It is one of the smallest National Parks spread over 2.70 square kilometer area and located right within the city of Chennai. This protected area is the 8th smallest National Park, and extends deep inside the Governor’s estate and which is enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams within the Park. Declared as a National Park in 1978, it was protectively walled off from the adjacent Raj Bhavan Estate and the Indian Institute of Technology Campus in the late 1980s.
One of the last remnants of natural habitats typifying the plant and animal bio-diversity of north-eastern Tamilnadu supports a dry evergreen scrub, thorn forests and grasslands with scattered water-bodies. It is home to over 350 species of plants including shrubs, climbers, herbs and grasses along with 24 varieties of trees which provide an ideal habitat to over 150 species of birds. This birdlife includes the Grey Partridge, Crow Pheasant, the Parrot, Quail, Paradise Fly Catcher, Black Winged Kite, the Honey Buzzard, Pariah Kite, Eagles, the Golden Backed Woodpecker, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, the Blue Faced Malkoha, Koel, Parakeet, Tailor Bird, Robin Drongo and many more.
The amphibians and reptiles in the Park include some species of tortoise and turtles, including the Star Turtle, Lizards, Geckos, Chameleons and the Indian Monitor Lizard along with a variety of insects consisting of over 60 species of spiders and another 60 species of butterflies. The Park is home to over 14 species of mammals including the endangered Black Buck, Spotted Deer, the Jackal, Small Indian Civet, Common Palm Civet, Bonnet Macaque, the Hyena, Pangolin, the Hedge Hog, the Common Mongoose and the Three-Striped Palm Squirrel.
Visit the new Interpretation Center to know more about the bio-diversity of this Park, and remember that entry in the core areas of the Park is restricted, however, permitted only when escorted by a Forest Ranger provided by the Forest Department.