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Why cobra and other species of snakes thrive in India

Updated on June 26, 2012

Vasuki- the snake- is one of Lord Shiva's power

One of Lord Shiva's powers, the snake is worn 3 times round his neck to represent past, present and future time cycles.
One of Lord Shiva's powers, the snake is worn 3 times round his neck to represent past, present and future time cycles. | Source
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Indian Cobra is considered one of the deadliest creatures.  It grows to a length of  1.8 - 2.2 meters long.  Its hood of flexible neck ribs and loose skin is displayed.snake charmer
Indian Cobra is considered one of the deadliest creatures.  It grows to a length of  1.8 - 2.2 meters long.  Its hood of flexible neck ribs and loose skin is displayed.
Indian Cobra is considered one of the deadliest creatures. It grows to a length of 1.8 - 2.2 meters long. Its hood of flexible neck ribs and loose skin is displayed.
snake charmer
snake charmer

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“Why are there more cobra snakes in India than in other parts of the world?“, is a query that is a Gordian knot to me. It was posted by agusfanani, one of hubpages hubbers from Indonesia. At first I thought it was easy to find the answer. I believe it was chicken feed. But after several attempts of internet search and browsing, all I found were data of cobra and various species of snakes found in different countries, but no comparison or comprehensive record update of the number of cobra snakes available.

To answer the question, “Why are there more cobra snakes in India than in other parts of the world?, one must have a comparative list of countries ranked as to the number of snakes, but I was unable to find one.

So I reflect and focus my mind on the issue. Then ideas one after the other dawned on me: is it really true that more cobras are found in India than in other countries?, what could be there in India that cobras and other species are attracted to, how do Indian show their regard to these serpents of various species.

These hypothetical questions prove helpful. They led me in my search to an article, “Snakes have Devine Power in Hinduism, It kills 50,000 each year”. And after reading and internalizing its contents, I was 100% sure it was the correct answer to the question which seemingly for me was hard to crack.

Facts unearth

Number 1. The Cobra, in particular, occupies a hallowed place in the Hindu religion. Indians are prohibited by their religion from harming the deadly reptiles. They believe these snakes possess divine powers. Their gods Vishnu and Lord Shiva are adorned with cobra-like trimmings.

Numner 2. Snakebites are a serious problem in India: The World Health Organization estimates 50,000 Indians are killed yearly by serpent attacks. Priests of Mushari, India are holding on to their authority that their magic and incantations alone can properly treat the frequent snakebites.

Listen how the son of Mushari chief Hindu priest, Shyamal Chakraborty, explains the situation:

“If you don’t visit the doctor and just come to us, the bite will be cured in two, three days,” says Mr. Chakraborty’s son Nayan, himself a saffron-clad priest, as he plays with a hissing cobra on the village square. “But if you choose to go to a doctor, your limb will swell up and there will be complications. We tell people that if you don’t listen to god and go to a hospital, it’s at your own risk.”

Number 3. Cobras are truly plentiful in India than in any other place on earth.

Samir Chatterjee, a school headmaster, testifies that he has counted more than 3,000 cobras live just in Choto Pashla, one of the three hamlets that abut Mushari. A Mushari village leader Narottom Sain brags “Whenever I lie down in my bed, a cobra will just slide on top of me, without hurting me,”

Mr. Sain is lucky, but many others are not. The area’s chief Hindu priest, Shyamal Chakraborty, testifies to the contrary that several villagers are attacked by cobras every month.


I entertain not even an iota of a doubt that India tops the list of countries with the greatest concentration of the Cobra snakes. While residents of other countries try to get rid of the serpent because of fear of being bitten, Hindu religious followers do exactly the opposite. They aren’t afraid of cobras. Their religion forbids them from doing harm to the reptiles. They looked up to them with awe, respect and reverence because cobras to them possess divine powers.

We can safely assume that cobras and other varieties of snakes in India are left unmolested, loved and admired. They are left to grow into full maturity, breed and reproduce their youngs. It is no wonder why their villages and even populous places are crawling with the serpents. Indeed, India owns more cobras than other places in the world.

It is no surprise why the WHO estimates that more than 50,000 deaths per year occur in India due to cobra attacks.

Villagers admit snake attacks do happen, but they’re quick to reason out they were inflicted by non-resident cobras or by vipers, kraits and other snakes.

“Our sacred cobras only kill ducks and chickens, but never humans,” assures Mr. Sain.

Source: Snakes have divine power …


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    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      To agusfanani: I was myself aghast to discover that India tops the record of having the most number of cobra. This article tells the reasons why. I hope our readers will find the research informational, educational and relevant in their quest for truth and knowledge. Wish you all the best.

      To alexis: Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I've no say for people like you who relish eating "pet snack". But I knew majority of people including me don't appreciate and eat snake cooked into food.

    • profile image

      alexis matthews 

      6 years ago

      i love snack they are awsome i wiss i had a pet snack

    • agusfanani profile image


      6 years ago from Indonesia

      I'm so glad and honored to read this hub which is the respond to my question: "Why are there more cobras in India than in other parts of the world". I've found out more knowledge about snake that I didn't know like how snakes, specially cobras have special place in Indian life and how they use non medical treatment for snake bite victims is unbeliveable. Thank you nick071438.


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