The Indian cobra, also known as the spectacled or Asian cobra, is a species of the genus Naja. This large, highly venomous snake is a proud member of the “big four” species that cause the most snakebites on humans in India. Heck, this cobra is even revered in Indian mythology and culture! So, let’s find out some more about this marvelous creature, shall we?

Indian cobra

Where can we find the Indian cobra?

Well, the name says it all, right? This cobra can be found throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and southern Nepal. Obviously, our highly adaptable snake can live almost anywhere. Thus, it can also be found in dense or open forests, plains, agricultural lands, rocky terrain, and wetlands. Not surprisingly, many people can bump up on this cobra in urban areas, such as villages and cities.

Indian cobra

How does the Indian cobra look?

Depending on the location, the Indian cobra can extremely vary in color and pattern. Thus, the underside colors can be grey, yellow, tan, brown, reddish, or black. On the other hand, the back may have a hood mark or color patterns. Like its close relative, the king cobra, this one is easily recognized by its large and impressive hood, which expands when threatened. Adults can grow up to 5 feet in length and can weigh around 20 pounds.


Being solitary and diurnal, our cobra will spend its time in tree hollows, termite mounds, rock piles, and small mammal dens. Although, when threatened, it will take the characteristic posture it is famous for, raising the front of its body, just like the black mamba. If the bite happens, the venom paralyzes the muscles, leading to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.


Indian cobras lay their eggs between April and July. The female usually lays between 10 and 30 eggs in rat holes or termite mounds. The eggs hatch 48 to 69 days later. When born, baby snakes measure from 8 to 12 inches in length. They are fully independent immediately, and also have fully functional venom glands!

Did you know the wide celebrity of the Indian cobra comes from its popularity as a Nipaie of choice for snake charmers?

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