Chai with Sai

A refreshing pit stop for tired surfers…

A Visit to Guindy National Park, Chennai

Posted by Saipradeep on November 17, 2008

After so many years, I was back in Guindy National Park(GNP), visiting the all so famous Snake park and Children’s Park. Snake park and Children’s park form a part of GNP with Snake park lying adjacent to GNP and Children’s park carved out from 22 acres of land from GNP. I donot remember anything from my previous visit expect for the glass rooms for the snakes. So this visit was more or less like my first time there.

GNP is the 8th smallest National Park in India and one of the very few actually located inside a city. GNP is located in the heart of Chennai and is an extention of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu. It also extends in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. GNP, Raj Bhavan and IIT enjoy a special degree of protection and continue to remain a natural habitat for many last remnants that typify range of plants and biodiversity of North Eastern Tamil Nadu.

How to get there

GNP is located in the heart of Chennai and there are a wide variety of Bus services connecting it to various parts of the city. Bus stop name would be either Guindy Park or Children’s Park or Snake park or Gandhi Mandapam. Guindy Park is behind the Gandhi Mandapam, Kamaraj Memorial and Rajaji Memorial. If you are travelling by car or bike, then you will have to take the left from Mount Rd. (right, incase you are travelling from Guindy Bridge towards Saidapet) to reach Raj Bhavan. From there you will have to take another left which will lead you towards GNP. Continue to drive and you will reach a Flyover below which you will have to take a U-turn to face GNP’s gate. The drive from Saidapet on a normal day by bike or car would take about 10 mins. Incase you miss out anywhere, you just have to pull over and anyone in the city can guide you to this place. Please note that Guindy station (Suburban Track) is 1 km away, Chennai Egmore Railway station is 9 km away, Chennai Central Railway station is 12 km away and Chennai airport is 8 km away from Guindy park.

At the parking lot

 Vehicle parking

There is a huge parking lot for cars and bikes inside GNP and if you are lucky you will get to see a few deers off their fences into the parking lot. If you are luckier, you can get to see them upclose and feed them with some good fruits or vegetable. Please donot feed them with pop corns or biscuits or any other thing that is not their natural food.

 Snake Park

The ticket to Snake park costs you Rs. 5/- for adults and Rs. 1/- for kids. There are seperate charges for Still Camera(Rs. 10/-) and video camera (Rs. 100/-). There are a huge collections of snakes, ranging from pythons to cobras and water snakes. There are also a few enclosures displaying a variety of crocodiles. There was one enclosure that was filled with close to 25 crocodiles. Apart from snakes and crocs, one can also see  Star Turtles, Indian monitor lizard and chameleons that are from the endangered catogory. You can also see a few herbal plants from the wilderness that are tagged and kept for viewing.

There are also special shows at about 4 to 5 slots a day where the Park rangers display different snakes and explain about them in detail. This happens in an open auditorium located in the park.

If you are facinated by seeing crocodiles and snakes in Animal Planet, Discovery and NGC, then it is time you visit Snake park. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there clicking away photos at random. You would need about an hour or so to slowly go around the park and enjoy viewing each and every species.

Chidren’s Park

This is the adjacent gate to Snake park and has a seperate entry fee. The charges for an adult is Rs. 5/- while children below the age of 10 can go in free. Cameras are as usual charged seperately.

When compared to Snake park, this place is quite huge and it covers a wider variety of flora and fauna. The park is filled with animals and birds of most kinds. One can find a variety of monkeys, Antelope, Black buck, Chital, deers, sambar, hyena, jackal, grey pelican, cormorant, cockatiel, peacocks, emu, parrots kites and eagles. One can also find a few salt water crocodiles. There is a huge enclosure for birds and it is filled with colourful varity of birds. It is a visual delight to anyone who loves to click away their camera.

On the other side of the park, one can find play aread for kids which includes swings and slides. There are quite of few of these in number, however one must double check the slides and swings for rust as it is not that well maintained.

You would take about two hours or more to go around the entire park. There are quite a few benches where you can rest and snack. You will have to remember not to litter the place and you are also not allowed to take any plastic covers inside the park.

Overall, you would have some good time if you love watching animals and birds. It would be a bit tiring as you will have to walk a lot, however it is definately worth the walk.

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