Indian Monitor Lizard

Also called Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) or common Indian monitor. Large or adult lizards generally dwell on the soil but smaller or juveniles also use tree cavities to dwell. Many are found inside the crevices in the hill rocks. These have a very shy nature as well as keen eye sight and can detect human presence from a considerable distance.

They look ferocious but are generally harmless. They eat eggs of birds and small animals like fish, small lizards. They are very common in the South East Asia and Indian subcontinent. They are called by different names in various parts of India.

In Western Parts of India they are called Bis-Cobra, Goyra in Rajasthan, Goh in Punjab. In Bengal these are called Goshaap and Ghorpad in Maharashtra.

These animals have a legendary grip even on the vertical walls. In Maharashtra there is a legend the Shiva Ji the great Maratha leader used to tie their tails with ropes and lob them up the enemy wall where the lizard will make a vice like grip and then his soldiers used to scale the wall of the fort.

These lizards are quite common in our area. If you suddenly come across one, you will be scared. But they are very shy and hide among the crevices, foliage or tree cavities.

Young one on a tree: Ranjit Photo
Dwelling on land : Photo mine

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