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The Crocodile Bank

The Crocodile Bank of Chennai is one of the best ways to learn about this reptile and its environment. Popularly known locally as Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, it is the country’s premier institution for herpeto-faunal research and conservation. They also aim to educate the general public about the reptile’s lifestyle and characteristics.


The Crocodile Bank Trust is located 40 kilometers from Chennai and is a coastal dune forest. It is just 15 kilometers from Mamallapuram. Often referred to as the Croc Bank, it has emerged as one of the best places to know everything about crocodiles. The bank is spread over eight acres and is acclaimed as one of the largest reptile zoos in the world. It ranks among the oldest non-governmental environmental organizations in Asia.


The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology was conceived by the legendary Romulus Whitaker and other who shared the same enthusiasm and commitment towards conservation of nature. The groundwork on the facility began in 1976. The whole idea was to save the rapidly diminishing population of crocodile in India. It can be said today that their efforts have paid off spectacularly. The Crocodile Bank is a fine example of how commitment and single-minded dedication can result in conservation and preservation of natural landscapes.

Captive Breeding

The place was conceived as a living genetic repository of crocodiles for safekeeping so that they can breed and multiply and could be returned to their original habitats in the wild. While this process was a tremendous success initially, the shrinking wilderness areas and the lack of suitable habitat forced the trust to do a rethink. This led to the experiment of captive breeding which was a runaway success. Today, the bank has over 18 species of crocodiles, some of which are endangered and also falls in the threatened category.

Adopt a Reptile

The ‘Adopt a Reptile Scheme’ launched by the Trust is held on Sundays. During this program, the bank conducts demonstration of feeding the crocodiles, kept in large enclosures called pens.

Venom Extraction Center

There is also a snake venom extraction centre managed by the Irula Snake Catchers Industrial Cooperative Society or the ISCICS. Venom extraction is restricted during the peak of summer and goes on during the rest of the year.

The Aquarium

An aquarium where visitors can see crocodiles underwater is very popular, especially among children. The aquarium has a separate enclosure for young reptiles. Visitors are educated about the various aspects of the lifestyle of reptiles such as how they lay their eggs or care for their nests and the various threats young reptiles have to combat early in their lives. The park also conducts crocodile feeding sessions every Sunday at various times throughout the day.

An interesting feature of the Crocodile Park is the night safari. The reptiles behave differently under the cover of darkness. Visitors can witness this secret side of crocodiles that include territorial disputes, breeding activity and vibrant behavior during the night safari.

Information for Visitors

The Crocodile Park is open from 0830 Hrs to 1730 Hrs on all days except Mondays. There is a gate fee of INR 35 for adults and INR 10 for children below 10 years. Night Safaris are held on Saturdays and Sundays only from 1900 hrs to 2030 hrs. The ticket for adult is INR 60 and for children it is INR 20. The fee for camcorder is INR 100 and for still camera it is INR 20.

How to Reach

By Road

The park is located 45 km from Chennai and 15 km north of Mamallapuram.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Egmore Junction which is just one kilometer away.

By Air

The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport at 10 km.


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