5 of the Largest Snakes in India

Largest Snakes in India
Photo by Timothy Dykes

Snakes are beautiful and fascinating creatures and can be found on all continents except in some very cold countries. These countries include the likes of Antarctica, Ireland, New Zealand, and Greenland.

Amazingly, some of the largest snakes in India are not only interesting; you can also find them in different species. 

India has captivated the attention of many researchers around the globe for housing some of the largest snakes in the world.

This is because of how flexible their environment is due to the warm climate. It is also possible you may have heard of or come across some of these creepy crawlers.

However, this article discusses some of the largest snakes in India. 

NameBotanical namesizeLife span
Burmese PythonPython Bivottatus23 feet26–30 years
Indian Rock PythonPython Molurus21 feet20 years
King CobraOphiophagus Hannah18 feet20 years
Indian Rat SnakePtyas Mucosa7 feet13–15 years
Banded KraitBungarus Fasciatus6 feet13 years

Largest Snakes in India

1. Burmese Python

The Burmese python, also known as Python Bivittatus, is one of the biggest species of snakes in the world. It is also one of the largest snakes in India.

These snakes are easily characterized by their beautiful patterned skin colors, which include a mix of tan, black, and brown. 

They can be seen around eastern India in the swamps, grass marshes, jungles, rivers, and valleys. You can also find them in rainforests, rocky foothills, and trees, as they are awesome climbers. 

Most of their time is spent in hiding, but they will only move when attacking or being attacked. These snakes sometimes lie dormant in holes near the river bank, under rocks, or in hollow trees for months.

You should also be aware that these large monsters enjoy swimming and can submerge themselves for about 30 minutes.

Surprisingly, these snakes have no teeth to chew their meals, so they have to open their mouths wide and swallow their food whole.

They prey on birds and their eggs, mice, rabbits, and chickens. Their size allows them to prey on larger animals like goats and pigs.

This animal has fewer predators because of its size, but alligators and humans who hunt them for their attractive skin enjoy eating them. 

Burmese pythons are found in pairs during the mating season. They reproduce in early spring, and the females can lay about 15 to 34 eggs. The female will remain and wrap around the eggs to increase the temperature around them by some degrees. 

Given favorable conditions, hatching can last for about 60 to 80 days. The young ones use their teeth to find their way out of the shells and mature at three. Typically, a Burmese python can live for about 26 to 30 years. 

These snakes are okay to have as pets but are very expensive to care for. They can go into other people’s homes when not adequately looked after or fed. Ideally, the Burmese python is better left in the wild.

2. King Cobra

The King cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah) is not only one of the largest snakes in India but also the longest venomous snake in the world.

Its venom is enough to kill up to 20 people in 15 minutes and an elephant in a couple of hours. The serpent comes in different colors, including red, black, green, and brown. 

They feel at home in various environments, including bamboo groves, forests, grasslands, swamps, and rivers. This snake likes to be alone and would rather run away than fight. However, if you keep bothering it, it can become very aggressive. 

Be aware that king cobras can deliver many bites in one strike. Extending its body and neck, hissing loudly, and showing its fangs are clear signs of telling the aggressor to back off. 

They can feed on lizards, birds, and rodents and sometimes feed on other snakes (even venomous ones). Shockingly, this bad boy is prey to not only humans and other mammals. They are also meals for hawks, eagles, secretary birds, and crocodiles.

The King Cobra can live up to 20 years. Amongst the largest snakes in India, the king cobra is the only snake that makes a nest for its eggs. It collects branches and leaves to firmly build a nest that keeps the eggs warm throughout the brooding period. 

The female king cobra can lay up to 20 to 40 eggs. She leaves the nest even before the hatching period, which could last at least 90 days and fall between January and April, when the breeding season is in full swing. Meanwhile, this is a very gentle snake, but it should not be kept as a pet. 

3. Indian Rock Python

The Indian rock python, scientifically called Python Molurus, inhabits many habitats, including swamps and woodlands. They dominate rocky foothills, open fields, river valleys, grasslands, and savannahs. It’s also not uncommon to see them in water reeds, hollow trees, and mangrove thickets. 

The female pythons lay eggs, which means they are oviparous. Females can lay about 10 to 100 eggs, incubating them by cycling their bodies around them. This helps increase the temperature, which can take as long as 60 to 90 days. 

Although these snakes are active during the day, observers tend to see them more at night. As infants, these snakes enjoy climbing trees in search of shelter and food; as time passes, they prefer to stay on the floor. Sometimes, old habits kick in; even as adults, they still want to climb trees.

Like many snakes, this reptile isn’t that picky; they feed on birds, amphibians, and mammals. Additionally, it is hardly hunted by other animals. Still, every predator is prey to something or someone, as humans hunt them for their skin. 

An Indian rock python can live up to 20 years. Nevertheless, it is best not to keep it as a buddy. Even with their gentle nature, they are still very deadly.

4. Indian Rat Snake

The Indian rat snake belongs to the family of some of the largest snakes in India. It is generally known as the oriental rat snake and is botanically referred to as Ptyas Mucosa. They are available in various hues, including yellow, olive, brown, grey, and black.  

Most of the time, you can see these animals in northern India, where they live in farmlands, fields, swamps, and water. Sometimes, they hide in rock caves, termite heaps, and rat holes. 

Oriental snakes are lonely and non-venomous, but, like other snakes, they can defend themselves. By nature, these reptiles are not hostile, but their first resort is to escape if attacked. Continue bugging them; they’ll strike vigorously.

These snakes twist around each other in dance-off combat for authority. In this non-aggressive fight, the winner controls the territory until another male snake comes for a challenge. 

The females can lay up to 6 to 15 eggs a few weeks after mating, and incubation may last for 60 days. Don’t be surprised to find the young ones fending for themselves immediately after birth.

5. Banded Krait

The banded krait, called Bungarus Fasciatus by scientists, is one of India’s largest snakes. It has a cylindrical-shaped body with about 20 to 60 black or blue bands from its neck to its tail. These snakes can thrive on land or in the sea. 

They are seen around the Indian subcontinent and in some parts of Asia. These snakes prefer to stay in the ocean, but they come to land to change their skin. 

In the courting season, they are seen very often on land and even more often when it is time to lay eggs. These snakes can lay from 3 to 20 eggs. 

Even though the banded krait is ranked as one of the most venomous snakes in the world, it is still a timid and lazy snake. When provoked, it will rather coil its head into its body. Even so, this snake is not one to mess with. 

They prey on birds, eggs, lizards, frogs, and rodents. Notwithstanding, they’ll instead feed on other snakes, which can include rainbow water snakes, red-tailed pipe snakes, and others. Bungarus fasciatus can live up to 13 years.  

Conclusion

Most non-venomous snakes are found in India. Yet, India has the most venomous snakes in the world. However, if you aren’t ophidiophobic, you should take a trip to India to see some of nature’s wonders.

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