Crested Serpent eagle feeding on a Burmese python at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Crested Serpent eagle feeding on a Burmese python at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

From my childhood I have been seeing snakes associated with the Gods such as Lord Shiva , Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna in one form or the other. The snake adorns the neck of Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu is found resting on the bed or resting place provided by a number of snakes and his consort Goddess Lakshmi at his side Lord. Lord Krishna standing on the hood of the “Kalia “ in the midst of the river.

I remember in my house at Palwal in Haryana sometimes when I used to open my almirah for the clothes saw a snake moving into the hole in the corner. The open space in the back of our house had trees of Ber, Keekar and undergrowth of all sorts. That was the idle habitat for the snakes.

Spectacled Cobra moving in the bushes at Delhi

Most of us would remember that during the rainy season in sixties, the main roads were flooded with the rain water and we had to cross the same for even going to the school. On a number of times observing snakes and monitor lizards was common. The water bodies at the outskirts of villages and small towns had water snakes. But now the things are different.

My call to the wild came when I got posted to Raipur in Chhatisgarh. Prior to that I had never been to any wildlife destination. Some times when I could not visit wild during holidays or for any other reason wild denizens came to me.

King Cobra at Rajaji National Park

I remember there was very heavy rain on 30th and 31st July in 2006. Just water every where in Raipur. In the early morning I found a snake in my wash basin when I was to spit during brushing my teeth. Immediately I took some shots and later on called the caretaker to take out the snake.

In 2011 we were the first to record the feeding of Burmese python by a Crested Serpent Eagle in Dudhwa National park in December 2011. In 2013 I observed a spectacled cobra in the heart of Delhi. Later on sighting of a King Cobra in April 2015 at Chilla range of Rajaji National Park became a talking point for the nature lovers of that area.

Snake at Tikrapara ,Raipur

Snakes are feared by many misunderstood and misidentified. Owing to misidentification most of the non- venomous snakes are killed by the human beings.

Reptiles and especially the snakes play an important role in the balance of nature. The negative feelings of many people towards snakes are undeserved. In fact they help the farmers in eliminating rodents, insects , crabs and other animals which pose a threat to the crops.

They also help in saving lives of many as the snake venom is used to treat serious health ailments.

Let us take a pledge on this day to save this beautiful specie .

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.