India is a land with huge bio-diversity. You can find any type of environment in India whenever you want. From cold mountains to dense forests and from grasslands to deserts every kind of terrain is present in India. Owing to this diversity, India has become a home for a large variety of most deadly reptiles in the world—Snakes.
There are almost 300 native Indian species of snakes in India but out of them, only four are responsible for a majority of deaths. These deadly creatures are considered holy among Hindus and they are worshiped as Naag Devta. The reason for this is the connection between snakes and Hindu Gods Shiva and Vishnu.
1. Indian Cobra- Nag
Nagas are the most known and fearful snakes in India. The reason for this is there look that can be easily differentiated from other species. Naags can be easily recognized by their Hood. Nagas are one of the four most deadly snakes found in India and they are most populated too. They can grow up to 2 meters in length. They are highly seen in the road shows of Indian peddlers known as Speras.
Nagas are found in almost every part of the Indian subcontinent except the cold tops of the Himalayas. Nag snakes are now a protected species in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
2. King Cobra
King Cobras are the largest venomous species of snakes found on earth. King Cobras can be easily recognized with the help of their hood their white stripes on a completely black body. These snakes can grow up to 18 feet in length. King Cobra is usually found in the areas with heavy rainfall hence southern rainforests make a perfect home for them. Particularly, the western ghats are famous for being home of King Cobras.
These Cobras become the cause of a lot of deaths in India and are included in four of the most deadly snakes found in India. They are also a protected species in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and killing them can cause 6 years in prison.
3. Rock Python– Ajgar
Indian Rock Python or Ajgar are the largest snakes found in India. They can be easily recognized due to their size, they can grow up to 23 feet and can weigh up to 160kg. Pythons are known to kill their prey by folding around it tightly. However, they aren’t very deadly to humans because they are not venomous and relatively slow to attack a person. This reason for their too being popular in road shows. But it doesn’t mean they are not dangerous their bite still can cause some infections.
Ajgars are usually found in middle or southern parts of India. Particularly, Deccan plateau and western ghats. Although they can survive anywhere grasslands, swamps, and woodlands.
4. Russels Viper– Daboia
Russel’s viper is also known as Daboia in some parts of India. It can be recognized through the large brown circles on its body. It is also a very venomous snake and its venom is known to destroy the affected organs. That is why Russel’s Viper is one of the four deadliest snakes in India.
Russel’s viper is spread all over India and can be found at any grassy and moist areas. They can strike there target in a second, they usually feed on rats but can eat other small rodents too.
5. Saw Scale Viper
Saw Scale Vipers are also one of the one most dangerous snakes in India. There are the smallest ones that fall into this category. They are usually 3 feet long and not easy to recognize but can be recognized by experts using the saw-shaped brown scales, due to which they got there name. They are also known as Echis.
Saw Scale vipers are usually found at barren lands instead of dense forests where the population is higher. Hence are responsible for relatively lesser deaths as compared to Cobras and Russell’s viper.
6. Indian Krait– Sakhra
Indian Kraits are also a venomous species found in India and are the fourth one in big four most dangerous snakes in India. They can be 5 feet long and can be recognized by thin white stripes on their body. In northern India, they are known as Sakhra.
They are usually found in fields where they usually come in contact with humans. Kraits usually feed on other small snakes and some rodents. They are also known to cannibalize other Kraits too.
7. Rat Snake– Dhaman
Rat Snakes are also called as Dhaman in India. They are non-venomous and completely unharmful to humans. Rat Snakes are found all over India and can be easily found near civilizations where they can feed on rodents. They can be up to 8 feet in length.
The most popular trait of rat snakes is that they are eaten by King Cobras. Rat Snakes are further categorized in several categories like Black Rat Snake, Grey Rat Snake, and Corn snake.
Trinket Snakes are found on mountains where the temperature is usually low and other snakes can’t survive. They are non-venomous and can be 4.5 feet long. It is considered a beautiful snake by experts due to black stripes on its golden body.
Due to their small size, they are really fast and aggressive. However, they are not venomous but can cause a lot of damage using their sharp teeth. They are known to feed on rodents and small lizards.
Boas are the small-sized pythons and are found in deserted areas. They are the largest snakes found in Thar desert the thing that differentiates them from pythons is their relatively small size. They use the same technique to kill their prey as pythons do.
However, they aren’t very deadly to humans because they are not venomous and relatively small to attack a person.
10. Keelback -Dhodia
Keelback or Dhodia also called the water snake. They are found in fresh waters of India. It can be recognized with small black diamond shapes on its back. They are non-venomous and most of the time they are found in fresh water.
Keelback is mostly found in South India and can be up to 4 feet long. They mostly feed on water frogs and small fish.
Vine Snake is a species that usually lives on trees. It is mildly venomous. These snakes are found in forests of South India and are extremely rare. Due to which ingredients of its venom are unknown. Vine snakes are slender and their heads are shaped like leaves. These characteristics make them camouflage in the forest where they can catch their prey without getting much attention. They are usually known to feed on frogs and lizards.