National Parks in India
Guindy National Park information
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Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is a 2.70 km2 (1.04 sq mi) Protected area of Tamil Nadu, located in Chennai, South India, is the 8th smallest National Park of India and one of the very few national parks situated inside a city. The park is an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, formerly known as the 'Guindy Lodge', the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, India. It extends deep inside the governor's estate, enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams. The park has a role in both ex-situ and in-situ conservation and is home to 400 blackbucks, 2,000 spotted deers, 24 jackals, a wide variety of snakes, geckos, tortoises and over 130 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and spiders each, a wealth of different invertebrates—grasshoppers, ants, termites, crabs, snails, slugs, scorpions, mites, earthworms, millipedes, and the like. These are free-ranging fauna and live with the minimal of interference from human beings. The only major management activity is protection as in any other in-situ conservation area. The park attracts more than 700,000 visitors every year. Once covering an area of 5 km2 (1.93 sq mi) of one of the last remnants of tropical dry evergreen forest of the Coromandel Coast, Guindy Park was originally a game reserve. In the early 1670s, a garden space was carved out of the Guindy forest and a residence called the Guindy Lodge was built by Governor William Langhorne (1672–1678), which had helped make St Thomas Mount a salubrious place for rest and recreation. The remaining of the forest area was owned by a British citizen named Gilbert Rodericks from whom it was purchased by the government in 1821 for a sum of ₹ 35,000. The original area of 505 ha was established as a Reserve Forest in 1910. Chital (spotted deer) were introduced into the park probably after 1945. Between 1961 and 1977, about 172 ha of the forest, primarily from the Raj Bhavan, was transferred to various government departments in order to build educational institutions and memorials. In 1958, a portion of the forest area was transferred to the Union Education Ministry for establishing the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. In the same year, another portion of the land was transferred to the Forest Department for creating the Guindy Deer Park and Children's Park at the instance of the then prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Memorials for Rajaji and Kamaraj were built in 1974 and 1975, respectively, from parcels of land acquired from the Raj Bhavan. In 1977, the forest area was transferred to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. In 1978, the whole of the remaining area, popularly known then as the Guindy Deer Park, was declared a national park. It was walled off from the adjacent Raj Bhavan and Indian Institute of Technology Madras Campus in the late 1980s. The park has a dry evergreen scrub and thorn forest, grasslands and water bodies with over 350 species of plants including shrubs, climbers, herbs and grasses and over 24 variety of trees, including the sugar-apple, Atlantia monophylla, wood-apple, and neem. This flora provides an ideal habitat for over 150 species of birds. About one-sixth of the park has been left as open grassland to preserve that habitat for blackbucks. Though both the species of blackbuck and spotted deer have their natural habitat in grassland, the spotted deer prefer bushes and can adjust in land covered with shrubbery.


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