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