Saturday, December 3, 2011


A one stop place for handicraft products in Chennai, run by the government, with many branches around the country, attracts a lot of people for its exquisite collection of handicrafts in copper, bronze, wood and  more that caters to all genres of people. Here is a display of few shots, that caught my attention from the huge collection of art works.
                                                              wooden artefacts



                                                                         Pooja Stand in Rose wood


 Gifts to carry back

                                                               Swing made of Rose wood

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Madras Crocodile Bank

                        The 'Madras Crocodile Bank' situated on the East Coast Road, enroute to Mahabaliburam, is a non government environmental organisation, started in the year 1976 by Rom Whitaker. It is a sanctuary for different species of crocodiles and the first crocodile breeding centre to be established in asia. The centre has a huge number of crocodiles, some turtles and snakes, a hard task taken with passion, to conserve the  endangered reptiles, that are on the verge of extinction.
                         The Irula tribe who once hunted snakes for a living and have a good knowledge about snakes , have now been employed by the government to catch the snakes to breed and extract venom which is used to make anti-dote. The venom extraction is demonstrated to the public in the centre, established by the government,  which is also situated in the Crocodile Bank.
                         The biggest salt water crocodile named Jaws III, the main attraction in the centre, failed to show its face and stayed immersed in the water. Crocodiles, Gharials, Alligators, see them basking in the sun like rocks or if you are at the feeding time, then be lucky to watch this exciting moment, when all the crocodiles from the land and from water emerge and move towards the feeding place to get their first catch. Addition of a green anaconda is on the cards, another bold attempt by the centre, to attract more visitors.

Feeding time


Aldabra  Giant Tortoise - native of aldabra atoll

Under water Gharial in a see through glass window

Happy outside the bars

Snakes in pots

Out comes the cobra

Venom extracted

                                               'Jaws III' (?) Can’t even spot its teeth

                                                    'Croc shop' 

Chennai Snake Park

                    When young, a visit to the snake park used to be very exciting and a bit scary too, to see that many number of snakes in one place, always wondering if there’s any creeping above our head. Back then a demo was done in an open shed where people were allowed to touch the snakes, but now it is done protectively within glass walls. A king cobra which was the main attraction in the park for years, caged in that small enclosure, robbed of all its glory, is no more.
                     The Snake park houses some snakes, turtles, giant lizards, crocodiles, Iguana and some spotted deers. Some fortunate deers can be seen outside the park too, in the car parking area roaming around like stray dogs, seeking food from the visitors. Since it is an offence to harm deers, they happily (?) stroll around, providing some fun for kids and grown ups as well, who spoil them by feeding the salty snacks they carry. The park also has a display of a good collection of snakes floating in formaldehyde, well preserved in glass jars.
                     Personally, I feel these unfortunate reptiles need a better environment, rather than being caged for years. A good picture or a video, will work fine in educating the people and that will save these reptiles from this kind of torture, a deed, I think Discovery and Animal Planet channels have achieved doing it.

                         Entrance to the snake park

 Deers found relaxing in the shade just outside the park in the car parking area! ( There are three of them)

Python made lazy

Hoping to find some freedom

Can you spot the lizard?
                    A cobra on display or rather forced to perform.

                           Care for some snack Mr. D?

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