India does not have rich diversity only in terms of culture but also in flora and fauna. The dark and dense forests of India offer a wide area for the giant snakes with an abundance of their prey, making India one of the best habitat for these reptiles. Out of the 270 species of snakes that are found in India, 60 are those which are highly venomous and thus, dangerous. Each year, close to 20,000 deaths occur in India due to the bites of these reptiles.
Also known as â€œNagâ€ and â€œNajaNajaâ€, it is one of the highly venomous snakes found in the India subcontinent. These cobras are found in various habitats but they seem to prefer fields, open forest edges and areas in and around villages. The reptile feeds on lizards, rodents as well as frogs. The Indian cobra is part of the big four snakes of India, which are the four species inflicting most number of snakebites on humans. It also has religious aspect where it is considered as â€œthe Holy Snakeâ€ and worshipped as a God during â€œNaag Panchamiâ€ because of it being associated as an emblem to Lord Shiva. The Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) has now put Nag snake under protection.
The Indian King Cobra has an average length of 13 feet to 15 feet, making it the biggest snake in India. These unique cobras ca reach to a length of 5.5 meters (18 feet) which makes them the longest venomous snake in the world. The best habitat for the King cobra are the thick undergrowth, humid jungles, rainforests, cool swamps and bamboo clusters forest areas. The snake is usually olive-green, black with faint or tan in color and has pale yellow cross bands which stretch across the length of its body. According to the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), any person found guilty of killing the King cobra can be sentenced to an imprisonment of upto 6 years.
Also known as the tree viper or bamboo snake, the Indian Green Pit Viper is one of the commonest of the Pit Vipers family with a length of 2.5 feet. It lives mainly on arboreal, bushes, vines and bamboos. This group of snakes are not only venomous but also have a heat sensing system. They feed on lizards, frogs and insects.
Also known as â€œAjgarâ€ in Hindi, the Indian rock python is a large reptile found in Indian subcontinent but is non-venomous. As compared to the Ajgars found in the Deccan Plateau including the swamps, woodlands, grasslands, rocky foothills and marshes, the ones that are found in the hill forests of Assam and Western Ghats are darker in color.
Also known as Daboia or Koriwala in the local language, Russellâ€™s viper is the smallest of the Big Four snake family and is one of the most venomous snakes found in India subcontinent. It feeds on small birds, rodents and lizards and is brownish grey or dark-brown in color. It is majorly found in grassy, open and bushy areas of the hills and West coast.