" Trees are Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven." ~ Rabindranath Tagore


Somit Doshi, a keen nature lover concerned about environmental protection, shares his love of snakes.

As the snake charmer plays his melody, the snake emerges from the basket and originates a dance. But it is not dancing to the music, it only moves to the motion of the swaying flute. Snakes cannot hear.

Snakes have always been associated negatively in the minds of most people. Commonly believed to be poisonous and dangerous, they are also viewed as a slimy, ugly and hostile species. I have rarely seen anyone look at a snake in the wild with delight and calm. Most of us, with preconceived notions, have despised this beautiful creature without understanding it. And the mere sight of a snake occasions fright.

I think snakes are incredibly graceful and enchantingly attractive. Some of the species of these mysterious legless invertebrates are coloured in incredible hues. Unlike common belief, they are as afraid of us as we are of them. Common Indian snakes are absolutely harmless. An interesting fact is that only 150 out of 2000 species of snakes are poisonous. Known to use venom only in case of self-defence, snakes are not out hunting to prey on humans. In fact, without snakes, we would have rats all around us!

Beautiful Beasts
Paradise in the Wild
The Ocean:Conquest
A Source of Solace
Sighting the Ocean
The Ocean in Verse
Childhood Dream
Hunt for Indian Tiger

Adventure activities
Rock Climbing
Scuba Diving

Leisure Holidays
Wild Life

Some common snakes:

The rat snake is found commonly in farmlands and preys on rats, thus protecting cultivation. It is over 2 meters long and very swift.

The striped Keelback is a common grass snake. It is slim and small.

The checkered Keelback haunts watery areas like wells, canals and tanks.

The Vine snake is distinctive with its beautiful green color and long tapering snout.

snakesThe Wolf snake which looks a bit like the Krait, is a nocturnal reptile which visits houses in search of lizards. It grows only upto 60 cms.


Apart from the above common species found in Indian plains, there is an elite group of some majestic snakes like the King Cobra, Russel's Viper and flying snakes. To sight these elite few is a glorious treat. Their hunting skills are flawless and amazing.

Unfortunately, snakes have always been at the tail end of possible conservation topics. All I ever learnt as a school boy was that it is acceptable, even desirable to beat up snakes with stones and sticks to drive them away. Apart from that, I thought all snakes are poisonous and all look and move the same way.

Snakes need to be equally safeguarded by environmental laws like the rest of wildlife. We all know that tigers face the dangers of extinction. But, do we know that several species of snakes are already extinct and that still others are on the threshold of extinction ? Snakes are hugely important for maintaining ecological balance.


Some of the things we can do to support life :

1) Do not support snake charmers. In fact, report them to the authorities.
2) Celebrate the festival of Nagpanchmi without involving snakes.
3) Do not use or purchase products made from snake skin.

Pointers for dealing with snake bites :
1) In case of snake bite, identify the snake from the bite mark. A semi circular row of punctures indicate a bite from a non venomous snake.

Two bleeding points indicate bite from a poisonous snake.
2) Only the bitten part should be kept immobilised
3) A tourniquet should be tied only on single bones, like the upper arm above the elbow and the thigh
4) A tourniquet should not be tied for more than an hour.

It must be slackened every 10 minutes for 30 seconds to prevent the blood supply from being cut off.

Home | Back | Top | Feedback

Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.