Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Every end is a beginning

One of the most undisturbed areas within Chennai city is the contiguous stretch of scrub forest that runs across quite a bit of the Guindy area. On the northern side of Sardar Patel Road, the forest land has been carved up into small bits; with further landscaping, the character of the greenery has changed completely and makes for nice viewing through the PWD offices, the Anna University and the CLRI. On the southern side, however, a large part of the forest land was protected by it having been made a National Park. And with only two other institutions (the IIT Madras and the Raj Bhavan) on either side of it, the Guindy National Park (GNP) continues to be part of the great green lung of Chennai.

Not everyone gets to go into the GNP; it is actually somewhat wild and it is quite easy to get lost inside! However, a small part of the Park is given over to the Children's Park (set aside under instructions from Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister) and the Snake Park (which was the birthplace of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust - a bit more about that here). Both these are very popular - not all the criticism they get is justified, though they can be run much better - and are therefore crowded almost every day. And in the company of excited kids, adults might also turn adventurous and go through gates without realizing where they lead to. This sign, next to a gate opening out from the Children's Park into the 'wild' part of the GNP, helps to warn off such well-meaning but ill-equipped adverturers!


5 comments:

Sherry said...

How funny that I came across your blog and you actually have a post about the snake park! I loved the snake park...and my hubby is a real reptile lover, so he enjoyed it more than I did. :) The cobra pit was amazing and watching the handler even more so. We had a great time that day, thanks for a great memory!

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Sherry>> Thanks for stopping by and for the comments, too. Glad to know that you have good memories of the Snake Park. Do keeping coming by!

Ravindran said...

Yes we have lost our way quite a lot of time going into the deep forests. It is eerie out there.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ravindran>> Now, what mischief were you up to in those woods? :D

Ravindran said...

Some thoughts on the Raj Bhavan. There are three entries to it. The one u see as u come from saidapet bridge which leads to the Raj Bhavan is the most known one. To the left of this gate a km away there is /was another one which used to lead to the servant quarters. There is/was a third gate behind the Guindy race course which used to lead to other staff, officers and others quarters.This is where I spent my childhood.Dont know whether these have undergone any changes. If my memory is right the way inside the IIT leads to the third one I mentioned. All in all it is a lovely place.