Snakes in India

Snakes have had a special place in Indian culture since time immemorial, with the country having a reputation as the land of snake charmers. Snakes have even had a sacred place in the Hindu religion, worshipped as deities to attain fame, wealth, and knowledge.

So, it is evident that the country has several snake species, over 350. Of the several venomous species, four of them, also called the Big Four, emerge as the most deadly ones, responsible for delivering medically significant bites each year. The common krait, Indian Cobra, Indian saw-scaled viper, and Russell’s viper belong to the list of dangerous snakes. According to WHO reports, around 5 million individuals are affected by snake bites each year, of which between 81,000 and 1,38,000 are fatal. 

Snakes in India
Pit VipersBamboo Pit Viper
Malabar Pit Viper  
KraitsCommon Krait
Banded Krait
Greater Black Krait
Coral SnakesSlender Coral Snake
Whip SnakesLong-nosed Whip Snake
VipersRussell’s Viper
Indian Saw-scaled Viper
Hump-nosed Viper  
CobrasIndian Cobra
Spectacled Cobra
Monocled Cobra
ElapidaeCommon Sea Snake

Ornate Flying Snake (Golden Tree Snake)

Indian Gamma Snake Beddome’s Cat Snake  

Common Sand Boa
Rough-scaled Boa
Red Sand Boa
LycodonIndian Wolf Snake
PythonIndian Python
Reticulated Python
PtyasOriental Rat Snake
CoelognathusCommon Trinket Snake
OligodonBanded Kukri Snake
Streaked Kukri
FowleaCheckered Keelback

Buff Striped Keelback
RhabdophisGreen Keelback

Olive Trapezoid Snake

Split Keelback
DendrelaphisCommon Bronzeback Tree Snake

Banded Racer
Nagarjun Sagar Racer
Graceful Racer
WallophisIndian Smooth Snake
LiopeltisCalamaria Reed Snake
SibynophisDuméril’s Black-headed Snake
CerberusNew Guinea Bockadam
AcrochordusMarine File Snake
IndotyphlopsBrahminy Blind Snake

Hook-nosed Sea Snake

King Cobra
HydrophisAnnulated Sea Snake
Malacca Sea Snake

Snakes by Colors and Patterns

Green Snakes: Bamboo Pit Viper, Green Keelback,Long-nosed Whipsnake

Brown Snakes: Indian Smooth Snake, Indian Cobra

Black Snakes: Common Krait, Greater Black Krait

Snake in India (By Regions)  

  • Goa
  • Kerala

Quick Information

Most Venomous/ Dangerous Snakes: Indian Saw-scaled Viper,Russell’s Viper, Indian Cobra

Biggest & Longest Snake: Reticulated Python

Smallest Snake: Brahminy Blindsnake

Fastest Snake: Oriental Ratsnake


Q. What is the national snake of India?

The Indian Cobra endemic to the southern and Southeast Asian jungles is India’s national reptile.

Q. Are pet snakes allowed in India?

No, keeping snakes as pets in India is considered illegal.

Q. What is the two-headed snake found here?

A two-headed Russell viper having a rare occurrence indeed was sighted in 2020 in Maharashtra, measuring 11 cm with its twin heads having a length of 2 cm each.

Q. Does India have any white snakes?

No, but on one occasion, an albino-colored krait snake was spotted in the Ambikapur city of Chhattisgarh.