year, I”ll make sure we get to see a feeding. I’ve seen these feedings once before, and it’s a really awesome sight. Well worth a visit.

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  • I’ve been to Chennai far too often in the past couple of years, and checked off most of the place I’d always wanted to go to (like that huge free library – can’t recall the name!) And I never knew about this. Will definitely make it a point to visit it the next time I find myself in Chennai. πŸ™‚

    • Nishita

      @priyatabularasa:disqus huge free library? which one is this?

      • I looked it up! It’s the Anna Centenary library… of course, you can’t borrow anything, but it’s roomy – we were there for hours, and I could read a whole book right there! It’s got a huge collection and the kids section is so dreamy. πŸ™‚

        • Nishita

          @priyatabularasa:disqus huh, can you believe it. I don’t think I have ever visited. Should go there next time I visit. Thanks for looking it up for me πŸ™‚

  • Avada@ashscerebrations.com

    I have been to chennai few times in the past, but not to the crocodile bank. Next time I am in Chennai, I will definitely visit this place. I was running out of places to see in Chennai. πŸ™‚

    • Nishita

      @Avada@ashcerebrations.com It’s good fun and on the way to Mahabalipuram on the East Coast Road. There are tons of other things to do as well, so you can easily sneak in a visit to this place.

      It’s not very big, you can easily do it within an hour, but try to make it during feeding time. It’s worth it.

  • I have never been to either a croc or alligator park, but I think it would be fascinating, as long as i minded all the signs about no hopping fences. πŸ™‚ We have a reptile house at the local zoo (Albuquerque, NM, USA) and it has a nice assortment, but I think a place like this would be more impressive for viewing the swimming reptiles.

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