35 kms from Chennai, there is a famous Crocodile Farm on the East Coast Road (ECR. Read Drive from Chennai to Puducherry via ECR). It has one of the largest collections of crocodiles in Asia and also a huge collection of snake venom used for anti-venoms and medicines – must visit, and most definitely, if travelling with children.
The tickets at the Madras Crocodile Park, East Coast Road Chennai, are very reasonably priced at ₹10, but you need to pay an extra of ₹10 for the snake-park and ₹25 for cameras.
Tour of the Madras Crocodile Park: The snake park, on you left upon entering, comes first – an extremely informative place, they have regular shows by the trained staff of how snake venom is collected. While we were there, we saw how venom is collected from deadly Vipers and Cobras! One by one, the deadly snakes were removed from the clay pots, held down and then careful picked and their fangs inserted into the glass bottle covered with a thin cloth cover. Each snake ‘donates’ about 2 drops of the priceless venoms every week and is carefully marked before being put back in the pots. This is followed for the scores of others, then a new vial and new snake type. We saw about three types of snakes being milked!! And whatsmore! The staff in front even did a small show with a few vipers and cobras to attract visitors. Very interesting, to say the least!!
Next stop, Crocs and more crocs!! Hundreds of them – every shape and size. Over acres of land, amidst water bodies in near natural habitat. You move from enclosure to enclosure with scores of crocodiles, alligators and other species from all over the world ‘sun bathing’, sleeping, crawling around. Food thrown in at designated hours.
The other inhabitants of this park are from the tortoise/turtle family and some of them are really huge!! Perhaps, the only section that one doesn’t find creepy.
Madras Crocodile Park is a reptile paradise and definitely not for the faint hearted. Some of the large ones from Australia and US send shivers down your spine, no matter your age.
The place also has a tiny snacks shack and you will find fresh fruit sellers and coconut water vendors just outside the park
Time to tour Madras Crocodile Park — You need about an hour at best to tour the whole park if you are an enthusiast and can stomach the sight of the reptiles!