It’s time for the next installment of Free Friday! This series focuses on free things to do around the world because, well, who doesn’t love free stuff? And if you’re visiting relatives back home, why not find something you can all enjoy without breaking the bank? This week’s Free Friday features Guindy National Park in the heart of Chennai.
Free Friday: Chennai, India
Wander through Guindy National Park
As the world becomes ever more modernized, it seems that we’re losing our connection with nature. We have to drive for hours just to glimpse wildlife and undisturbed wilderness. That’s why Guindy National Park is so unique: it’s inside the Chennai city limits. You can hop the rail system to visit it. It’s nature at its most convenient.
It’s all thanks to Governor William Langhorne. Way back in the 1600s, this guy had a residence called Guindy Lodge. Today, it is known as the Raj Bhavan. The park that we now call Guindy National Park was a game reserve for the governor. The remaining forest area was owned privately, namely by Gilbert Rodericks. In the 1960s and 70s, land was taken from the forest so that government buildings like schools and memorials could be constructed. Eventually, in 1978, the remaining grounds surrounding the residence of the modern Raj Bhavan were incorporated into the national park system.
Wildlife of Chennai
Animals in the park include deer, jackals, snakes, geckos, birds, butterflies, crocodiles, otters, parrots, porcupines, and mongoose, like the one made famous by Rudyard Kipling’s character, Rikki Tikki Tavi.
Several endangered species make their home here. Including:
The Indian star tortoise.
Endangered Indian Blackbucks.
In addition to all the animals that make their home here, you can find 350 species of plants: sandalwood, teak, mahogany, and even a carnivorous plant known as “sundews.”
There’s a children’s park as well. If you’ve got wild ones of your own, let them burn off some energy on the swings and jungle gyms.
Are you planning a trip to Chennai? Give us a call! We have the lowest fare – guaranteed. Plus, we customize ANY tour. Just say the word. If you can imagine it, we can make it happen.