National Park Within City – Children’s Park, Guindy, Chennai

Children’s Park Guindy or Guindy National Park  is located at the heart of Chennai city close to Anna University. It has varieties of deer such as blackbucks,  jackal etc. Earlier it had snake park situated within which has been shifted to crocodile park at East Coast Road. Read on to know more about Children’s Park, Guindy, Chennai.

To view larger image please click on the photograph.
 Guindy National Park is a 2.82 Square Kilometre (1.09 sq mi) Protected area of Tamil Nadu, located in Chennai, South India, is the 8th smallest National Park of India and one of the very few national parks situated inside a city. The park is an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, formerly known as the ‘Guindy Lodge’, the official residence of the Governor of Tamilnadu, India. It extends deep inside the governor’s estate, enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams.

The park has a role in both ex-situ and in-situ conservation and is home to 400 blackbucks, 2,000 spotted deers, 24 jackals, a wide variety of snakes, geckos, tortoises and over 130 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and spiders each, a wealth of different invertebrates—grasshoppers, ants, termites, crabs, snails, slugs, scorpions, mites, earthworms, millipedes, and the like. These are free-ranging fauna and live with the minimal of interference from human beings. The only major management activity is protection as in any other in-situ conservation area. The park attracts more than 700,000 visitors every year.

The park has a dry evergreen scrub and thorn forest, grasslands and water bodies with over 350 species of plants including shrubs, climbers, herbs and grasses and over 24 varieties of trees, including the Sugar-apple, Atlantia monophylla, Wood-apple, and Neem. This flora provides an ideal habitat for over 150 species of birds. About one-sixth of the park has been left as open grassland to preserve that habitat for blackbucks. Though both the species of blackbuck and spotted deer have their natural habitat in grassland, the spotted deer prefer bushes and can adjust in land covered with shrubbery.

There are over 14 species of mammals including blackbuck, chital or spotted deer, jackal, small Indian civet, common palm civet, bonnet macaque, hyena, jackal, pangolin, hedgehog, common mongoose and three-striped palm squirrel.

The endangered blackbuck, considered the flagship species of the park was introduced in 1924 and has seen a population decline in recent times. Per the census conducted on February 29, 2004, the population of Blackbuck was 405 (10 spotted in the IIT campus). The chital population in the Park, however, appears to have been steady or even increased since their introduction into the area many decades ago. Per the census conducted on February 29, 2004, the population of the spotted deer was 2,650. Of these, 1,743 were female and 336 were fawns. The census was taken in the Guindy National Park and the adjoining areas of the Indian Institute of Technology and the Raj Bhavan campus using King’s Transect method, which would only reveal the numbers close to the actual figure.

The park has over 150 species of birds including grey partridge, crow pheasant, parrot, quail, paradise fly-catcher, black-winged kite, Honey Buzzard, pariah kite, Eagle, golden-backed Woodpecker, yellow-wattled lapwing, red-wattled lapwing, blue-faced malkoha, shrike, koel, minivet, munia, parakeet, tailor bird, robin, drongo, quail and stone curlew. Bird watchers anticipate migratory birds here like teals, garganeys, pochards, medium egrets, large egrets, night herons, pond herons and open-billed storks every fall season. There are also many kinds of amphibians and reptiles. Some species of tortoise and turtles- especially the endangered Star Tortoise, lizards, geckos, chameleons and the common Indian monitor lizard are found here, as well as a large variety of insects including 60 species of spiders and 60 species of butterflies.

Guindy Snake Park, formerly the location of Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, is next to the Guindy National Park. The Snake Park in Chennai gained statutory recognition as a medium zoo from the Central Zoo Authority in 1995. There one can see King Cobra, pythons, vipers and other reptiles.

To know about Crocodile Bank see our earlier post

https://chennaifocus.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/wonderful-crocodile-bank/


For ex-situ conservation, about 22 acres (8.9 ha) of the Guindy National Park has been carved out into a park known as the Children’s Park and play area at the northeast corner of the national park with a collection of animals and birds. The Children’s Park gained statutory recognition as a medium zoo from the Central Zoo Authority in 1995. Animals in the Children’s Park include black buck, sambar, spotted deer, porcupine, hyena, jackal, python, grey pelican, night heron, cormorant, cockatiel, parrot, mongoose, common peafowl, crocodile, common otter, rhesus monkey, bonnet monkey and common langur. The Children’s Park also exhibits a fossilised tree specimen which is estimated to be about 20 million years old and a statue of a Tyrannosaurus at the entrance . The Children’s Park and the Snake Park have separate entrances and independent entry fees. Drinking water, vendors and catering are available. The entrance lies on the busy Sardar Patel Road next to the Adyar Cancer Institute.

There is a new interpretation center about the biodiversity of the park. Entry into this protected reserve is restricted, and visitors can go into the core area only when escorted by a forest ranger from the Forests Department. Guindy Park is contiguous with the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. It is behind the Gandhi Mandapam, Kamaraj Memorial and Rajaji Memorial on Sardar Patel road on the southern part of Chennai. The rear southeast edge of the park adjoins the campus of Indian Institute of Technology. Along its fringes are the Cancer Institute, CLRI campus, the Anna University and the Raj Bhavan.

The visiting timings at the Children’s Park is from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm and is open on all days except Tuesday which is declared as a holiday.

The nearest railway station is the Kasturibai Nagar MRTS station which is less than a kilometer away.
Guindy station (Suburban Track) is 1 km ( 0.62 Miles) away.
Chennai Egmore Railway station is 9 km ( 5.6 Miles) away.
Chennai Central Railway station is 12 km ( 7.4 Miles) away.
Chennai airport is 8 km ( 5 Miles) away.

Children’s Park can be reached by Car. It is located opposite to Anna University, Guindy Chennai

Public Buses ply from all parts of Chennai.

For more details contact

Wildlife Warden,
50, IV Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai – 600 020.

or

The Wildlife Warden,
259, Anna Salai, DMS Compound, IV Floor, Teynampet, Chennai 600 006

Telephone :  (91)  (044) 24321471

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Posted on December 21, 2011, in Attractions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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