Guindy National Park, probably the smallest national park in the country is located within the city limits of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.
The park with an area of 2.82 sq. km has a strong historical background. Originally a game reserve of 400 hectares, it was owned by Gilbert Rodericks, a British citizen. When Gilbert died, in 1821 the Tamil Nadu government purchased it and the surrounding wooded property for a sum of Rs. 35,000/. The place was declared as reserved forests in 1910. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru allotted a portion of the Guindy forest as a park for children. In 1958, it was handed over to the Forest department and in 1978 the entire forest area was declared as Guindy national park.
Guindy National park consists of various vegetation zones mainly tropical dry evergreen flora with over 350 species of plants including trees, shrubs, climbers, herbs and grasses. 24 varieties of trees including Amona Squamosa, Atlanta Monoplylla, Feronia Limonia, Azadirachta India and many others are found in this park.
The animals found here include spotted deer, black bucks (also known as Rare Indian Antelope found only in India), white bucks, river otter, hyena, bonnet monkey, civet cat, jackals, pangolin, hedgehog and common mongoose. Birds which can be seen here are the black winged kite, the buzzard, olden Backed Woodpecker, Crow Pheasant, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Red Wattled Lapwing, Blue Faced Malkoha, Shrikes, Koels, pariah kite, Minivets, Munias, Barkets, Parakeets, Grey Partridge, Tailor Birds, Robins, Drongos, Quails, Beak Paradise, Flycatcher, Stone Curlew and so on.
In and Around
Definitely a huge attraction at the Guindy National Park, the Snake Park houses some magnificent snakes of India including King Cobras, pythons, viper snakes, a huge aquarium with fantastic sea snakes, as well as turtles.
Developed on the insistence of the Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, Children’s park at Guindy National park offers a lot in terms of both flora and fauna. The Tyrannosaurus statue at the gate is a favourite with kids as are the many deer, monkey, crocodiles and otters that are found in the park.
This is the part of the forest that is not accessible. You will need permission from authorities to visit this section accompanied by a ranger. The deer population here is rather large with sighting of chital, jackal, toddy cats and even elephants being quite common here. For the bird watcher, the park is a must see since it houses over 150 different species.
Guindy National Park is opened for the visitors throughout the year.
The park remains open from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM. It remains closed on every Tuesday.
How to Reach
The Chennai airport is 8 kms away from the park. The airport has both domestic and international terminals and there are regular flights connecting Chennai with the major cities within the country and also with countries like USA, Singapore, U.K., etc.
The nearest station is Guindy station (Suburban Track) 1 km away. Chennai Central station is 12 kms and Chennai Egmore is 9 kms away from the park. Chennai is well connected by rail with the important towns and cities within and beyond the state.
State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major towns and cities within the country. Local trains, city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are also available for local transportation.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Located in the southwestern part of Chennai, the Guindy neighborhood is one of the entry points into the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Some popular hotels located in proximity to the Guindy National Park are Lemon Tree Hotel, The Leela Palace, The Residency Towers and The Raintree Hotel.